While 174 players came into Day 2 of the Harrah's Cherokee Main Event with dreams of $272,744 and a World Series of Poker Circuit ring, only 16 players remain.

Leading the way is Charles Johnson (pictured above) who made an end of the night surge by eliminating Robert Hankins to move into the chip lead. In the hand, Johnson called a three bet from Hankins, flopped a set, then check-called Hankins' all-in shove. Hankins was holding pocket queens, but Johnson's set held up and that gave him the chip lead. Johnson will bring 2,380,000 chips into Day 3.

Players dropped quickly down to the money bubble. In the first few levels of play Justin Harvell, Mike Wang, Chris Bell, Chris Carey, DJ MacKinnon, Kyle Cartwright, Eric Sutton, and TJ Shulman all fell without making the money. The bubble finally burst in the third level of the day when John Simon was eliminated by Matt Higgins making the remaining 99 player at least $2,943. 

Of the notable players to make it into the money were Marvin Rettenmaier (98th for $2,943), Jeter Brock (89th for $3,201), Jeffrey Trudeau (76th for $3,474), John Holley (45th for $5,010), and Keven Stammen (37th for $5,010). Brad Albrinck, the current defending champion of this event also made it into the money, but was eliminated in 21st place for $11,857. 

Chip Counts From the Final 16 Players: 

Charles Johnson - 2,380,000 (79 bb)
Ryan Jones - 1,935,000 (65 bb)
Krzysztof Stybaniewicz - 1,810,000 (60 bb)
David Jackson - 1,800,000 (60 bb)
Trung Pham - 1,670,000 (56 bb)
Ed Yancey - 1,520,000 (51 bb)
James Moon - 1,190,000 (40 bb)
Elilton Gouveia - 1,110,000 (37 bb)
Nathan Gentry - 945,000 (32 bb)
Jason Turck - 935,000 (31 bb)
Floyd Arnold - 855,000 (29 bb)
Matt Higgins - 820,000 (27 bb)
Jon Hoellein - 735,000 (25 bb)
Tyler Phillips - 570,000 (19 bb)
John Whitlow - 565,000 (19 bb)
Nelson Robison - 300,000 (10 bb)

Among those remaining are David Jackson, who won his first ring earlier this series, Nelson Robinson and Tyler Phillips, who both made the final table of Event #9: $2,200 High Roller, and former Circuit Main Event champions Trung Pham, Ryan Jones (below, who won this event in April of 2015) and Krzysztof Stybaniewicz.

The remaining 16 players will return to level 26 with the blinds at 15,000/30,000 and an ante of 5,000 starting at 12 p.m. on Monday. A winner will be crowned and updates from both tables will be available on WSOP.com so make sure to tune in to the action.