Day 2 of the Main Event at The Lodge Casino is complete, and after a full day of wild action, only five players remain. They'll return on Monday to battle it out for a WSOP Circuit ring and $116,325 in first-place prize money.

The leader after Day 2 is Craig Varnell, who finished with 2,450,000 in chips. Varnell started the day with a slightly better than average stack, but he quickly accumulated chips and within three hours he was challenging for the chip lead. He stayed near the top for most of the day, and didn’t experience a major setback until the final table. His Ace-Jack ran into Alex Greenblatt’s Ace-Queen on an ace-high board. He soon recovered, though, scoring a double up with    against Cory Zedo’s   . That hand gave him the chip lead for the rest of Day 2.

Play got off to a fast and furious start today, with eliminations coming quickly. Just 69 players returned for Day 2, out of a total of 330 entries. Only 33 make the money, so over half of them would go home empty handed. The tournament reached the money bubble midway through the third level of the day. After only about 10 minutes of hand-for-hand play, Aaron Frei was eliminated in 34th place, and the remaining 33 players were all guaranteed a payout of at least $2,955.

The fast play continued, and by the time play paused for a dinner break, only 12 players were left. After dinner, the eliminations kept coming quickly. About 45 minutes after play resumed, only nine remained, and they had reached the final table.

Several notable players made the money, but were eliminated before the final table. Joe Kuether finished in 29th place ($3,312), and Bernard Lee finished 25th ($3,757). Lee won his first WSOP Circuit ring in one of the preliminary events here at The Lodge Casino, but was unable win his second. Immediately after Lee busted out, the man he defeated heads up to win his ring busted as well. Alex Masek earned $4,321 for his 24th place finish. Masek has won eight Circuit rings, more than any other player in history, but will have to wait for another day to extend his record.

The four players joining Varnell for Day 3 are Nicholas Petitti (1,420,000 in chips), Eric Blair (1,100,000), Alex Greenblatt (1,035,000), and Cory Zedo (565,000).

Greenblatt entered the day atop the chip counts, having amassed an incredible 410,500 on Day 1A. His nearest competitor at the start of Day 2 was Jonathan Haidsiak, with 286,000. Haidsiak made the final table and eventually finished in 7th place ($17,112). Greenblatt continued to gather chips early today, quickly approaching the million-chip mark. He once again earned an enormous lead over the field after a huge hand in which he flopped two pair and got all in against another big stack, who held only a flush draw. Greenblatt’s two pair held up, and after the hand he had 1,900,000 in chips when the second place player had only about 1 million.

The pace of eliminations slowed down a bit once players reached the final table. The first final tablist to bust was Brian Hartner (9th place, $10,737). Hartner had been crippled in a cooler, and a few hands later he was eliminated by Greenblatt. Not long after that, Cory Zedo busted out Jamie Wolf in 8th place ($13,454). It was almost an hour after that when Haidsiak was eliminated in 7th, and about 90 minutes later when Gino Levrini was eliminated in 6th place ($22,092). Day 2 ended about 20 minutes after his elimination.

Craig Varnell is also in the hunt for the title of Casino Champion. He had 55 points before the Main Event, and he is guaranteed at least another 37.5 for a fifth-place or better finish, which would put him in the lead. However, two of the points leaders here at The Lodge, Tim Campbell and T.J. Thondup, are still alive in Event #12, and can overtake him. Both the Casino Champion and the Main Event winner earn free entries into the National Championship, held later this month in Atlantic City.

Day 3 begins at noon local time on Monday. Here are the chip counts for the remaining players. A full list of payouts is available in the Results Section of the live updates.

1. Craig Varnell - 2,450,000
2. Nicholas Petitti - 1,420,000
3. Eric Blair - 1,100,000
4. Alex Greenblatt - 1,035,000
5. Cory Zedo - 565,000