Galen Hall now has a WSOP bracelet to go along with his PCA Main Event win. (WSOP photo)

After all the madness that was a record-setting Day 1C of the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event, a rather modest 2,453 players made their way back to the Rio for Day 2AB.

Just a little more than half – 1,244 to be exact – of those players managed to find a bag with chips in it at the end of the night after another five levels of play. Leading the way is California’s Shawn Daniels who built his stack from 84,200 to a 532,000. Daniels was one of just five players to end the day with more than a half-million chips.

Sean Ruane, younger brother of former November Niner and last year’s 10th place finisher Michael Ruane, ended the day with 361,400.

Some of the more well-known players to bag chips on Thursday incldued Ben Yu (311,000), Jason Strasser (283,900), Darryll Fish (278,800), Chris Klodnicki (266,900), Marvin Rettenmaier (256,400), Darren Elias (240,700), Mustapha Kanit (235,800) and Shaun Deeb (218,300).

Michael Mizrachi Rides Roller Coaster All Day Long

Over the first two days of play, poker fans at home have been tuning in to watch Michael Mizrachi play his aggressive style and he’s rewarded them. Mizrachi finished Day 2AB with 62,500 after a day that the four-time WSOP bracelet winner described as frustrating.

“I was playing a lot of pots, but I couldn’t get anything going. All my big starting hands lost, which I didn’t have many but every one I had couldn’t hold or I got out-flopped,” said Mizrachi.

Mizrachi, who has cashed in the Main Event three times over the course of his career, knows that his strategy needs to change when he comes back for Day 3.

“The first two days I’ll play a lot more hands as I get a feel for the table and I can take those risks. The blinds are so small, so you try to flop hands and bust people and build a big, huge stack, so I’m prepared for Day 3, Day 4, Day 5,” said Mizrachi. “Now, Day 3 is a totally different gameplan. I’ve got to just sit back and wait for good spots, look for the weaker players and attack them when you’re in position. I’ve got to be patient.”

Not Everybody Found a Bag – Some Found the Exit

There were some players who unfortunately saw their run at hte $8.8 million first place prize money come to an end on Day 2AB. Included in that group were David Tuchman, Dan Smith, Justin Bonomo, John Hesp, Erik Seidel, Joe Hachem, Tony Dunst, Andre Akkari, and Antoine Saout,

Top 10 Day 2AB Chip Counts

    1. Shawn Daniels – 532,500
    2. Eric Liebeler – 531,000
    3. Samuel Bernabeu – 524,000
    4. Michael Dyer – 502,400
    5. Casey McCarrel – 501,800
    6. Brian Borne – 496,000
    7. Frank Bonacci – 486,300
    8. David Cabrera Polop – 483,800
    9. Smain Mamouni – 481,500
    10. Mohamed Mokrani – 480,000

Galen Hall Goes from Retiree to Bracelet Winner

The $888 Crazy Eights event was supposed to end on Tuesday, but the final three players decided to bag up their chips and return to play on Thursday to give each of them a chance to play Main Event Day 1C. Turned out to be a pretty good decision for Galen Hall. The now-retired poker pro started with the chip lead and finished off his final two competitors to win the first bracelet of his career.

“I thought I definitely had an edge today. On Tuesday, after a whole long day of play, it’s just harder to switch things up. People are a little tired, and I thought I had a good read on what was going on,” said Hall. “Today, I had to scale it back for the first 30 minutes or so to see – a lot of times players will get coaching, or they get rest, they change their style a little bit if there’s time off. Luckily, I ran hot, so it didn’t matter.”

Hall added $888,888 to his lifetime earnings which now pushes him past the $5,000,000 mark.

It took a little bit more than 90 minutes for Hall to best Niels Herregodts in third and Eduards Kudrjavcevs in second.

Hall won the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in 2011 but has spent less and less time playing poker over the last few years, focusing on his career as a hedge fund manager.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Galen Hall – $888,888
  2. Eduards Kudrjavcevs – $476,888
  3. Niels Herregodts – $355,888
  4. Andrey Zaichenko – $266,888
  5. Alexander Kuzmin – $201,888
  6. Jeremiah Miesen – $153,888
  7. Martin Stausholm – $117,888
  8. Philip Tom – $90,888