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The World Series of Poker main event is now in full swing with Day 2b of the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em championships coming to a close early this morning. Two of pokers greatest players and most recognizable names, Johnny Chan and Phil Helmuth, have both survived a day during which nearly 2000 players were sent to the rail. Phil couldn’t possibly have passed through the whole day without some sort of attention; his grating table chatter stirring up emotions in the players around him. Other well known faces to progress to Day 3 include: Jeff Madsen, John D’Agostino, Phil Gordon, Shawn Sheikham, Gus Hansen and Mike Matusow.

2,628 players, a record turn out for a WSOP Day 2, sat down yesterday as they attempted to join the 469 players who qualified from Day 2a. Amongst a raft of eliminations were a number of popular pros: Liz Lieu, David Singer, Amnon Filipi, John Juanda, Shannon Elizabeth, Carlos Mortensen, Phil Laak, Joe Hachem and Jerry Yang all failing to capitalize on their Day 1 performances.

Many news outlets jumped the gun, claiming that Alex Outhred was the days chip leader before official chip counts were released. Outhred is an instructor at the WSOP and has claimed the the tips he’s picked up from the likes of Annie Duke and Greg Raymer have been an invaluable asset in his main event assault. His quality was first evident when he made a WPT final table in 2006, although until now he has operated mainly under the radar. He is more likely to be known to the general public as the winner of FOX’s Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader for which he took home a cool $500,000.

Depsite laying claim to an impressive 486,000 chips, Outhred was ousted from the top spot by Peter Biebel, who picked up a huge late pot to propel himself into the lead. A very respectable 531,000 chips still leaves him trailing behind Day 2a chip leader Brian Schaedlich, who’s 801,000 chips makes him the runaway front runner going into Day 3.

The top 10 chip counts form Day 2b are:

Peter Biebel 531,000
Alex Outhred 486,800
Raja Kattamuri 411,100
Steven Goosen 362,100
Reagan Silber 355,500
Paul Snead 335,500
Rafael Caiaffa 334,500
Cornel Pazai 328,100
Matthew Calhoun 325,800
Terry Lade 315,000

Day 3 is set to begin in a few hours, at noon.