Eight of the nine gentlemen returning for the final day of play in the €50,000 Majestic High Roller event at the WSOPE will be pleased with their performance. One will walk away empty-handed.
After a long second day of action in the big buy-in event, play halted late into the night one spot shy of the money at the request of the players. When play began, players were still taking their seats thanks to a late registration window that allowed people to buy-in and rebuy up through the first level of Day 2 play. Jonathan Duhamel, Phil Ivey, and others took advantage of this, bringing the total field size to 49 players that generated a grand total of 11 rebuys. The event generated a prize pool of €2,880,000 with €1,000,000 going to the winner and the final eight all earning paydays.
Two of those rebuys belong to John Juanda, who started and ended the day as chip leader. Juanda did not go wire to wire with the big stack, but he picked up steam as the evening waned. He flopped a set of fours against Daniel Negreanu’s pocket kings to eliminate his friend, then flopped another set against Steve O’Dwyer to swell his stack over 3 million chips. At the end of the day, Juanda bagged up 2,596,000 chips—nearly double the amount of his next closest competitor.
His next closest competitor is a face becoming increasingly familiar to the poker world, that of Asian businessman Richard Yong. Yong final tabled the Big One for One Drop tournament this summer, taking eighth place. He looks to improve upon that finish here and is in good shape to do so, returning for Day 3 play with 1.3 million chips.
Philipp Gruissem and Steve O’Dwyer are the other seven-figure stacks in action when play resumes, though German poker pro and high roller regular Tobias Reinkemeier is not too far behind them with 904,000. The four shorter stacks in the field hold substantially less than that. David Benefield, Jani Sointula, Winfred Yu, and Mike Watson are all running short on chips and will need to make some moves up the counts in order to avoid being this tournament’s bubble boy. Watson starts the day as the shortest stack with 299,000 at 15,000/30,000 ante 5,000 blinds.
While one player will walk away empty-handed tomorrow they will have outlasted quite an impressive field to get as far as they did. The long list of eliminations on Day 2 include Ivey, Duhamel, Scott Seiver, Erik Seidel, Tom Dwan, Justin Bonomo, Marvin Rettenmaier, and Sam Trickett.
Because of the late finish, Day 3 play in this even has been pushed back to 3pm local time. While there will be no livestreaming of this tournament, there will be live hand updates available on WSOP.com.
Here are the chip counts and seat assignments heading into Day 3 of the Majestic High Roller Event:
Seat 1: David Benefield – 551,000
Seat 2: Tobias Reinkemeier – 904,000
Seat 3: Winfred Yu – 368,000
Seat 4: Mike Watson – 299,000
Seat 5: Jani Sointula – 489,000
Seat 6: Richard Yong – 1,309,000
Seat 7: John Juanda – 2,596,000
Seat 8: Steve O’Dwyer – 1,146,000
Seat 9: Philipp Gruissem – 1,308,000