Group of 47 survivors advance to Day 2 with previous Champions in the mix.

April 8, 2018 (Council Bluffs, Iowa) -- With the conclusion of Day 1B, the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Main Event has wrapped up its second and final starting flight. All numbers so far have been very much on par with last seasons Main Event here.

Friday's starting leg, Flight A, registered 120 entrants and Flight B  brought in another 146, combining for a total of 266 entries. Altogether, the field generated a prizepool of 399,000, which will award a World Series of Poker cash to the top 27 finishers.

Flight B finished with 28 survivors, led by Charles Johnson. Merging with the 19 players from Flight A, there will be a group of 47 competitors moving to the next leg of the Main Event. Gold-bracelet owner James Mackey, who bagged with the largest stack of Flight A, will enter Day 2 as the overall chip leader.

The past five Circuit Main Events at Horseshoe Council Bluffs have seen two repeat winners, an astounding statistic to say the least. Even more impressive is that both of those players are still in the mix this year.

First, is ten-time gold ring winner Maurice Hawkins, who is currently the defending Champion. Hawkins won the signature tournament of this series in 2016 and 2017, going back-to-back. The amazing feat was actually accomplished by another player a few years prior. Blair Hinkle took down the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Main Event in 2013 and 2014.

Hawkins bagged Flight A with 61,000 in chips and Hinkle found a bag in Flight B, stashing a stack worth 126,000. Some other notables advancing to Day 2 are nine-time gold ring winner Josh Reichard (168,000), two-time gold ring winner Ryan Van Sanford (126,000), and multiple players with one gold ring to their name.

Here are the top-five chip rankings going into Day 2:

1st: James Mackey - 215,000
2nd: Robbie Kent - 184,000
3rd: Josh Reichard - 168,000
4th: Charles Johnson - 165,000
5th: Sam De Silva - 163,500

Day 2 chip counts  |  Day 2 seat draw

The group of 47 players is just 20 spots from the money.  Play resumes with Level 16: 1,500/3,000 blinds with a 500 ante. Day 2 action begins at noon and is scheduled to play through ten, one-hour levels, by which time a final table will likely be reached.