It certainly seemed unlikely anyone would catch Tommy Ly and his 460,000-chip stack after he steamrolled through the Day 1A competition, but Matthew Higgins (pictured) managed to do just that, bagging up a remarkable 490,500 chips. The bulk of the chips came in a massive pot where Higgins shoved with a straight and another player called with trip aces, but he didn't stop there, picking up another 150,000 or so before the day was done.
He will take the overall chip lead of the approximately 138 players returning for Day 2 on Sunday, but several other big stacks emerged over the course of the second starting day, which drew 498 entries. David Aker is second in chips with 345,000, while Ken "Teach" Aldridge started stacking chips after dinner break and ended the day with 287,500, which puts him just behind Roger Jones, who has 295,000.
Other notables performed well over the course of today. Seven-time Ring winner Maurice Hawkins bagged up 168,500, Salvatore DiCarlo is sitting on 155,500, and Kevin Davis, who continues to maintain his lead in the Casino Championship race managed to make progress in his latest book and bag 132,500. Other notables to survive the day include John Holley, Robert Hankins, Jeff Dobrin, and Michael Schneider, who survived the day with a smidgen in chips, 31,500, will all be back in action on Sunday.
This is the first time Harrah's Cherokee held a Circuit Main Event in August, but the experiment proved to be quite a success. The 804-entry field easily surpassed the $1 million guarantee by over $200,000. While it isn't the largest Main Event this property has ever hosted, it is a great start to the new Circuit season.
The top 81 finishers will earn a piece of that sizable prizepool, with a min-cash paying $3,003, a final table appearance paying at least $22,781, and the winner taking home $241,198, the Circuit Ring, and the first seat into the next Global Casino Championship. The top three finishers will all take home six-figure paydays. A full list of the payouts is available under the Prizepool tab.
For many players, it will have to wait until another Circuit stop to pick up any Main Event money. Some of the notables who failed to survive the day include Kyle Cartwright, Vincent Moscati, Josh Arieh, Sean Small, Jonathan Hilton, Tripp Kirk, Alexandru Masek, Tony Ruberto, Kurt Jewell, and Russ Head.
For the 138 other coming back for Day 2, the quest for a cash resumes at 12 p.m. local time on Sunday. A full list of chip counts and seat assignments for Day 2 is available under the Reports tab.
Live updates of all the Day 2 action will be available on WSOP.com.
Here is a look at the overall top five heading into Day 2: