2013 WSOP Main Event: Brunson Makes a Run, Merson Eyes Back-to-Back
The surviving players from the first two opening flights of the 2013 WSOP Main Event returned to the Rio on Tuesday to play Day 2a/b.
Several big names were still in the field including last year's Champion, Greg Merson, the two top ladies who narrowly missed the final table and a player who claimed he was through with tournament poker.
One Last Run for Brunson?
When Doyle Brunson announced prior to the start of the 2013 WSOP that he was going to skip the events, many figured that he would come back for at least the Main Event.
He returned a bit early to play in the $50,000 Poker Player's Championship and did indeed return to not only play the Main Event but survive to Day 2.
Brunson began Day 2a/b on Tuesday with a respectable 81,025 and proceeded to chip up throughout the day to finish with 224,000. Most of this stack came from a huge double-up hand where a player with A-K put him to the test for just over 80k in chips.
Doyle woke up with rockets and the Rio exploded with cheers when those aces held. The average chip stack at present is 45k so Brunson is in great shape to make a deep run in this event.
Doyle hasn't cashed in a WSOP event since 2009 and has not made the money in the Main Event since 2004. It would be an amazing story if Brunson could somehow make the November Nine at the age of 80.
Obrestad Top Woman
A lot of focus was placed on Gaelle Baumann and Elisabeth Hille during Day 2a/b due of course to their 10th and 11th-place finishes in the 2012 WSOP Main Event.
Baumann started the day with a short stack and was soon eliminated but Hille is looking for another deep run.
Hille finished Day 2a with 114,300, well above average, but is not the top woman of the day. She's not even the top Norwegian woman, actually.
Former WSOP Europe Main Event champion Annette Obrestad is currently the top woman with 196,600. Other ladies finishing the day with strong stacks include Melanie Weisner at 173k, Liv Boeree at 158k and Lauren Kling at 115k.
Back-to-Back for Merson?
Reigning Main Event Champion Greg Merson had a strong day on the felt in defense of his 2012 title.
He started with a stack similar to Brunson's at 81,650 and continually worked his stack to finish Day 2a in 18th place with 275,600 in chips. After winning two bracelets last year, including the Main Event title, Merson has gone 0 for the 2013 WSOP. Perhaps he is saving up his "run good" for the Main Event.
The last repeat champion in the Main Event was Johnny Chan who won the 1987 and 1988 Main Events. Chan made heads-up play in the 1989 Main Event abut lost to a-then-relatively unknown player by the name of Phil Hellmuth.
Nick Schwarmann was the top dog after 2a/b with 413,600 in chips. Right behind him is Jason DeWitt with 382,900. Other players near the top include Steve Gee, Kenny Tran, David Benefield and Adam Friedman.
Day 2c will kick off on Wednesday with players from the last flight of the opening round looking to build some chips to make a run at the money.
Michael Mizrachi will join Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu and others as they try to make a run at the 2013 Championship.