When the dust settled on Day 2a of the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event, 40 players remained out of the 111 that began Day 2a. Gus Hansen took the chip lead late in the day, as former world champions and poker unknowns alike went to the rail and the field narrowed towards the bracelet.
The turnout for the first ever World Series of Poker Main Event to be held outside the US was big enough to force an additional Day 2, so the survivors from Day 1a met at the Empire Casino to thin the herd. Phil Hellmuth, Jennifer Harman, Chris Ferguson and Greg Raymer were among the players returning to the felt for Day 2a. Janne Lamsa started the day with the biggest of big stacks; with the top five chips stacks looking like this -
Janne Lamsa - 115,850
Huseyin Yilmaz - 99,575
Phil Hellmuth - 82,825
Andrew Feldman - 76,650
Patrick Bruel - 71,225
Hellmuth started the day at the table of doom, joining Farzad Bonyadi, Marco Traniello, Jan Sorensen and Humberto Brenes at a starting table with no less than 18 WSOP bracelets between them. Other notable players from Day 2a included Hoyt Corkins, Erick Lindgren, Annette Obrestad and Brian Townsend.
Pam Brunson outlasted her more famous poker playing brother, Todd, and father, Doyle, but couldn't last after a run-in with Gus Hansen early in the day. Brunson pushed her short stack in the middle with K-K, but ran into Hansen's A-A to become the last Brunson heading to the rail. Brunson was not the last scalp Hansen would hang off his belt as the day progressed.
Chris ‘Jesus' Ferguson, Brandon Adam, and Erik Seidel were among the early eliminations heading to the rail. Hellmuth rivered a 10 with A-10 to bust Ferguson's A-Q. Hellmuth seemed to be on a roll towards his 12th bracelet, but Mark McCluskey crippled him in a set-over-set battle when McCluskey flopped top set on a board. Hellmuth also hit the flop hard, but his set of sevens didn't catch the one-outer, and his stack was decimated. Hellmuth survived the day, but will go into Day 3 with a tiny stack. Humberto Brenes, Barry Greenstein, Jeff ‘Action Jeff' Garza and Thor Hansen would love to have Hellmuth's stack, as they all were eliminated on Day 2a and can only participate as railbirds from here on out.
As the evening drew to a close, Hansen cruised to the chip lead on the backs of Ram Vaswani and Greg Raymer. Hansen busted Raymer with a flopped full house, and his Kings held up against Ram Vaswani's A-Q to bust the Hendon Mobster near the end of the day.
The top ten chip stacks at the end of Day 2a looked like this -
Gus Hansen - 349,400
Janne Lamsa - 253,800
Pat Scanlon - 240,000
Annette Obrestad - 214,400
Annie Duke - 191,700
Johannes Korsar - 148,400
Huseyin Yilmaz - 143,500
Jan Sorensen - 118,500
Terry Cook - 117,700
Sergey Feklisov - 115,500
The 40 remaining players from Day 2a will join the survivors from Day 2b on Friday at the Empire to play down to the money as the players continue to vie for the first Main Event bracelet ever won outside of Las Vegas.
*Photo courtesy of PokerNews *