Buoyed by two huge pots won against Vivek Rajkumar (1.4m in chips) and Phil Ivey (about 3m) during the day, Sands bagged up 6,680,000 to distance himself from the field heading into the final table tomorrow.
His next closest competitor? Veteran pro Nick Schulman with 2,295,000.
Gruissem, Seiver Alive; Jensen Surprises in First Big Tourney
Day 1 chip leader Phillip Gruissem, a high-stakes specialist from Germany, managed to about double his stack over the day to hold onto third spot overall with 1,610,000 in chips.
He’s followed in fourth by the surprising Greg Jensen -- a hedge fund manager playing his first-ever major poker tournament -- with 1,500,000 and stock broker/poker vet Dan Shak with 870,000.
High-stakes tourney regular Scott Seiver also managed to hang on for a spot at the final table and finished the day with 755,000.
Businessman Cary Katz and Russian Vladimir Troyanovsky round out the final eight.
Esfandiari Bubbles, Mercier Out in 10th
After the year Antonio Esfandiari had last year it’s hard to imagine things not breaking his way in a poker tournament but that’s the way it went down today in the Bahamas as Esfandiari was the unfortunate $228,960 bubble boy.
PokerStars pros Jason Mercier and Vanessa Selbst, who hit the top 5 in chips at one point and looked to be a lock for the final table, also ran out of luck to bust in 10th and 11th place, respectively.
Selbst ran a big bluff into the ace-high flush of Sands to end her day while Mercier, who had his aces cracked by Troyanovsky, shoved his last nine blinds with A8 into Schulman’s KK.
Esfandiari: Finally breaks bad.
Other notables to hit the Atlantis Resort bricks just short of the money today included Ivey (14th), Daniel Negreanu (17th), Erik Seidel (19th) and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (22nd).
All remaining players are now assured of a payout with eighth place receiving the aforementioned $228,960 and the winner scooping a tantalizing $2,003,480.
The final eight and chip counts:
- 1. David Sands -- 6,680,000
- 2. Nick Schulman -- 2,295,000
- 3. Philipp Gruissem -- 1,610,000
- 4. Greg Jensen -- 1,500,000
- 5. Dan Shak -- 870,000
- 6. Scott Seiver -- 755,000
- 7. Cary Katz -- 590,000
- 8. Vladimir Troyanovsky -- 505,000
Action picks up again at 1 pm tomorrow in the Bahamas; catch all the live updates on the PokerStars blog.