Day 2 of event 54, the last of the $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em competitions, was still going strong late Saturday night as the combined survivors of two Day 1 preliminary heats battled it out for a share in a prize pool of some $3,459,000, created by an original entry field of 3,844, many of them top stars who were to fall by the wayside in the first two days of frenetic action and frightening attrition rates.
Chris Moneymaker, Barry Shulman, Chad Brown, Men Nguyen, J.C. Tran, David Wiliams, Ken Aldridge and Phil Ivey all hit the rail on Friday, along with many, many others.
Saturday afternoon saw the start of Day 2 play with 586 players returning for a crack at a gold bracelet and the $570,960 first prize in this event. The money bubble was scheduled to burst at the 396 elimination point, and Tommaso Briotti, Eelke Arjaans, and Andrew Talbot were the big stacks in the field as the cards again hit the air.
By late Saturday night at level 16 the field had breached the money barrier and was down to 126 contestants, led by Matthew Lupton on 260 000, followed by Raymond Bonavida on 255 000, with average chip stacks around 91,523
Notable departures included George Lind, Shannon Shorr, Tony Dunst, UK players James Dempsey, Kara Scott and Liv Boeree.