There may have been 1,251 players coming into Day 2a of the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event on Tuesday, but only 466 came out of it by the time the last hand was dealt for the day.
By the end of the day, all eyes were on Brian Schaedlich, from Cleveland, Ohio, who was sitting with one of the most impressive chip leads for a player at the end of a Day 2 that the WSOP has seen in years. He ended the day with about $801,000 in chips, and his closest rival is sitting with just $397,000.
Brandon Adams is sitting in a strong position as well after Day 2a with $353,600. The Full Tilt Poker pro had a good stack of more than $70k after his Day 1 and said he played a lot of smaller and mid-size pots on Day 2a to continue his climb.
"Today I started out playing very fast but then treaded water for a while," Adams said in his interview with PokerListings. "I think I ended up the second level of the day with around $160,000. I just had a good level and got it all the way up to $207,000."
As he continued to accumulate chips, Adams landed at the ESPN feature table as well, where he had to play under the watchful eyes of the cameras. Adams is a renowned cash-game player who has managed to keep a fairly low tournament profile so far, but his exposure in the Main Event if he goes deep could change all that.
Some other pros who are sitting well with more than $100k after two days of play are Robert Mizrachi, Kido Pham, Alex Borteh, Tony Hachem, Chau Giang, Hoyt Corkins, Darrell Dicken, Erik Seidel, Dave Colclough, and 888-sponsored pro Shane Warne, who is heading up Pacific Poker's online qualifiers.
Maya Geller-Antonius has also moved her stack up to about $135,000 after Day 2, leaving her in much healthier shape to start Day 3 on Thursday than her husband Patrik Antonius, who just barely clings to life with $29,500 in chips after Day 2a.
He's not the only one from Day 2a looking a little low in chips. Tony Cousineau, Toto Leonidas and Alex Kravchenko are all under the $50,000 mark, while Chris Reslock, John Duthie, Barney Boatman and Mickey Appleman sit between there and the $100,000 mark.
Unfortunately, the two former Main Event champions, Scotty Nguyen and Robert Varkonyi, who were playing in Day 2a were both eliminated.
Nguyen, who is this year's $50k H.O.R.S.E. champion, busted out about mid-afternoon when his pocket nines were topped by Alexandre Schwab's pocket kings. Varkonyi didn't last much longer than Nguyen, busting out a short time later.
That leaves seven former Main Event champs who will be playing their second day today. They are Jerry Yang, Johnny Chan, Phil Hellmuth, Carlos Mortensen, Brad Daugherty, Chris Moneymaker and Joe Hachem.
Some other notables who will play today from Day 1c are David Singer, Bill Chen, Lacey Jones and Mel Judah.
Some of the pros who survived Day 1d to return to play today are David Oppenheim, Steve Billirakis, Shannon Elizabeth, Nick Binger, Eric Mizrachi and Johan Storakers.
Because more players showed up for Days 1c and 1d, there are 2,378 players returning to the felt today. Once they've finished play for the day, all the players will converge at the Rio on Thursday finally as one playing field for Day 3.
The action gets started at noon today, and poker fans can check it all out in the Live Tournaments section.