People may say they play poker for the money and the bracelet, but when you break down the day to day of a poker tournament, really only one thing matters: chips. So, we have decided to take a look at each day of this year's Main Event strictly by the counts to see what history has taught us, what the future may hold, and how this year's event stacks up. Since we always tell you the top ten counts, let's have a glance at the top ten stack stories from Day 2 of the 2013 WSOP Main Event:
1. Lamb Does the Slaughtering
Mark Kroon decided he liked being the end of day chip leader so much after Day 1C that he decided to do it again after Day 2C, bagging up 507,300. He is the only player with more than half a million chips heading into Day 3, not to mention the overall chip leader. It hasn’t been that long since we’ve seen a player finish on top of Day 1, then repeat the feat on Day 2. Just two years ago, none other than the 2011 Main Event third place finisher Ben Lamb did just that, ending Day 2 play with 551,600 to bring the biggest stack into Day 3.
2. Age Is Just a Number
Kroon defies some of the speculation in poker that twentysomethings can’t thrive in these long poker formats, but, at 52-years-old, he actually isn’t even the oldest player in the top ten chip counts. Dirk Van Luijk is 54 and began Day 3 third in the ranks with 435,000. Of the top ten, Nick Schwarmann is the youngest of the bunch at 26 years-old. The average age of the top ten chip stacks comes in at 35.8 years old.
3. And the Rest of Them?
Kroon continued his success on Day 2, but what about the other two chip leaders? Day 1A chip leader Evan Panesis did manage to grow his 190,975-chip stack, but not by much. He ended Day 2A with 202,000. The net gain of 11,025 means Panesis picked up roughly 1,100 chips every hour of play. Day 1B leader, Clement Tripodi, on the other hand, ended up with less than he started with on Day 2, beginning with 207,050 and ending with 159,800.
4. Right Back Where You Started
In our last edition, we discussed how 34% of the Day 2 field returned with less than the starting stack. Those numbers are significantly smaller heading into the third day of action with only 138 players from the 1,753 Day 2 survivors bringing back less than 30,000. Bringing back a starting stack at this stage of the game gives you just shy of 19 big blinds to work with. Jason Tompkins, the shortest stack in the field, returned with 3,900—just about two and a half big blinds.
5. Putting Merson’s Stack in Comparison
It is always impressive when a reigning Main Event Champ starts strong. Greg Merson did just that, ending well above average on Day 1, and ending Day 2 49th overall in the counts with 275,600 chips. To give you some indication of just how much further we have to go in this tournament though, Merson’s stack represents less than one big blind at the start of action at last year’s final table.
6. Merson’s Good Company
Merson leads the seven past Main Event winners who made it to Day 3, but none other than Doyle Brunson is over 200,000 as well, ending the day with 224,000. Phil Hellmuth went from being the top Main Event performer on Day 1, to the shortest stack at the end of Day 2, bagging up 49,200. As for Merson’s fellow Octo-Niner, we had five of the nine advance to Day 3. In fact, Merson didn’t even do the best of his fellow final tablists on Day 2. Steve Gee bagged up 300,600. Rob Salaburu ended in good shape with 180,000, while Russell Thomas came in with 61,000. Jeremy Ausmus made it into Day 3 with 38,600, but busted early during the opening level of action.
7. Keep Blaming Canada
We still haven’t seen a top ten performance from the previously dominant Canadians. The best Canuck headed into Day 3 is Yann Dion, who ended 12th in the counts with 348,200. In fact, the top ten counts once again belonged overwhelmingly to Americans, save for Belgian Dick Van Luijk, Norwegian Aage Ravn, and Italian Sergio Castelluccio.
8. The War of the Roses
One of the more compelling human interest stories of the day centered on newlyweds Laura Green and Scott Born. The two recently got married and elected to spend their honeymoon in Vegas, playing the WSOP. Remarkably, they spent the duration of Day 2C at the same table. For most of the day, it was Green who held the chip advantage over Born, but he got some new life thanks to a double up late in play last night. The player who helped him double his stack? None other than Green, whose pocket sevens couldn’t hold against Born’s Q-J, which rivered a straight. By the time play ended, the roles were reversed and it was Born who had the family chip lead. He ended with 41,200 to 38,400. For those wondering, they began play on different tables for Day 3.
9. Ladies Not as Lucky
Last year, Gaelle Baumann led the entire field heading into Day 3. Things are a lot differnet in 2013. Not only did Baumann bust during Day 2 action, no woman ranks in the top 25 chip counts. In fact, the woman in the best shape to start Day 3 46th in the chip counts with 280,000.
Don’t let the acronym fool you. The players we report as DNR are not dead on arrival. Rather, for a variety of reasons, the information regarding their chip stack did not make it onto their bag. Heading into Day 3, ten players (a little less than 1% of the field) were classified as “Did Not Report” and some are names you might be familiar with, like Will Failla and Philipp Gruissem. So, if you are looking for these folks in the official counts, you might blame bad penmanship or a blank field on the chip slip for why we can’t be sure exactly where they are starting the day.