Marathon Men

The record setting field for Event #2 ($1,500 No Limit Hold’em) produced another record Monday; the largest re-start for any World Series of Poker preliminary event. The Day 1a and 1b fields combined for a 447-player Day 2.

As the day wore on it became apparent that the plan, to get down to nine players for an ESPN final table taping on Wednesday, might not work. A little after midnight WSOP commissioner Jeffrey Pollack made the decision to play down to nine, regardless of how long it was going to take.

Perry Friedman, one of the chip leaders with 30 player left, began predicting 9 am as the wrap-up time. With a mandatory ten-hour break between the end of the day and the start of final table, that would have meant a 7 pm start time Wednesday. But fate, or maybe fatigue, intervened and with 20 players remaining the players were given a choice; play through or stop for the night.

The first vote was a deadlock at 8-8 with 4 players deciding to abstain. The decision was made to play down to 18 and vote yet again. That’s when the players broke the deadlock with a 10-6 vote. Play is underway in the Amazon Room and will continue until a final table of nine players is set. At that point the ESPN production company will take some time to interview each of the remaining players and prep for the final table taping later tonight.

Leading the way is Aaron Coulthard, from the poker prodigy production camp in Waterloo, Ontario. Coulthard has 1,327,000 chips, just ahead of Theo Tran in second with 1,199,000. Friedman sits in eighth spot with 653,000 and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson is in 14th with 444,000.

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