The second day of the Horseshoe Tunica Main Event saw Moneymaker, players make money, and a man named Kruger who was his tablemates' worst nightmare. But before we get to David Kruger (pictured), who leads the final 11 players in this tournament, let's go back to where the day started.
Play began with 126 players and only 72 making the money, but that didn't stop the players from busting at a frantic pace during the first two hours of play as names like Chris Moneymaker, Shawn Rice, Paul Sokoloff, Josh Turner, Steve Karp, Jeremy Gaubert, Jonathan Gaviao, Johnny Landreth, and Jesse Capps all bust short of the money.
The bubble burst when Gil George busted in 73rd place at the hands of Orlando Romero, who made the most of his chips by going on a run that saw him bag up at the end of the day. From there, each player was guaranteed at least a $2,713 payday. Some of the notable who made the money, but failed to survive the day included BJ McBrayer (70th), Josh Palmer (68th), John Holley (64th), Mina Greco (45th), Chris Conrad (38th), Eric Crain (31st), and a trio of Biloxi Circuit Main Event winners, Kyle Cartwright (35th), Jerry Monroe (29th), and Martin Zentner (25th).
As the field dwindled, one player rocketed to the top of the counts. Kelly Koenig, who is one of the 11 players returning for Day 3 on Monday, was the first player to hit a million chips thanks to a series of big hands, like the elimination of former big stack Marshall White. Koenig peaked at nearly 1.8 million before ending the day with 785,000.
While Koenig started tapering off, Kruger started making his presence known, eliminating Frank Kirkpatrick in a massive pot where Kruger had pocket kings.
Kruger continued to bully his opponents, pick up pots, and knock out players like Sean Small (17th) to end the day out front with 2,805,000. The start of day chip leader Jeremy Drewery is not too far behind though. While the late stages of the day saw Drewery's stack fluctuate extensively, he managed to bust both Jessie Bryant (14th) and Christopher Staats (12th) to end the day with 2.1 million. The only other players in seven-figure territory is Memphis local Matthew Laawrence, who quietly chipped up to end the day with 1,830,000 and Circuit ring winner Christian Rodriguez, who bagged 1,115,000.
Though the rest of the field is in six-figure territory, they are not to be counted out. Ryan Tepen is a ring winner and Circuit regular, and Chris Trotter is a popular name among the Circuit regulars as well. And, of course, there is Russ Head, who battled through a brutal cold today to bag up and attempt to qualify for the WSOP Global Casino Championship a second time after taking down the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Main Event.
Play resumes on Monday at 12pm. Live updates will be available on WSOP.com. Here is a look at the remaining players and their stacks:
1. David Kruger - 2,805,000
2. Jeremy Drewery - 2,100,000
3. Matthew Lawrence - 1,830,000
4. Christian Rodriguez - 1,115,000
5. Ben Thomas - 835,000
6. Russ Head - 825,000
7. Chris Trotter - 820,000
8. Ryan Tepen - 810,000
9. Kelly Koenig - 785,000
10. Orlando Romero - 670,000
11. Charles Belcher - 350,000