Much of the attention at the World Series of Poker on Saturday was focused on the first true nosebleed tourney of the 2023 WSOP, Event #40: $250,000 Super High Roller No-Limit Hold’em. The elite event draws a select field of poker’s most accomplished pros, accompanied by a handful of well-heeled business types who dabble in the game from time to time.
One of those businessmen, Austin, Texas’s Dustin Bailey, led the way into Day 2 with a 4.85 million chip stack, the best of 37 players who survived the opening day. The 37 survivors represented roughly two thirds of the opening day’s 55 total entries.
Day 2 of the $250K SHR is similar to the WSOP Main Event and a few other elite events in that registration remains open until Day 2 play begins. 14 players found their way to the cashier’s cage before the first hand of the day was dealt, including Jeremy Ausmus, Mikita Badziakouski, Alex Foxen, Martin Kabrhel, Brynn Kenney, Brian Kim, Leonard Maue, Daniel Negreanu, Sean Perry, Rick Salomon, Sam Soverel, Leon Sturm, Christoph Vogelsang, and Sean Winter. The last-minute rush actually delayed the start of Day 2 action as players queued to get their starting stacks and seat assignments.
The day’s plan is to play 10 levels, which is expected to take the field down to about two tables. Of the max-late-regging players, only the Czech Republic’s Kabrhel made an early surge, rising all the way to fourth in chips after two and a half hours of play.
Day 1 leader Bailey backtracked a bit but remained among the leaders, though the top spot has been held through much of the early action by Florida’s Steven Veneziano, who started Day 2 in second place, just behind Bailey. Just behind Veneziano, through the early levels, is Phil Ivey, who started with a mundane 1.25 million in chips but quickly quadrupled his stack to move into the top ranks.
Many players went the other direction, busting in the day’s early action. Among those whose Day 2 was much shorter than hoped for were Jans Arends, Justin Bonomo, Nick Petrangelo, Sean Perry, Nick Schulman, Jeremy Ausmus, Mikita Badziakouski, Michael Moncek, Danny Tang, Chris Hunichen, Andrew Robl, Sean Winter, Adrian Mateos, Talal Shakerchi, John Hennigan, Leonard Maue, Jake Schindler, and Seth Davies.
The early Day 2 knockouts reduced the field to 32 players, or less than half of the full 69-entry roster. The late entries built the Event #40 prize pool to $17,181,000, and the final 11 players will cash. The money bubble is expected to burst sometime in the middle of Sunday’s Day 3.