What started as a lively and cheerful event is very quickly getting down to the nitty gritty. There are just 16 players remaining from the starting field of 48 in the $1 million buy-in Big One For One Drop Event. For just over half of them, one of the bigger poker paydays of their lives awaits. For seven of them, there will be no reward, save for the pride of having taken part in such a prestigious, historic event with a philanthropic cause as well as a poker one.

These seven will join the list of 20 players who have already busted over the course of today. The field began with 37 high rollers, but the bustouts keep coming at a steady clip and the players will return from dinner at 8:40pm PT to the final two tables of action. Yesterday, it was the pros who hit the rail early with nine of eleven eliminations. Today the cards have been equally rough for the pros as the amateurs with ten each coming up short.

For Jason Mercier, the cards were especially cruel. A massive pot that pitted Antonio Esfandiari against Mercier in a button vs. blind confrontation ended with Mercier seven-bet shoving with pocket kings only to run into Esfandiari’s pocket aces. The cooler of a hand sent Mercier to the rail and sent Esfandiari to the top of the counts alongside his best friend and start of day chip leader, Brian Rast.

While Esfandiari put the pressure on his table, his friend and 2011 Poker Players Champion Rast was clashing with a very familiar opponent—the 2011 Poker Player Championship runner-up, Phil Hellmuth. Rast tested the bounds of Hellmuth’s patience after the pair sparred in some big pots, with Rast getting the best of the Poker Brat more often than not.  The two best friends have vied back and forth for the chip lead all day. Esfandiari is currently on top of this friendly rivalry and is the only player over 20 million headed into dinner break.

Hellmuth is still hanging in there though, as are fellow pros Tom Marchese, Roland de Wolfe, and Sam Trickett. They have some competition in the field of recreational players though. David Einhorn and Richard Yong are holding their own and the event’s unofficial hot, Guy Laliberte is one of the big stacks after eliminating Haralabos Voulgaris in 17th place.

Who is at the top of the counts now may not be who we see at the top of the counts at the end of the night though. The players currently have time to refresh and refuel, but there is plenty of poker to be played before the official eight-handed final table, which will air with hole cards on ESPN3 on Tuesday, is set.

Cards will be back in the air at around 8:10pm PT, with all of the action streaming live with commentary on WSOP.com.  When play resumes blinds will be at 100,000/200,000 ante 30,000. 

Here are the top five chip counts headed into dinner break:

1. Antonio Esfandiari - 20,900,000
2. Sam Trickett - 16,610,000
3. Brian Rast - 15,300,00
4. Guy Laliberte - 13,960,000
5. Philipp Gruissem - 13,000,000

Here are the players who have busted out so far over the course of Day 2 as well as their finishing position:

17. Haralabos Voulgaris
18. Talal Shakerchi
19. Bill Perkins
20. Jason Mercier
21. Rick Salomon
22. Mikhail Smirnov
23. Dan Shak
24. Bob Bright
25. Ben Lamb
26. Phil Ivey
27. Gus Hansen
28. Paul Newey
29. Phil Ruffin
30. John Morgan
31. Tobias Reinkemeier
32. Noah Schwartz
33. Phil Galfond
34. Daniel Negreanu
35. Tom Dwan
36. Vivek Rajkumar
37. Chamath Palihapitiya