PCA 2016: Josh Beckley bags Day 2 chip lead in $25K High Roller; 9 left

A lengthy Day 2 of the $25,000 High Roller is done, and when it came time to bring out the bags only nine were needed, with 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event runner-up Josh Beckley the one to put the most chips in his after he finished the night as leader with 2.146 million.

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Josh Beckley

Seems like ages ago, but back at 12 noon 106 survivors from yesterday's first day of play sat down for the first hands of Day 2, with another 11 players joining them as the last entries (and re-entries) before the late registration window shut.

All told there were 225 entries, with 173 unique players and 52 re-entries. That meant a huge $5,400,000 prize pool to be divided among the final 31 finishers, with a cool $1,142,100 first prize scheduled to go to the winner.

Early eliminations today included Ryan Riess, Ole Schemion, Anthony Zinno, and Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu, with fellow red spade-sporter Jason Mercier also going out during the first hour of the day. Meanwhile the lone remaining member of the team Andre Akkari was thriving while Faraz Jaka stormed out to the chip lead.

The field continued to be whittled down, with NFL star Richard Seymour and start-of-day leader Dustin Johns among those going out prior to dinner as Chance Kornuth began his ascent up the counts to grab first position.

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Chance Kornuth

Then it was Dario Sammartino assuming the chip lead, eventually pushing way in front to be the first player to 1 million chips.

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Dario Sammartino

They were down to 36 by the dinner break, though it would take a while to reach the money before Akkari went out in 33rd, then at last Georgios Zisimopoulos went out in 32nd to burst the bubble.

Keven Stammen (31st) and Pablo Melogno (30th) were the first min-cashers, with Marvin Rettenmaier (27th), Darren Elias (26th), Faraz Jaka (21st), and Jared Jaffee (19th) among those falling as the field was carved down further.

Sean Winter then assumed the top spot for a while as players continued to fall.

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Sean Winter

EPT11 Grand Final champion Adrian Mateos was the next out in 18th, and a little later during the night's last levels 2012 WSOP Main Event winner Greg Merson (13th), Jeff Gross (12th), and Jean-Pascal Savard (11th) were felted while Beckley moved back up into the chip lead once again. Finally Robert Gordotesky was knocked out in 10th in the night's final hand, and play concluded for the night.

Click here for live updates from Day 2, Levels 11-16
Click here for live updates from Day 2, Levels 17-21

Here's how the counts will look to start play tomorrow:

1. Josh Beckley (USA) -- 2,146,000
2. Dario Sammartino (Italy) -- 1,892,000
3. Sean Winter (USA) -- 1,799,000
4. Nick Maimone (USA) -- 1,191,000
5. Andrey Zaichenko (Russia) -- 1,036,000
6. Chance Kornuth (USA) -- 972,000
7. Brian Yoon (USA) -- 953,000
8. Ben Heath (UK) -- 738,000
9. Anton Astapau (Belarus) -- 565,000

And they were able to redraw to an unofficial final table of nine, so here's a look at where they'll be seated:

Seat 1: Sean Winter (USA) -- 1,799,000
Seat 2: Brian Yoon (USA) -- 953,000
Seat 3: Andrey Zaichenko (Russia) -- 1,036,000
Seat 4: Nick Maimone (USA) -- 1,191,000
Seat 5: Josh Beckley (USA) -- 2,146,000
Seat 6: Chance Kornuth (USA) -- 972,000
Seat 7: Ben Heath (UK) -- 738,000
Seat 8: Anton Astapau (Belarus) -- 565,000
Seat 9: Dario Sammartino (Italy) -- 1,892,000

Play gets going again at 12 noon tomorrow, and we'll be on hand from start-to-finish to bring live updates, photos, and more from the $25K High Roller. Join us again then to see who among these nine will be claiming the last high roller of the 2016 PCA!

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Take a look at the official website of the PCA, with tournament schedule, videos, news, blogs and accommodation details for the Atlantis Resort in The Bahamas.

Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.