Welcome back to the 2014 World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific. Two starting flights are in the books, and a combined 324 players have turned out for this event; what's more, that number will go up as late registration is open until the start of play today, and there are already two confirmed late registrants.
Not including those who enter late, Day 2 will begin with 182 players and German high-stakes pro Tobias Reinkemeier leading the pack with 171,925. Reinkemeier amassed his chips on Day 1a, while last night Australian pro Tam Truong bagged up 155,875 to finish as the Day 1b chip leader. Others who will begin today with a big stack are Asa Smith (156,450), Ivan Zhou (153,200), Kahle Burns (152,050), Michael O'Grady (148,475), Craig Blight (144,950), and Victor Teng (140,325).
One player who will not be returning is last year's winner Daniel Negreanu, who was eliminated late on Day 1b. That said, some of last year's finalist are still in contention. The aforementioned Burns finished fifth last year, while Winfred Yu and Russell Thomas — fifth and eighth respectively last year — will be in action. Toss is last year's seventh-place finisher, Mikel Habb, and half of last year's final still have a shot at repeat appearances.
Two other players to keep an eye on are George Danzer (61,850) and Brandon Shack-Harris (35,975). The latter began the 2014 WSOP APAC atop the WSOP Player of the Year leaderboard, but a tight race saw Danzer pull ahead when he won his third gold bracelet of the year when he took down Event #8: $5,000 8-Game Mixed for AU$84,600. Danzer holds a considerable lead, but if Shack-Harris is somehow able to make a run at the title he'll give Danzer a run for his money.
Other notables in today's field include Jesse Sylvia (123,050), Brian Rast (107,925), Jackie Glazier (98,500), Jonathan Duhamel (77,850), Shane Warne (69,800), Greg Merson (64,200), Jonathan Little (56,150), Ami Barer (50,675), Jeff Rossiter (49,975), Jeff Lisandro (48,875), Phil Hellmuth (24,150) and Joe Hachem (20,325).
Cards will be in the air at 12:30 p.m. local time, which is a little under an hour from now. The plan for the day is to play six 90-minute levels, and we'll be here every step of the way to bring you all the live updates from the floor of the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia.