Hellmuth Nearly Sleeps Away Shot at $8.7m
A field of over 2,000 players took to the felt on Day 2a of the 2011 WSOP Main Event. Phil Hellmuth was nearly not one of them.
By the end of the day however, Hellmuth was still alive and looking for his second Main Event title while Aleksandr Mozhnyakov finished the day as the chip leader.
Hellmuth Gets Days Confused, Almost Gets Blinded Out
The day started with 2,031 players starting their Day 2a journey in hopes of building chips and surviving another grueling 10 hours of play.
One player that failed to show up at the given hour was Phil Hellmuth.
Hellmuth only had 11k in chips to start the day, but he is not the sort to just give up on a stack.
Mike Matusow got concerned and started calling Hellmuth's hotel, but Hellmuth had a "Do Not Disturb" sign on both his door and his phone.
Eventually, Matusow had security forcibly enter Hellmuth's room, only to find the former Main Event champion asleep.
He had mistakenly thought he was supposed to play on Day 2b and immediately left to go play at the Rio.
Upon arriving, Hellmuth only had about 7,675 of his stack remaining after being blinded off for the first level and things looked bleak.
But if anyone knows how to grind a short stack, it is Hellmuth.
It took a good portion of the day, but eventually Hellmuth got back near his Day 1 starting stack and then found a huge double up with A-J to leave him with 64,900 to finish Day 2a play.
Shaun f Deeb, Mozhnyakov Killing It
Shaun Deeb had a strong Day 2a at the Main Event. He started with 62,000 in chips and from that point steadily built his stack.
Eventually, he built his stack up to nearly 300,000 in chips and finished the day with 294,700. This puts him solidly in the top 20 in chips of the Day 2a field.
Around the dinner break, Aleksandr Mozhnyakov emerged as the chip leader.
He had around 277,000 after the third level of play and before 30 minutes had passed in level four, he had built that stack up to 340,000.
A bit later, he took down a pot of around 100,000 chips when his pocket aces outran pocket jacks from another opponent.
He was nearly up to 500,000 at that point and finished the day with the chip lead and 478,600 in chips.
Just 822 runners survived Day 2a. At the top of the leaderboard with Mozhnyakov you have Tuan Vo with 434,500, Guillaume Darcourt with 410,500 and Stephane Albertini with 400,100.
Lisa Hamilton is the top female player to advance through Day 2a with 126,700. Tom McEvoy, the 1983 Main Event Champion, is still alive and has 143,600.
Fields from Day 1b and 1d will combine and descend on the Rio on Tuesday for Day 2b in hopes of surviving through to Day 3.
For more coverage from the WSOP, check our WSOP blogs from PokerJunkie blogger compncards.