July 8, 2015 - 9:41 pm
There is a tendency among fans to get excited when a well-known professional poker player is one of the front-runners during the early stages of the World Series of Poker Main Event.
It’s only natural.
A word of warning, however. What Martin Jacobson accomplished last year is the exception to the rule.
Jacobson nearly went wire to wire in winning the $10,000 buy-in No-limit Texas Hold ’em World Championship, but it’s unlikely that one of the names at the top of the leaderboard Wednesday during action on Day 2A/2B at the Rio Convention Center will be there when the tournament concludes next week.
So while it’s cool to dream about Greg Raymer or Jonathan Duhamel winning the Main Event for the second time, keep in mind that at this stage of the tournament in 2014, 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Ivey had an overwhelming chip lead and went on to finish in 430th place.
Amar Anand of Shrewsbury, Mass., was the unofficial leader with approximately 500,000 chips at the 10:15 p.m. break with one level of play remaining.
The Main Event drew 6,420 entrants from 80 countries, and the winner will receive $7.68 million. The tournament continues at noon today at the Rio with Day 2C, and all the surviving players come together Friday for Day 3. The tournament runs through Tuesday, and the final nine players return Nov. 8 at the Rio’s Penn & Teller Theater for the final table.
The top 1,000 places are guaranteed to take home a minimum $15,000 payout, and each member of the “November Nine” final table will earn a seven-figure score, with ninth place worth $1,001,020.
Raymer, the 2004 Main Event champion known as “Fossilman,” unofficially was in the top 50 for Day 2B, as he had approximately 150,000 chips when the players broke for dinner at 6:45 p.m.
Raymer played a portion of the evening session at the same table as actor James Woods and two-time bracelet winner Erick Lindgren of Las Vegas. Raymer eliminated Lindgren about an hour into the fourth level of play with a set of 10s when Lindgren missed his flush draw.
Duhamel played Day 2A — the starting flights remain separate — and his stack was unofficially approaching 180,000 chips during the fourth level of play, as the winner of the 2010 Main Event and this year’s $111,111 buy-in High Roller for One Drop scored a key knockout about an hour after the dinner break.
Also lurking among the leaders were professional poker player Brian Hastings, who won two bracelets this summer, and was unofficially near 275,000 chips late in the fourth level, along with Daniel Colman, last year’s $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop winner who had close to 140,000 chips at the dinner break. Colman knocked out 2003 Main Event winner Chris Moneymaker early in the day.
Joe Lu of Edmonton, Alberta, spent much of the afternoon as the chip leader after he won the largest pot of the tournament to that point.
Adil Khan of Coral Springs, Fla., entered Day 2B in second place and unofficially moved into the top 20 when he flopped quad threes to eliminate an opponent about 20 minutes after returning from the dinner break.
Contact reporter David Schoen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.