What began with 161 contenders, countless possibilities in multiple WSOP races, and a world of possibilities is starting to come into focus.
Now, only 15 players remain in the $1,675 buy-in Main Event from the starting field of 785 entries. Two are bracelet winners, another two already have Circuit rings. Perhaps the most notable name left in the final group is David Diaz, a bracelet winner from Memphis, Tennessee who cut his teeth on the Circuit before earning a bracelet in 2011. The other bracelet winner in the field, Foster Hays, also won his in 2011, but unlike Diaz, a poker pro, Hays spends his time working for Tulane University and only playing in his spare time.
Other notables still in the field are two-time ring winner Blake Barousse and ring winner and Casino Champion contender David Slaughter, but the real player to beat for the moment is chip leader Ryan Dunn, who leads the field with 2.7 million chips, while his next closest competition is Riley Fuller, who bagged up 2 million. Diaz and Hays round out the top four counts, though David Hubbard is also in seven-figure territory with 1,360,000.
Over the course of Day 2 action, many players not only saw their Main Event hopes dashed, but also found themself outside looking in as Circuit players jockey for position in the at-large race for seats in the Global Casino Championship.
Some players came into Day 2 with high hopes but failed to even make the money. Bracelet winners Cord Garcia, Larry Wright, and Loni Harwood failed to make the money, as did Tommy Vedes, Aaron Massey, Joe Kuether, and start of day chip leader Robert Alvarado.
Others managed to survive the 81-player money bubble, which only lasted one hand before bursting, but exited before the day concluded. Ting Ho earned five points and a likely Global Casino Championship berth for her 79th place finish. Other notables in the money include Josh Arieh (73rd), Rex Clinkscales (72nd), seven-time ring winner Cory Waaland (64th), Vincent Moscati (58th), David Kruger (54th), Tripp Kirk (50th), Casino Champion frontrunner Jeff Trudeau (42nd), Phillip Hui (31st), Caufman Talley (30th), Sean Small (22nd), and Woody Moore (21st).
As for the race for seats in Global Casino Championship, we are closer to a clearer picture, but nothing is quite set in stone. Event 12, a two-day $365 ring event has a couple of at-large contenders and the Main Event has two players in the Casino Championship mix in Slaughter and Johanssy Joseph. Slaughter can take the lead with a seventh place finish or better, while Joseph needs to finish in sixth place, but that does not take Event 12 into consideration.
On the at-large points front, the only way the Main Event impacts those standings is if Johanssy wins Casino Champion or the Main Event or if Brett Murray takes the Main Event title, as both those players have secured at-large bids at this point and the automatic entry would move everyone underneath them in the standings up one spot.
To sum things up, as is the case every year on the Circuit, it will be a down-to-the-wire finish to see who is in, who is out, and who the last Circuit Main Event champion of the 2015-2016 season will be. Tune into the live updates
starting at 12pm CST for all of the action as they play down to the champion.
Chip counts heading into Day 3:
1. Ryan Dunn - 2,700,000
2. Riley Fuller 2,000,000
3. David Diaz - 1,545,000
4. Foster Hays - 1,540,000
5. David Hubbard - 1,360,000
6. Jake Dollinger - 900,000
7. Blake Barousse - 860,000
8. David Slaughter - 835,000
9. Virgil Beddingfield - 820,000
10. Johanssy Joseph - 820,000
11. Alex Wood - 550,000
12. Thomas Brinley - 550,000
13. Jason Anderson - 520,000
14. Brett Murray - 460,000
15. Corey Brysman - 255,000