Event #46: $50,000 Poker Players' Championship

Mercier Leads After Day 2; One Former Champion Remains

• Taso 10
Jason Mercier

With 802,600 chips, Jason Mercier leads the 55 survivors after Day 2 of the 2014 $50,000 Poker Players' Championship. The two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner was the only player to bag over 800,000 chips, and eliminated Brian Rast in a big pot-limit Omaha hand during the final level of the evening. Mercier, who has over $10.6 million in career live tournament earnings, has only recorded two six-figure scores since May of 2013, and will be looking to return to his winning ways in this marquee bracelet event.

Joining Mercier atop the counts are Jonathan Duhamel (783,000), Shaun Deeb (724,400), David Steicke (711,100), Matt Glantz (522,800). Glantz is in search of his third career final table in this event – he finished fourth in 2008 for $568,320, and fifth in 2011 for $376,750.

Also among the Day 2 survivors are Scott Seiver, John Hennigan, Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, and 2014 bracelet winners Brandon Shack-Harris, Calvin Anderson, Robert Mizrachi, and Brock Parker.

David Bach (17,400) is the only defending champion standing after 10 levels of play over two days, and has a lot of work to do on Day 3 and beyond if he wants to take a repeat trip to the winner's circle. Matthew Ashton (2013) exited after a pot-limit Omaha hand against John Monnette, Michael Mizrachi (2012, 2010) was done in by John Juanda in a hand of razz, Frank Kassela busted Scotty Nguyen (2008) in a hand of stud, and, as mentioned above, Mercier busted Rast (2011).

Freddy Deeb (2007) didn’t participate in this year’s event.

Registration closed at 4 p.m. PT on Monday, and a total of 102 players ponied up 50 dimes to play, generating a total prize pool of $4,896,000. It is the smallest $50,000 mixed game championship since 2009 (95 entries), and the $1,517,767 first-place prize is the third smallest of all time. The top 14 players will earn a minimum of $99,388, and each member of the seven-handed official final table will pocket a minimum of $165,435.

Among the players who busted on Day 2 and will not reach the money were 2014 WSOP bracelet winners Dan Heimiller, Paul Volpe, Dan Kelly, and Player of the Year leader George Danzer. Daniel Negreanu, Jeff Lisandro, and Gus Hansen all exited as well.

Hansen played a near half million-chip pot with 2010 WSOP Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel in Level 9. The Great Dane had a flush draw against the French-Canadian’s over pair, and Duhamel held.

The 2014 $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship will resume on Tuesday at 2 p.m. PT. Be sure to return to PokerNews for live coverage straight from the tournament floor for this and every bracelet event at the 2014 World Series of Poker.

We caught up with Shaun Deeb, who's third in chips, at the end of the day.

Tagit: Jason Mercier