From a starting field of 100 players, the $10,000 Razz Championship is down to the final eight. Jason Mercier (pictured) is the chip leader, within reach of his fifth-career bracelet and his second of the week.
Day 2 began with the 45 survivors returning to action, led by David Benyamine and this event's reigning champion Phil Hellmuth. Benyamine fizzled out just before the money bubble, preceded by the likes of George Danzer, Howard Lederer, Mike Gorodinsky, Stephen Chidwick, and Erik Seidel.
Hellmuth just snuck into the money before exiting in 15th place with a min-cash, and he was visibly frustrated to come up short of what would have been a record-extending 15th bracelet of his career. Shaun Deeb followed him out in 14th place after a worthy short-stacked grind earned him a small profit for this event. German footballer Max Kruse exited in 13th, followed by Matt Grapenthien (12th), Scott Abrams (11th), and Robert Mizrachi (10th). That last elimination reduced the field to the unofficial final table, and they drew for new seats for the final time in this event.
Max Pescatori began nine-handed play with the shortest stack at the table, and he couldn't quite hang on until the end of the night. The four-time bracelet winner was eliminated in ninth place during one of the final hands, reducing the field to the eight official finalists.
Here's how the final table is set up:
Seat 1: Bart Hanson - 246,000 (8 BB)
Seat 2: Jyri Merivirta - 109,000 (4 BB)
Seat 3: Ray Dehkharghani - 838,000 (28 BB)
Seat 4: Robert Campbell - 360,000 (12 BB)
Seat 5: Jason Mercier - 1,595,000 (53 BB)
Seat 6: Brian Hastings - 367,000 (12 BB)
Seat 7: Yueqi Zhu - 312,000 (10 BB)
Seat 8: John Racener - 1,174,000 (39 BB)
Jason Mercier (pictured) is the chip leader, and he's gunning for max pain this summer. The Miami pro won his fourth bracelet earlier this week, and he reportedly has some significant side bets. It's safe to say there will be a fair percentage of the poker community watching his final-table performance tomorrow. Mercier and Hastings are the only two remaining players that already have bracelets in their trophy cabinets.
Day 3 begins Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., and play will continue until a winner is determined. Limits will be 15,000/30,000, so there's still plenty of play left with an average stack of more than 20 big bets. Everyone left is guaranteed to earn at least $27,499, but all eyes are on the bracelet and the top prize of $273,338 that awaits the champion.