Shawn Daniels Leads 2018 WSOP Main Event Day 2AB Pack of Survivors

There were 2,460 players who had secured their tickets into Day 2AB of the 2018 WSOP Main Event, but only around 1,235 of them made it through all five levels played Thursday at the host casino.

Shawn Daniels, a player seeking to improve his 2017 World Championship run and claim his first WSOP title, bagged and tagged the largest stack at the end of the day, good for 532,500. Last year, Daniels finished 72nd in the $10,000 buy-in Main Event for a cash prize of $101,444, the largest one he has ever scooped from a live tournament.

The top 3 of the Day 2AB chip counts chart also includes Eric Liebeler with 531,000 and Samuel Bernabeu with 524,000. Bernabeu came into the day from a particularly good run on Day 1B. The Spanish player finished second in chips that day with a little over 300,000 and only improved from that point on.

Smain Mamouni, who topped the Day 1B chip counts chart, was also among those to keep their momentum into Day 2AB. The player eventually collected 481,500 for a comfortable entry into Day 3 of the major tournament.

The WSOP Main Event attracted 7,874 entries, making for the second largest field in the four-decade history of the tournament. A prize pool of $74,015,600 was created and it would be split among the top 1,182 finishers, min-cashes starting from $15,000. This year’s world champion will collect $8.8 million in prize money.

More Day 2AB Highlights

Day 2AB saw the 659 Day 1A survivors and the 1,801 hopefuls that made it through Day 1B resume action at the poker rooms of Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino at 11 am on Thursday. The players had to survive through five two-hour levels in order to secure a pass into Day 3.

Notables who did not make it included fan favorite John Hesp, who finished fourth in the Main Event last year, former World Championship victors Joe Hachem and Ryan Reiss, poker legend Erik Seidel, as well as Gaelle Baumann, Tony Dunst, and Jeremy Ausmus, among others.

There were also many well-known poker players who secured a seat among the Day 3 contenders, including several former Main Event champs. Scotty Nguyen, Chris Ferguson, Johnny Chan, and Greg Merson will be among the World Championship winners that will be looking to make history at the host casino and add another title.

Poker couple Alex Foxen and Kristen Bicknell were also among the players to bag and tag for the night. Both players secured about average stacks into Day 3. Foxen quickly built a massive stack early into the day, but lost some of his momentum as play progressed. He eventually put 238,900 into his bag. Bicknell was somewhat struggling during the first stages of Day 2AB action, but improved her stack significantly later into the day. She ended play for the day with 202,800.

Notables that will be seen on Day 3 include Brian Altman, Ben Yu, and Kelly Minkin, among others.

Friday will see the nearly 3,500 survivors from Day 1C return at the host venue to play Day 2C. Action is scheduled to resume at 11 am local time with the first of five two-hour levels. Those who make it through all five levels will progress into Day 3 on Saturday when all starting flights will be combined for the very first time.

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