Day 1 of the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop event may have been a fun and casual atmosphere, but Day 2 is where things get down to the nitty gritty. After just five hours of action, we are already down to the final two tables and the money bubble is fast approaching.
If the chip counts look a little familiar, don't worry, you're in the right year, it is just that the 2012 winner of this event, Antonio Esfandiari, looks like he might just return to the final table. With the chip lead and just 15 players remaining, the three-time bracelet winner might even just pull off the truly remarkable feat of winning this event a second time.
Esfandiari isn't the only storyline in this gigantic production though. The ESPN cameras, which started rolling today, have plenty of compelling material to work with. While the players grab a bite, check out some of the most interesting storylines from Day 2 so far:
1. The winner in this event is going to receive a one-of-a-kind platinum bracelet from Richard Mille, as the jeweler is flying the winner out to Paris where their home base is located so the keepsake can be engraved and customized for the champ.
2. There is roughly a two percent chance that when you get it all-in with pocket aces against another player’s pocket aces you will end up losing the hand. That isn’t much consolation for one of our two satellite qualifiers in this event, Connor Drinan. He got it all-in preflop holding aces to businessman Cary Katz’s aces, but Katz managed to river a four-flush to put one of the sickest bad beats of the year on his opponent. Drinan took his elimination like a professional, but even Katz had to admit it was a rough way to go.
“He really earned his way in here winning the $25,000 [satellite],” Katz said shortly after the hand. “Great player, I thought he played perfectly…I'm happy to have the chips, but that is probably the worst beat I've ever seen, to be honest. Considering the size of this event and the fact he put up $25,000, won his seat in there, and was playing so well."
3. Drinan was not the only satellite winner to hit the rail early on Day 2. All three of the satellite qualifiers are out, as Erick Lindgren and Bill Klein made their exits even before Drinan was eliminated.
4. On Day 1, Sam Trickett dominated the action and spent nearly all of the day as chip leader. Today, as the structure escalates, the chips are moving around much more. So far we’ve had four different chip leaders today. Trickett has had a rough go and is under 10 million chips, making room for Tom Hall to move to the top spot. Then, Daniel Colman drug a massive pot against Trickett and Noah Schwartz to move to the top. The reigning champ Antonio Esfandiari is currently the man to beat.
5. Over the course of five levels, this field has more than halved itself. After starting the day with 31 players, only 15 remain going into the dinner break. By comparison, in 2012, the field came back with 37 players and had 16 remaining when they went to dinner.
6. Of the 15 players left, five are bracelet winners: Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Galfond, and Scott Seiver. Between the five of them, they have 23 bracelets.
7. Of the 12 amateurs who entered this event, we've only lost seven so far, while the following five are still alive: Tom Hall, Rick Salomon, Cary Katz, Gabe Kaplan, and Brandon Steven.
8. Eight is the magic number for today. That is both where the money bubble bursts and when play will conclude for tonight. The final eight will return Tuesday to play to a winner, knowing they are guaranteed $1,306,667, but could go home with as much as $15,306,668.
9. With 15 players remaining, only six are above average stack at this point in the tournament. Average is currently 8.4 million, which will amount to 42 big blinds when players return from the dinner break. Two players, Phil Ivey and Scott Seiver, aren’t just below average, they are below the 3 million-chip starting stack.
10. Here are the players we’ve lost so far this afternoon: