When Day 2 of Event #49: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Championship began at the World Series of Poker, Ryan Hughes sat atop the counts after a strong finish on Day 1. That's exactly where he wound up 12 hours later, but it wasn't exactly smooth sailing.
Hughes started the day with 475,400 and ended with 2,366,000. In between, though, he dipped all the way down to 38,000 at 2,000/4,000, at which point he had one of the shortest stacks in the room. That was after Joseph Liberta picked him off on a huge bluff with Hughes jamming the river holding top two but Liberta having trip nines.
However, Hughes recovered in a hurry. He had ten-times that number two hours later and then moved up to 800,000 after getting multiple streets of value from Richard Gryko with aces that turned into the nut flush.
The big hand that cemented his lead, however, took place in the penultimate level of the evening at 6,000/12,000. Six-time bracelet winner Layne Flack raised it up and got two callers. A ten-high flop saw Flack bet just under pot for 100,000 and Hughes continue. Flack check-called 300,000 on a brick turn and then front-jammed 300,000 when the board paired on the river. Hughes quickly called with top boat to send Flack to the rail and move over 2 million when his nearest rivals were barely cracking 1 million.
Along with Hughes, 36 others made it through, including second-place Rep Porter (1.7 million), Brandon Shack-Harris (1.2 million), Scotty Nguyen (897,000) and poker YouTube star Joey Ingram (749,000).
All of them are well into the money as the bubble burst just under an hour after the dinner break. Shawn Buchanan and Randy Ohel went down at virtually the same time to let the rest of the field fade any hand-for-hand play.
Some of the players who busted and got paid included Connor Drinan, Joe Hachem, Robert Mizrachi, and Ben Lamb.
Hachem experienced a highly unlucky bustout when he flopped aces full against Brandon Shack-Harris, who flopped quad kings. All the money went in on the river and Hachem went to the rail.
The remaining 37 runners are all in contention for a hefty first-place prize of $1,018,336. They're scheduled to play down to a winner on Day 3 starting at 2 p.m., but it may be a tall order with such a number. Keep an eye on the live updates here on PokerNews to see if it happens.