3:30 a.m. ET: A field of nearly 1,500 players started the day and according to the TV screens around the room, only 680 remain. While many amateurs and unknowns remain in the field from Day 2AB, some very big names have found themselves at the top of the chip counts and will be moving on to Day 3. Greg "FBT" Mueller spent most of the day accumulating chips. Even with Mike Matusow sitting just a seat over, Mueller was able to maintain his composure and pick apart Orange 61 all day long. Mueller started the day with $36,000 and has finished with $287,000.
A member of the 2005 main event final table, Andy Black, also had another solid day. Black, who I am sure you can picture with his upside down and backwards sunglasses, looked calm and relaxed. His table didn't look the same way as Black's chip count continued to increase. A few tables over from Black, Mike Sexton was also cleaning up. The WPT commentator had a solid Day 1 and didn't let up on Day 2AB. Sexton, along with many other pros, had a large amount of black chips in front of him signifying success in stealing his opponent's blinds. Other big names moving on to Day 3 include Chris Ferguson, Sammy Farha, Bill Edler, Joe Sebok, Greg Raymer, Vitaly Lunkin, Tom Schneider and I could probably go on for quite a while.
The big story of the day is about chip leader Eric Cloutier. The well-respected pro started at $15,075 and built that stack all the way up to $384,000 to lead the field ... something that everyone believed he had done just a few days ago. When filling out his form on Day 1, Cloutier crossed out the final 0, so instead of him having $150,075, he had just 10 percent of it. In either case, he's the unofficial chip leader from Day 2 and has a great head start for a deep main event run.
The Poker Edge
Andrew Feldman and Bluff's Lance Bradley recap Day 2AB action of the WSOP Main Event. Guests include Jason Alexander, Sammy Farha, Greg Mueller and Bill Edler. Podcast »
As I mentioned nearly 12 hours ago, I was going to spend a lot of time at the feature table watching Jason Alexander battle it out with Greg Raymer. For the most part, Raymer won the battle as he was constantly reraising any of Alexander's bets. Raymer took advantage most of the day, but lost some pots later in the night to end up at $118,000. Even though Alexander didn't increase his stack (he ended with $73,000 after starting at $89,000), he did outlast fellow comedian Brad Garrett. Late in Level 8, Garrett stood up from his table and attracted a crowd of nearly 30 players/media/cameramen/etc. He made his speech about how bad the cards on the board were for him, then made the call anyway. Garrett, holding middle paid with Q-J, was eliminated as his opponent held Q-9 and had made two pair. A quick jab at the camera later, that was all for Garrett who made quite a showing here in 2009. Will it be the summer where a celebrity really goes deep? Will it be the "Summer of George"? I spoke to Alexander at length on the podcast and yes, for all those that wanted a Seinfeld question, I finally obliged.
During the last level, we only lost a few recognizable names. Juha Helppi, Berry Johnston, "Amarillo Slim" Preston and Amanda Baker just missed making it through to Day 3 while players like Gus Hansen, Mike Matusow and Johnny Chan headlined the earlier eliminations. For the survivors of the day, they'll have two days off before returning to action on Friday. After Day 2CD takes place, there's a day off for Media Day and of course, my yearly shot at bubbling a tournament where all the winnings go to charity.
On Wednesday Phil Ivey will be back in action and Josh Arieh will bring in one of the top chip counts. To what room at the Rio? I'm not sure, but it will be a four-level day where I bet the tournament directors hope that a good amount of the field will be eliminated. Also playing tomorrow, Phil Hellmuth, John Juanda and about 3,000 other players. I'm not kidding. This place will be packed with the largest Day 2 field in the history of the WSOP.
Small blinds: Players at the end of the night started to get a little thirsty. Alcohol became commonplace during the last level and why not, it's past midnight. ... The ESPN.com MMA team is in town for their first on location shoot of MMA Live. Check it out in a couple of days. ... Lon McEachern and Norman Chad are back working the floor. ... It looks like many the remaining women have been given logos. I'm not sure if that's a new move this year by the online sites, but it would seem to guarantee the site some TV time if the woman were the last one standing. ... More security guards than usual in the Amazon Room tonight. ... 95 percent sure that there will be no spectators tomorrow. There just isn't enough room for all the players. ... Pam Brunson is the last Brunson standing after her brother Todd was eliminated earlier in the day. ... Just how long is a massage necessary? ... The Poker Edge on Wednesday will feature Jason Alexander, Greg Mueller, Sammy Farha, Bill Edler, Tom Franklin, Kyle Wilson, Danny Fuhs. ... You can get even more ESPN Poker coverage on Twitter at @ESPN_Poker.