Head of the Class

Only 11 players are all that are left from a field of 110 in the second event at the 2008 World Series of Poker-Europe and even the most novice poker fan will recognize the names at the top.

Howard Lederer will come back Wednesday morning to find nearly 20% of the chips in play at his disposal. Not having won a bracelet since 2001 the 43-year-old Lederer has come close as recently as this summer when he record a sixth place finish, a ninth place finish and a twelfth place showing.

But if he’s to come away from London with a new piece of wrist jewelry, he’s going to have get past 10 players including Sherkhan Farnood, Phil IveyMark Gregorich and Jeffrey Lisandro. Farnood made the final table of Event #2 (£5,000 Pot Limit Omaha) at last year’s WSOP-Europe and with 141,500 is the biggest thread to Lederer’s lead.

But it’s Ivey that has poker players on both sides of the Atlantic holding their breath. Known for being an action junkie, Ivey is rumored to have a seven figure sum riding on his ability to win a bracelet in 2008. There remains some debate over whether or not the wager includes the four events in Europe, but that won’t deter Ivey, who has 114,500 chips. He’ll return to the felt to find play five or six-handed at his table and will be licking his chops regardless of table draw.

Phil Hellmuth lost his shot at history though when he busted in 12th place just before the night ended. The “poker brat” had a chance at his 12th WSOP bracelet and first one outside of the Hold’em games he’s mastered. Also busting out of the tournament on Tuesday were Isaac Haxton, Daniel Negreanu, Marc Goodwin, and David Williams.

Play resumes at 2:30 pm London time with live updates and chip counts available at WorldSeriesofPoker.com.

WSOP-Europe Event #2 Chip Counts

1.     Howard Lederer - 208,500
2.     Sherkhan Farnood - 141,500
3.     Yuval Bronshtein - 133,500
4.     Phil Ivey - 114,500
5.     Jeff Duvall - 112,000
6.     Spencer Lawrence - 88,500
7.     Jeffrey Lisandro - 82,500
8.     Ivo Donev - 78,000
9.     Mark Gregorich - 62,500
10.   Erik Albinsson - 43,000
11.   Raul Paez - 17,500