From a starting field of 424 entries, just nine players remain in the WSOP Circuit Main Event at Horseshoe Southern Indiana.
Justin Boggs began Day 2 with the chip lead, and he finished in the same spot at the conclusion of an up-and-down day. Ten levels after the day started, Boggs bagged up 1,780,000 chips to set the pace for the final table. His once-massive lead has been whittled down to almost nothing, though. Scott Montgomery is right on Boggs' heels, and there are two more players who are also over the million-chip mark.
Here's the remaining lineup:
Seat 1: Michael Foley - 300,000 (10 bb)
Seat 2: George Lusby - 1,255,000 (42 bb)
Seat 3: Hamid Izadi - 725,000 (24 bb)
Seat 4: Jerry Robinson - 505,000 (13 bb)
Seat 5: Wendy Freedman - 1,225,000 (41 bb)
Seat 6: Justin Boggs - 1,780,000 (59 bb)
Seat 7: Chris Carey - 210,000 (7 bb)
Seat 8: Al Hencheck - 770,000 (26 bb)
Seat 9: Scott Montgomery - 1,730,000 (58 bb)
Five of the remaining players have won Circuit rings in the past, and Montgomery has a WSOP bracelet in addition to his fifth-place finish in the 2008 WSOP Main Event. Things won't be easy for Boggs, to put it plainly.
They weren't easy throughout Day 2 either, for that matter.
Boggs began the day with one of the biggest Level 15 stacks the WSOP Circuit has ever seen, turning his 20,000 starting chips into well over a half million during Day 1B. By the time the bubble arrived on Day 2, though, the field had begun to close in on Boggs.
Kurt Jewell was one of the first players to make a run at the top. The five-time ring winner from Kentucky took the lead just after the bubble burst thanks to a big encounter against a bluffing Neal Harding.
With 16 players left, though, Jewell and Wendy Freedman flipped for an enormous pot and the former's tournament life — Jewell with ace-king suited against pocket queens. Freedman turned a set and rivered a full house, eliminating Jewell and surging into the chip lead for the first time. She was in and out of the top spot for the rest of the night, ending in fourth place with nine remaining.
Speaking of Freedman, her Day 2 effort was a particularly remarkable one. She entered the day well above the chip average with 64 players remaining, but by the time the bubble approached, she was sitting behind a starting stack of just 20,000 chips once again. The victory is hollow unless you're short-stacked at least once, though, and Freedman proceeded to run it all the way up to more than 100 times that amount. She ended the day with 1.225 million, a bit of a slide but still good for fourth place at the moment.
Maurice Hawkins, the Circuit's all-time winningest player, was another who posed a challenge to Boggs' throne throughout the day. The Florida pro found himself contending for the chip lead for a long while as he chased a record-extending 11th victory on this tour. The after-dinner session did not go well, though, and Hawkins eventually bowed out in 14th place.
Montgomery was the one who got Hawkins, putting him in the mix of the chip leaders, too. That knockout pot sparked a bit of a heater for the Canadian, and he was responsible for two of the next three knockouts. By the time the final 10 players redrew for the last time, Montgomery had moved within striking distance of the top spot. He ended the day in second place, less than two big blinds in trail of the leader.
It's Boggs who carries the overnight hammer once again, though; his count gives him about 60 big blinds heading into the final day. A long, late-night grind has shortened the average stack significantly, however, and any one of the final nine could end up as the winner.
They'll reconvene to settle the score on Monday, playing for a ring and a top prize of $139,920. Blinds will be 15,000/30,000 with a 5,000 ante when play resumes, putting the average stack just north of 30 big blinds.
Day 3 begins at 2 p.m.