WSOP 2017: Late exits for Negreanu, Hellmuth to close Day 2C as Dedusha leads
The last Day 2 flight is done, signaling the conclusion of the multiple-flight portion of the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event.
Getting through Day 1 is an achievement, no doubt. We were remarking a couple of days ago how theoretically a player could fold every hand the first day and still make Day 2 with a not-so-short stack, but no one ever does that.
Players put themselves -- and their chips -- at risk. Just ask Vanessa Selbst who talked with us about her decision-making during the dramatic hand when she risked her stack on Day 1.
As it happened, the majority of Day 1 players survived the day. The Day 2s were different, with more than half of the 5,519 total returners from the two Day 2 flights losing their stacks.
Lots of all-ins today, then. And plenty of players who afterwards were on the outs.
Today began with a massive 3,300-player restart, with hands dealt in four different tournament rooms to start. By the dinner break around 1,000 players had already been sent railward during the first three 2-hour levels of the day, among them Ryan Riess, J.C. Tran, Gus Hansen, Annette Obrestad, and Mike Sexton.
Ryan Hughes went for the evening meal having edged closest of those remaining to the half-million chip mark, good enough for the apparent Day 2C chip lead. In the top current WSOP POY top five thanks to 15 cashes and four final tables, it wasn't too great a surprise to see the Californian's name at the top of the counts.
He'd continue to climb after the break, and play neared its end it looked as though Hughes may have ended Day 2C as the flight's leader. However a late push by Artan Dedusha up to a whopping 680,000 looks to make him the overall Main Event frontrunner to begin Day 3.
After dinner Joe McKeehen and Antonio Esfandiari were among the fallen. Then after coming back to a healthy, above average stack, a difficult Level 9 spelled the end of Phil Hellmuth's Main Event run. And an end to his TV time, too.
Turning to the fortunes of the Red Spade brigade, short stacks Daniel Negreanu and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier began the day doubling up and surviving. Alas for ElkY the end came in Level 8 after being on the wrong side of an ace-queen versus ace-king conflict, ending the French pro's run.
Kevin Martin lost a few chips early, but was optimistic nontheless. He, too, met his end, however, though it hardly dampened his enthusiasm for poker in general and the Main Event in particular. Like Martin, Jeff Gross also saw his Main Event hopes thwarted before dinner.
Jason Mercier meanwhile began with a stack well below the average, but he steadily chipped up to start the day and held steady thereafter to end with 101,800. Jake Cody -- who talked with us today about his cash-game related travels -- made it as well to finish with 108,400.
Aditya Agarwal continued to hold steady while accumulating most of the day, then dropped a few just before the end of the last level. We've been following his level-by-level progress throughout the tournament thus far -- check out the full story of how he ended tonight with 129,000.
Felipe Ramos has been quietly chipping up, up, and up during his first two days of play, bagging 165,300 tonight. Andre Akkari has done the same, collecting 228,000 so far, while Fatima Moreira de Melo persevered to end with 102,500.
Finally we noted near night's end how Negreanu's short stack had attracted the cameras on a consistent basis. They kept watching over him as he kept watching over his chips.
During the latter part of the night he pushed all in at least four times, getting no action. In another instance he just raised, but again there were no callers and he showed A♣A♠.
Finally on the fifth push -- this time with pocket sevens -- Negreanu did get a customer when John Allan Hinds called him with a lesser pair of sixes. But four spades on the board gave Hinds a winning flush, and Negreanu joined the list of Day 2C knockouts.
A big crowd returns tomorrow as the entire tournament joins as one for Day 3, with less than half of those left due to make the money. A total of 1,549 players made it through Day 2C. Click here for a complete list of end of Day 2AB chip counts.
Play resumes tomorrow at 11 a.m., with 2,572 players total returning and just 1,084 getting paid. Come back then as we continue to find out together who ultimately will be top dog.
WSOP photos by PokerPhotoArchive.com.