When Day 2 of the 2013 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event began, it was Frenchman Ludovic Lacay in pole position. Up until about five minutes before Day 2 ended, it looked as though that was where Lacay was going to finish too. The pro, who came up just shy of a bracelet just a few days ago, put on another marvelous performance at the tables, but it was a bracelet winner who ended the day on top.
With just minutes left in Day 2 action, gold bracelet winner Dominik Nitsche catapulted into the chip lead by making a gutsy call of a large river bet holding QQ on an board. His read was right, as opponent held 7-8 and he scooped the pot to end the day with 504,800 chips.
As the field continues to narrow in this €10,450 buy-in Main Event, there will be more tough calls like Nitsche and they will be the difference between making the money and going home empty-handed. Of the 70 players that survived Day 2, 40 will get a payday, while the rest get nothing.
The official numbers for this year's event are in and with 375 participants and a €3.6 million Euro prizepool, the top 40 finishers are each guaranteed a little over €21,000, while the winner takes home exactly €1 million Euro as well as the gold bracelet.
For Jeremy Ausmus and Daniel Negreanu, there is more than just money on the line. These two are the last two players in this Main Event who can take the WSOP Player of the Year points lead away from Matthew Ashton in this tournament. Ausmus can do so, but would need to win the event. Negreanu needs a seventh place finish or better. While these two are still in the hunt, there are a few others whose hopes are down to just the High Roller event, which begins on Tuesday, if they want to claim POY honors. Loni Harwood began the day as one of the big stacks, but busted late to end her Main Event run. Contenders Mike Watson, Chris Klodnicki, and Noah Schwartz also failed to make it through the day.
There are two other players who can keep the POY race interesting in this Main Event though and they are November Niners Jay Farber, who ended Day 2 play seventh in chips with 293,700, and Mark Newhouse, who bagged up 48,700. Bothcould put himself in the middle of the POY action with a win here in Paris.
They are the only November Niner left in this field, as David Benefield and JC Tran busted today. Some other notables to hit the rail include Dan O'Brien, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Ivey, and reigning champ in this event, Phil Hellmuth, who fell at the hands of Frenchman Fabrice Soulier.
Another player who hit the rail was Nick Rosen, the WSOP.com online qualifier who earned his way here via a $5 online satellite. While his trip won't end with a bracelet victory, Rosen still got two days of time on the felt with some of the best in the game and still has some time to get out and see what the city of Paris has to offer.
On Tuesday, cards will be back in the air at 12pm local time. It will be a busy day as the likes of Nitsche, Lacay, Soulier, Negreanu, Ausmus, Scott Clements, Faraz Jaka, Shannon Shorr, and Sam Holden return to play into the money and onto the final 16 players who will advance to Day 4 on Wednesday.
Stay tuned to WSOP.com for all the action with our live updates. Here is a look at the unofficial top five chip counts:1. Dominik Nitsche - 504,8002. Ludovic Lacay - 406,2003. Benny Spindler - 345,7004. Ariel Celestino - 325,0005. Fabrice Soulier - 319,000