After ten grueling levels of poker action, a total of 133 runners survived the onslaught of all-ins, giving themselves a legitimate shot at the $1,000,000+ payday. Andy Hwang, who recently captured the 2013 World Poker Tour Borgata Winter Open championship for a score of over $700,000, became the unofficial chip leader late in the night, building a massive stack of 912,000 chips, good for more than four times the average stack.
The 1,481 survivors of yesterday's dual flights, Day 1a and 1b, reconvened this morning, and the work of culling the short stacks began in earnest. Among the notable pros to fall short during Day 2 were Kenna James, Maria Ho, Phil Hellmuth, Darryll Fish, Dennis Phillips, Lee Watkinson, Gavin Griffin, and a slew of other recognizable names from the poker circuit. In a tournament expressly designed to make a millionaire, many players with more than a million in career earnings fell by the wayside.
Eventually the money bubble was reached, and after only a few minutes of hand-for-hand play, an unfortunate player was eliminated in 649th place, assuring minimum cashes of $2,740 for those with chips remaining. As is typical with the lower buy-in events here at the WSOP, the boisterous announcement of "Congratulations players, you have all made the money!" was met with raucous cheers, and rapid fire all-in moves. Just an hour following the bubble bursting, over a hundred players headed to the payout cage, many still ecstatic after accomplishing every amateur player's primary goal.
Despite the exodus of pros that defined Day 2's early stages, a select group of experienced bracelet hunters did manage to bag and tag their chips by the end of the night. Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Scott Clements (294,000), who topped the chip counts after Day 1b, will highlight tomorrow's Day 3 action, along with Australian pro Brendon Rubie (487,000), Ryan Welch (346,000), and circuit grinder Mike Carroll (78,000). Each will return tomorrow trying to emerge from this Main Event-sized field and become the WSOP's first "Millionaire Maker" bracelet winner.
The surviving players will return to the Amazon Room at 1:00pm for a chance to reach the final table of this historic tournament. Below are the payouts awaiting those nine fortunate finalists, and while six-figure scores are nothing to scoff at, everybody will be gunning for the top spot, a gold bracelet, and a cool million bucks.