Riess, Negreanu, Hellmuth, and Esfandiari among Notables to Survive WSOP Main Event Day 2AB

Several WSOP Main Event champions continued to advance in Day 2AB, while a handful of others were eliminated. The notable Main Event bracelet holders who advanced included Phil Hellmuth, Joe Hachem, Scotty Nguyen, Jim Bechtel, and Ryan Riess.

Chip Stack Leaders

The chip stack leaders of Day 2AB, along with the number of chips they have are: David Jackson (408,900), Zach Jiganti (401,900), Shawn Van Asdale (388,000), Jens Lakemeier (360,000), and Hugo Perez (345,300).

Ryan Riess’s Smooth Day

Ryan Riess, who is seeking to win his second World Series of Poker Main Event in three years, Riess told ESPN Go, “It was a very smooth day. I didn’t play any big pots without the nuts and I made the nuts a lot. I slowly chips. I made quads twice and I’ve been running really well. I can’t ask for much more.

Ryan Riess said he intended to slowly grind his way through the middle days of the tournament. He added that a person cannot get to the final table without making it through days 3, 4, and 5, so those are his immediate concerns for the time being. In his attempt to defend his title last year, Riess busted out of the event in Day 3.

A number of well-known non-Main Event winners also advanced. Fan favorite Daniel Negreanu, inaugural One for One Drop champion Antonio Esfandiari, and 5-time bracelet winner Allen Cunningham advanced. So did Matt Glantz, 2013 WSOP Europe Main Event winner Adrian Mateo, and Marc-Etienne McLaughlin, who made the final table of this event in 2013.

Antonio Esfandiari: “A Lot of Ups and Downs”

Antonio Esfandiari discussed his roller coaster Day 2. He said, “It was a lot of ups and downs. I had a really good first level and then a really bad second level. I started making hands and played a lot of pots with an aggressive player three seats to my right.”

When asked about his mood following such an up-and-down performance, Esfandiari was quick to point out the bottom line. He said, “I quadrupled my [starting] stack, so I’m happy.

Esfandiari’s Strategy

Esfandiari said the important thing was not to build a huge chip stack at this stage of the tournament. Players can make moves later, when the field has been whittled down and newer players might start to feel the pressure.

Discussing his strategy for staying fresh, he added, “With the main event you just have to get through every day. It’s such a long process. I do yoga every morning, stretch on break and get to bed early.

Daniel Negreanu: “Funky Stuff”

Daniel Negreanu did not have nearly the dramatic day Esfandiari had. Instead, the affable Negreanu said, “It was an interesting day away from the table–a lot funky stuff going on–but the poker was straightforward. I didn’t have one tough decision during the last level. I have faith in my system, I’ll do what I do and adjust when I have to, but I have plenty of chips.”

Several other key players busted on Day 2: Jason Somerville, Jason Koo, Mike McDonald and Mike Leah. Ray Ramano and Brad Garrett each lost their chance to win the tournament today. After mouthing at one another for the benefit of the crowd, each busted out. Ray Ramano lasted until the last hour of the day.

Phil Ivey Busts Out

Phil Ivey lost his chip stack today, which ends his 2015 World Series of Poker without a cash. This is the first time since 2000, besides the 2012 year he sat out (FullTilt fallout), that Phil Ivey has not finished in the cash on at least one event.

Of course, Phil Ivey spent most of this tournament playing a massive cash game in Macau, so his full interest was not engaged by the World Series of Poker this year. Sometimes, it makes good business sense for a world-class professional poker player to decline to play lesser events at the World Series of Poker, for the sake of ring games.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on BestOnlineCasinos.com, USPokerSites.com, and LegalUSPokerSites.com

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