What began with the 219 survivors from three Day 1's just after 12:30 p.m. local time quickly became a more workable number as short stacks and big names like APPT Manila winner Van Marcus, WSOPE champ John Juanda and Team PokerStars Pro member and WSOP Main Event champ Chris Moneymaker all hit the rail early.
Another Team PokerStars Pro member and world-beater Gavin Griffin came into the day second in chips, but started his long strange trip of a day right off the bat. First he lost half his stack bricking out with a flush draw, then got it all back turning aces into a full house to crack another player's flopped boat.
Griffin and start-of-day chip leader Jason Gray both stayed quiet for the next little while as a barrage of relative unknowns laid claim to the chip lead, including David Sanis, APPT Auckland third-place finisher Wang Che Jung, French PokerStars qualifier Smain Mamouni and Aussies Roberto Damelian, Scott Smith and Stewart Davidson.
However, Griffin would make a little noise soon after, doubling up Aussie Eric Assadourian when the 2007 APPT Macau High Roller winner made a set of jacks against him.
Suddenly finding himself under $70k, Gavin played a weak ace a little too aggressively a little later and was out when an opponent picked him off with a stronger one.
By the time the dinner break rolled around they were down to 100 players and within sight of the 48-person money bubble. But it would take another four and a half levels of poker to get there after bread had been broken.
2008 WSOP $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha runner up Jamie Pickering suddenly found his way to the top of the leaderboard post-chow, getting in a three-way pot with two players all-in and a pair of queens in the hole. One player had aces, but Pickering turned a set to scoop.
Australian-American-Italian Antonio Fazzolari then threw his name into the mix at the top when he turned a gut-shot against a flopped set of tens, and although he didn't show many hands along the way, Aussie Brendan Edmonds used a bevy of aggro plays to put himself in contention as well.
At this point the fight for the lead became a three-way battle between Pickering, Edmonds and the aforementioned Stewart Davidson, with all three taking turns at the top as the hours flew by and the field inched toward the bubble.
Day 1a leader Phillip Willcocks picked up a few pots and began to mount a challenge, while Marlon Goonawardana suddenly made a stack cracking aces by sucking out a set of nines.
Things slowed down a bit around midnight, but when the tournament entered its 16th level shortly thereafter, all hell broke loose.
Another three-way all-in went down with the biggest stack holding kings against nines and jacks. Both shorties flopped sets, but the kings turned its own, and with the double elimination we were that much closer to the cash.
Then suddenly, with the short stacks holding on for dear life and hand-for-hand play under way, a player by the name of Frank Saffioti shoved for almost $250k, having flopped a gut-shot.
Early chip-lead challenger David Sanis had aces, made the call and looked like he was ready to puke when the gut-shot hit on the river.
Sadly crippled, Sanis doubled up twice immediately, but became the bubble boy soon after.
And so Day 2 in Sydney was laid to rest with 48 players left. They're all in the money now and it'll be time to separate the men from the boys tomorrow as they play down to a final table of nine.
Thanks to that disgusting suck-out, Saffioti will come in with the lead on $619k. Pickering has $570k+ and Edmonds is right on his tail with $517,500.
The group behind them includes Jung, Willcocks and Gray, while Assadourian and famed jockey Shane Dye highlight a whack of players with shorter stacks.
They'll get going just after 12:30 p.m. local time Saturday and PL.com will be on the scene all day bringing you live updates from the land of Oz. We like home a lot, but we've come to realize there's no place like Star City.