Day 2B action ended late last (Wednesday) night at the World Series of Poker Main Event in the Amazon Room of the Rio in Las Vegas with a starting field of 1 303 reduced to 459 by the end of play.
Those 459 survivors will now move into Day 3 of the Main Event, combining for the first time with the 350 players who remained in the game at the end of the Day 2A heat on Tuesday.
Once again there was a good measure of professionals in the hunt, and many of them fell before the day's play ended just after midnight Thursday morning. Among the fallen were 2005 Player of the Year and 2006 main event final tabler Allen Cunningham, Daniel Negreanu despite some brilliant playing, Bill Gazes, Seinfeld star Jason Alexander, who won much respect, Steve Dannemann, Phil Gordon, Padraig Patterson, Chris Moneymaker - the 2003 WSOP champ who qualified on the Internet, Matt Russell, Michael Binger, 1991 WSOP champ Brad Daugherty, David Plastik and Eric Hershler.
When play ended the top chip counts looked like this:
Rain Khan 580,000
Gus Hansen 530,000
Brent Sheirbon 525,000
Robert Nehorayan 510,000
Bill Edler 510,000
Day 2B action started promptly at noon with the first victim of the day Tom Daly - followed by Vinnie Vinh only 19 minutes into play. Vinh is something of an enigma; he ended the Day 1D heat with 3 200 in chips. He had over 30 000 around dinner break in the heat when he just disappeared. He did not take up his seat after the break and was consequently blinded down and his empty chair advanced to Day 2B. There were rumours that he may not pitch at all for Day 2B, but he showed up, albeit for a very brief time.
Another notable elimination was that of Jack Ury, at 94 the oldest player yet in the WSOP Main Event. He was busted out around half an hour into the game by Phil Gordon, who was himself eliminated later in the day.
During the first hour of play, 136 players busted out, leaving 1 169 players remaining.
Rick Salomon, who rose to fame as the very visible lover of socialite Paris Hilton in the sex video scandal headed for the rail on the two hour mark.
Just over 4 hours into the competition there were 810 players still active on 90 tables when Eric Hershler walked to the exit doors, followed minutes later by 2003 WSOP champion Chris Moneymaker. Other former World champs fared better - with the 2000, 2001, and 2002 World Champions all still playing: Chris Ferguson, Carlos Mortensen and Robert Varkonyi. Other world champions still in through other heats are Huck Seed and Berry Johnston.
Following th dinner break an estimated 648 players took up their seats, with the Michael Binger and Daniel Negreanu exits the next notable events
By 12.20am Thursday morning it was over - approximately 459 players will now combine with the 350 who lasted through Day 2A to move into Day 3 of the main event, with all remaining entrants playing under the same roof, at the same time.
There is some formidable playing power going forward from Day 2 B - Chad Brown, JC Tran, Francois Saffieddine, Daniel Alaei, Bill Edler, Thor Hansen, Ted Forrest, Jeff Norman, Todd Brunson, Carlos Mortenson, Humberto Brenes, Chris Ferguson, Isaac Haxton, Gavin Smith, Amnon Filippi, Lee Watkinson, Gus Hansen and Sorel Mizzi are all still alive and kicking!