Jeff Madsen will go into the third day of the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond Poker Classic on top of the chip ladder.
A total of 144 other players will be trying to take over the lead when Day 3 gets underway, with 449 having taken to the felt on the first day of the event.
Madsen, who was once the youngest WSOP gold bracelet winner of all time, finished the second day of play with 399,400 chips. That puts him just in front of Kevin Eyster, who will start Day 3 with 397,200.
Both players have a decent buffer over the rest of the field as third on the chip ladder is Dan Martin, who has a stack of 314,000 chips to his name. He is followed by Canadian Sorel Mizzi, who with 308,300 chips, is chasing his first WPT title at this event.
Another player who has made it to Day 3 is poker legend Scotty Nguyen, who finished the second day with a stack of 84,600. Nguyen had as much as 135,000 chips in the late stages of Day 2 after knocking a fellow player out of the event.
Nguyen went all-in pre-flop with Ace-King offsuit and was called by the player, who was initially ahead with pocket Nines. However, Nguyen flopped a straight draw and then hit his straight on the turn when the Jack of Hearts was shown. While he lost a few of the chips he won before the end of the night, Nguyen cannot be counted out of the event just yet.
Another poker superstar who won’t return to play in the third day of the event is Phil Hellmuth. The Poker Brat was eliminated from the Poker Classic late in Day 2 by his friend and fellow poker shark Jean-Robert Bellande.
Hellmuth went all-in after the flop with pocket Jacks and was called by Bellande, who flopped a pair of Eights with a Seven kicker. That had Hellmuth in front but unfortunately for the 13-time WSOP Gold Bracelet winner, a Seven came on the river and gave Bellande two pair.
One of the biggest hands in the event thus far was one that happened in the middle stages of the second day. It came when Jason Koon and Lyle Vincent both called Sean Yu’s all-in of 37,575 (he had both players covered).
Koon had a nut flush draw while Vincent had an open ended straight draw. Yu, on the other hand, had top pair with Queens. Vincent moved ahead on the turn when the Seven of Spades was the fourth card shown on the board, but with the river still left he was not home free.
The Queen of Diamonds came on the river, which gave Yu a three of a kind to win the hand and knock both Koon and Vincent out of the event in one hit.
The prize pool for the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond Poker Classic has also been released. The top 45 players at this year’s Classic will go home with fatter wallets, with the eventual winner standing to earn $1,161,135.
Second place will leave the event $672,685 richer, while ninth place will win $69,438. The lowest any player who lands in the money will earn is $21,700, which is the cash prize for those who place between 37th and 45th.