Starting the day as the chip leader with around 280k in chips, Gruissem went on a tear as he grew his stack up past the 1-million mark to take a commanding lead over most of the field.
The only player to keep pace? American semi-pro and Weeds producer Matt Salsberg.
Salsberg went on a tear of his own over the course of the day, busting Marko Neumann, Fabrice Soulier (in sick AQs > AQ fashion) and Tony G. along the way to a comparable stack of 951,000.
With just 24 players left from the 63 players that began the day, the two chip leaders have a substantial 350k edge over third-place Idris Ambraisse and more than a half-million over top fivers Bruno "Kool Shen" Lopes and Joe Serock.
Charania Thrives, Mercier Dives
With a truly A-list field of 63 to begin the day play was tough at virtually every table and inevitably not all the big names would survive.
Among the names to rise to the top was 2011 EPT Grand Final champ Mohsin Charania, who bagged up 307,000 for a solid top-10 position.
Also sliding into the final 24 were notables Fabian Quoss (279,000), Tim Adams (208,000), Theo Jorgenson (201,000), Kyle Julius (122,000), Juha Helppi (114,000) and Andrew Lichtenberger (54,000).
Among the not-so-fortunate were Jason Mercier, who managed to grab a min-cash ($17,154), along with Tristan Wade, Tony G., Peter Jetten, Anthony Lellouche, Antoine Saout, Faraz Jaka and ElkY, who all went home empty-handed.
Action picks up tomorrow at the Aviation Club in Paris at 3 pm with the plan to get down to a final table of six; follow along with the WPT Live Updates.
The top 10 and chip counts, courtesy of WPT.com:
- 1. Phillip Gruissem 1,060,000
- 2. Matthew Salsberg 951,000
- 3. Idris Ambraisse 591,000
- 4. Bruno Lopes 440,000
- 5. Joe Serock 411,000
- 6. Jerome Doulen 402,000
- 7. Mohsin Charania 307,000
- 8. Grégoire Boissenot 299,000
- 9. Fabian Quoss 279,000
- 10. Florian Leconte 266,000