As the remaining 665 players from Day 2a action left on dinner break there was a common refrain heard from players as they passed the plasma monitors displaying the chip leaders.
“Who the hell is Brian Schaedlich?”
The Chagrin Falls, OH native qualified for the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event via a $135 satellite at Mountaineer Racetrack Casino in Chester, WV. Now he’s on top of the leaderboard with 500,000 chips and he was the first player to cross into that impressive half million chips mark. Schaedlich was second in chips at the end of Day 1b and has continued to apply the pressure through the first three levels of Day 2a to blast his way up the leaderboard.
While Schaedlich is the clear leader, there are a few players in the top 10 capable of moving up at any time. Hunter Frey held the chip lead from early on in the sixth level until Schaedlich took over. With 378,000 he is a ways behind the leader, but not alone in his pursuit.
David Rheem and Robert Mizrachi are in third and fourth respectively. Rheem, who held the chip lead in various other tournaments this year, has 284,000 while Mizrachi has 242,000. The other name that many poker fans will recognize is Brandon Adams. The high stakes cash game player is sitting in ninth with 232,000.
But not everything has gone according to plan for the biggest names in the game. 2008 Ladies champ Sveltlana Gromenkova had a great Day 1, but was one of the first casualties of Day 2a. Also hitting the rail was Perry Friedman who made Day 2 of the Main Event for the first time in his WSOP career. Robert Varkonyi, 2002 champion, was also eliminated from play but did outlast his wife, Olga, for the first time in three years.
Two members of the Antonius family are also still alive with Patrik holding 94,000, which puts him just behind his wife Maya, who is stacked at 108,000. For complete chip counts and up-to-the-minute updates stay tuned to WorldSeriesofPoker.com.