Play resumes Friday at 1 p.m. ET. Harwood out in front of Daniel Negreanu, Alex Masek, others.

Cherokee, N.C. (July 30, 2015) — The dream of a National Championship title and World Series of Poker gold bracelet is still alive for seven players at Harrah’s Cherokee in Cherokee, N.C. Day 2 of the unique tournament concluded late Thursday night with Player of the Year qualifier Loni Harwood out in front of fellow POY qualifier Daniel Negreanu, all-time ring leader Alex Masek and four others. Harwood, who started the day fifth of 49 remaining, accumulated 1,340,000 of the 3,660,000 chips in play — more than 36 percent — and has more than twice as much as second place Darryll Fish (648,000).

Looking up at the pair at the top are Negreanu in third with 543,000, Vincent Moscati in fourth with 463,000, Brad St. Vincent in fifth with 410,000, Paul Mattioda in sixth with 167,000 and Masek in seventh with 100,000. Of the seven remaining players, just Harwood and Negreanu paid the $10,000 entry fee. All others earned their way in via a year’s worth of deep runs and gold ring victories on the Circuit that began last August at the Palm Beach Kennel Club in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Day 3 begins tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET with 46:51 left in the 5,000/10,000 with a 1,000 ante level. While each of the seven remaining players is assured $49,203, all players are eyeing the $341,599 top prize and gold bracelet.

The 2015 National Championship began Wednesday, July 29 with 122 qualifiers generating a prize pool of $1,220,000. Notables such as Circuit points leader Paul Sokoloff, all-time Circuit cashes leader Doug Carli, Phil Hellmuth, Ryan Riess, Shannon Shorr and Jake Bazeley hit the rail on Day 1. Day 2 resumed Thursday with 49 remaining and St. Vincent leading the way. While the aforementioned seven final tablists are still drawing live for the title, many players weren’t so lucky. Those to bust on Day 2 include Scott Clements, Jeff Madsen, Charles “Woody” Moore, Jesse Wilke, Tristan Wade, Ben Reason, Kevin McColgan, and bubble boy Juan Mendoza.

Mendoza’s 16th-place finish came late in Level 16 and with his elimination each of the 15 remaining players were in the money. From there, play moved fast with defending champion Dominik Nitsche busting 15th, Michael Sanders 14th and Ari Engel 13th. Less than two levels later, Harwood crushed the dreams of Gevork Kasabyan (11th) and Robert Hankins (10th) in a double elimination to send the tournament to the official final table.

Up-to-date results are available on WSOP.com.

Those seven still remaining reconvene Friday to compete in front of the ESPN cameras for poker’s most coveted prize. Live updates throughout the tournament’s completion will be made available right here on WSOP.com.

Final seven seating assignments and chip counts:

Seat 1: Vincent Moscati - 463,000 (46 bb)
Seat 2: Darryll Fish - 648,000 (64 bb)
Seat 3: Daniel Negreanu - 543,000 (54 bb)
Seat 4: — empty —
Seat 5: Paul Mattioda - 167,000 (16 bb)
Seat 6: Loni Harwood - 1,340,000 (134 bb)
Seat 7: Alex Masek - 100,000 (10 bb)
Seat 8: — empty —
Seat 9: Brad St. Vincent - 410,000 (41 bb)