One of those players is former WSOP Main Event champ Jonathan Duhamel, who at 364,500 in chips sits in third heading into Day 3, just slightly behind Marmion’s 379,000.
The other is French poker icon Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier – fresh from his recent kickboxing defeat against Lex “RaSZi” Veldhuis and sporting a iimp as a result – who certainly didn't seem affected on the felt and built himself up a big stack of his own at 293,500.
While ElkY worked his stack up rather quietly throughout the day, Duhamel had the fortune of running into a gift of a hand against David Sacksick to dramatically help his cause.
According to the WPT Live Updates team, with the blinds at 1,200/1,400 and a 400 ante, Sacksick opened to 7,000 and Duhamel three-bet to 19,000.
Sacksick then mysteriously four-bet all in with over 200k in his stack. Duhamel, sitting behind kings, made the easy call.
Sacksick turned over Kx-7x and, when the board brought no help, subsequently turned over almost 150k of his stack to Duhamel.
Duhamel rocketed up over 300k and never looked back from that point, cruising through the final two levels of play final to sit just off the lead.
While a few big name players also remain in the field, including Sam El Sayed (246,000), Surinder Sunar (180,000) and Arnaud Mattern (131,000), most of the marquee names weren’t as fortunate as Duhamel and hit the rail before the end of Day 2.
Among the casualties were Eugene Katchalov, Davidi Kitai, Brandon Cantu, Marc Inizan, Alain Roy, Roger Hairabedian, Leo Margets and Barny Boatman.
Remaining players will return on Saturday at 2 p.m (GMT) to play down to the money spots (beginning at 33) and on to the final table.
The payout table, courtesy of WPT.com, with payouts converted to euros:
1st: €199,825 (+$25k WPT Bellagio Seat)
Follow the action as it happens on the WPT Live Updates page.