We're in the thick of it at Horseshoe Cincinnati with both starting flights of the $1,675 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event in the books. Flight B began today at 12 p.m. and the 321-player starting field sheered itself to just 118 remaining following 12 levels of play.

Leading the way in Day 1B is Maurice Hawkins with 169,500. Hawkins built a stack early and never let up, amassing more chips each level and ultimately bagging as the chip leader. The three-time gold ring winner is no stranger to a big stack. He's a 26-time WSOP casher and boasts almost $300,000 in career earnings. He joins Day 1A chip leader Aaron Massey in the headline heading to Day 2.

Both are outspoken, talented players who make their presence known at the poker table in more ways than one. Massey holds a slight advantage on Hawkins, who actually starts Day 2 third in the overall chip counts.

Others to advance from Day 1B include Rex Clinkscales (148,000), Caufman Talley (91,000), Jose Serratos (84,600), Doug Carli (79,100), Christopher Conrad (67,200) and Joe Kuether (42,800).

Established players like five-time WSOP Circuit gold ring winner Mark "Pegasus" Smith, gold bracelet winners Bryan Campanello and Nick Jivkov, Austin Buchanan, Bernard Lee, Ralph Massey and Darren Rabinowitz weren't so lucky as each fell short of a Day 2 berth.

Those fortunate enough to advance combine with the 130 from yesterday's Day 1A tomorrow at 1 p.m.

As of now, the field stands at 729 entrants, but registration for the finale is open until the start of play tomorrow. We'll announce the official prize pool at that time. Day 2 is slated to play down to the nine-handed final table.

Top 10 Day 2 chip counts:

1. Aaron Massey - 189,700
2. Michael Gibson - 179,300
3. Maurice Hawkins - 169,500
4. Curtis Toney - 167,900
5. Rex Clinkscales - 148,000
6. Jeremy Halasaka - 146,500
7. David Costain - 143,400
8. Eric Zadan - 142,100
9. Bradley Ruben - 139,400
10. Blake Barousse - 134,800

Day 2 begins with a 700 small blind, 1,400 big blind and 200 ante.

Full chip counts available on