LAS VEGAS -- Day 2 action picked up during Level 12 with nearly 300 more eliminations. The field is down to approximately 1,200 players and while we're not quite there yet, the number 666 (the number of players who make the money) is in the back of the minds of most players in the tournament at this time. The money bubble should be broken during early play on Friday, but the fast pace of this tournament may cause tournament organizers to consider cutting today's action just a little bit short. While I believe that is extremely doubtful, the number of four- and five-bets going on in the main event has created a dramatic reduction of the field and some massive chip leaders.
I've heard from many of the players that the betting has changed dramatically on Day 3. The aggression was limited on Days 1 and 2 and min-raises seemed to be the popular trend. Now we're seeing average stack-sized pots and preflop all-ins for more than 80 big blinds. Aggressive play isn't anything new to the main event and it's only a matter of time before two big stacks collide and a massive chip leader emerges.
The leader after Level 12 is A.J. Jejelowo. The 2011 WSOP Circuit Regional champion has 725,000 in chips, 50,000 more than the second-place stack of David Randall. Jejelowo finished 14th in the LAPC main event earlier in 2012. Randall, known as "GhettoFabulous" online, was one of the Day 2 chip leaders before taking a beat with K-K to A-K for a good portion of his stack. He started the day with 171,900 and has 675,000 entering the third level of play. He is seated at one of the feature tables.
Ben Lamb's stack has gone in the other direction on Day 3 as he is down to 150,000. Lamb hasn't been able to pick up any big hands since being moved from his starting table and now is seated with birthday boy Chris Moorman. Moorman, a guest on last night's Poker Edge Podcast, has enjoyed some birthday luck and some love from the deck in order to begin Level 13 with 430,000 in chips. Moorman finished second in the 2011 WSOP Europe main event and is one of the most dominant online players in the world with more than $8 million in online tournament winnings.
Eric Baldwin and Jason Somerville shared a table for a short period of time and "Basebaldy" was happy to have one of the chip leaders just a few seats away. Baldwin took a big pot off of Somerville, rivering a 10-high flush against Somerville's nine-high flush, and finished the level with 320,000 in chips. The hit didn't affect Somerville, who bounced back immediately and continued to build more towers with his 550,000 in chips. Baldwin finished 59th in the 2010 WSOP main event and fifth in an earlier event this WSOP. In addition to Baldwin, John Juanda, Liv Boeree and Marvin Rettenmaier have added to their stacks during Level 12.
Daniel Negreanu lost some chips during the last level after being moved off of the feature table and is now seated in the Tan section. Negreanu's decline was the result of bad luck as he ran pocket aces into Q-10, flopped an ace, then watched as the turn and river gave his opponent a straight. Negreanu finished 211th in last year's main event and currently has 204,000 in chips. Others who struggled during the past two hours include former chip-lead contender Gerardo Lubas, Eoghan O'Dea, Johnny Chan and Eugene Katchalov.
There are fewer than 1,200 players remaining and the blinds are now 1,200/2,400 with a 300 ante.
The top 10:
1. A.J. Jejelowo (725,000 in chips)
2. David Randall (656,500)
3. Dane Lomas (630,000)
4. Jason Somerville (560,000)
5. Erik Hellman (540,000)
6. Shaun Deeb (535,000)
7. Taylor Paur (510,000)
8. Eric Legoff (510,000)
9. Jan Kasten (505,000)
10. Matt Woodward (500,000)
A few other counts from around the room:
• Joseph Cheong - 400,000
• Vivek Rajkumar - 375,000
• Maria Ho - 160,000
• Phil Galfond - 250,000
• Erick Lindgren - 150,000
• Mike McDonald - 280,000
• Gavin Smith - 350,000
Small blinds: The WSOP finally announced Pius Heinz's elimination more than two hours after he had left the room. There was pretty much silence after the announcement. ... Will Failla's table is participating in a game of "Lodden Thinks" for $200 a question. ... Karina Jett, Bryan Pellegrino, Tristan Wade, Bryn Kenney, James Dempsey, Nenad Medic and Shane Warne are eliminated from the main event. ... There are four members of the 2011 WSOP main event final table still in action. ... As the players came back from the break, a member of the tournament staff announced that a player had lost his place and couldn't find his table. ... Antonio Esfandiari is at the secondary feature table today. ... Kevin Pollak doubled up during the last level, but still is one of the shortest stacks in the field with about 100,000 in chips.