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Artan Dedusha Takes Overall Lead Into Day 3 of WSOP Main Event

Play concluded in Day 2c of the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event early Thursday morning. This was the last day where the first three starting flights were separated, meaning all remaining players will converge into one massive field for Day 3 on Thursday at 11 a.m.

A field of 3,300 players returned Wednesday to continue on their path to Main Event glory, and at the end of it there are still plenty of big names advancing, as well as more unknown players ready to spring an upset.

Leading at the end of Day 2c — and leading overall going into Day 3 — is British player Artan Dedusha in his very first Main Event. He told us as the day ended that his aim was to double his stack to around 200,000-220,000 on Day 2. He ended up with more than three times that amount with 680,000.

“I held up, I won the races, I was on the better end of a cooler. But also I played good.”

Dedusha, who has just over $100,000 in cashes to his name, mostly in England, had an eventful day, cracking kings when his pocket fives flopped a set, and cracking aces when he flopped two pair.

“I guess I ran good,” Dedusha said. “I lost a few pots as well, but mainly I ran good. I held up, I won the races, I was on the better end of a cooler. But also I played good. I picked up many small pots here and there.

“I’m happy, I’m very happy. But, I’m not that excited because I’ve seen so many things. I’ve gone up and down, up and down. It doesn’t mean anything right now. You never know.”

Also bagging big stacks were Marcin Chmielewski (564,000), Michael Krasienko (561,300), Sonny Franco (546,700), and Player of the Year contender and two-time bracelet winner Ryan Hughes (510,100).

It was tough a day for former Main Event champions. Ryan Riess, Joe McKeehen and Phil Hellmuth all fell, with 2000 Main Event Champion and 2017 POY contender Chris Ferguson also eliminated when his {a-}{k-} ran into {2-}{2-} on a flop of {k-}{j-}{2-}.

Multiple bracelet-winners Men Nguyen, Paul Volpe, JC Tran, Antonio Esfandiari, and Loren Klein, as well as November Niners Griffin Benger, Federico Butteroni and Max Steinberg, also won’t be advancing.

Fan favorites Maria Ho, Bertrand Grospellier, Anthony Zinno and Gus Hansen were also eliminated. Joining them on the rail was William Kassouf, who was eliminated early in the day.

William Kassouf

Both Kassouf and opponent Dany Georges held jack-ten on an {8-}{9-}{10-}{q-} board when the money got in, but importantly for Georges he held a redraw to a diamond flush to eliminate the loud-mouthed Brit. The all-important diamond fell on the river and the Main Event lost one of its loudest and polarizing voices.

Two-time $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Heads-up Championship runner-up John Smith also came back on Day 2c, but was eliminated after he failed to pull off a monster bluff with just a single pair. His opponent called with a set to eliminate Smith in Level 7.

Former Main Event champions Scotty Nguyen, Johnny Chan, Joe Cada, and Carlos Mortensen are still in contention. Other notables include 888poker Ambassador Dominik Nitsche, Jake Cody, Felipe Ramos, Cate Hall, and 2016 November Niner Fernando Pons.

Natasha Mercier bagged 218,000 at the end of Day 1c, and found herself bagging over 470,000 at the culmination of another ten hours of play. Meanwhile, her husband Jason started a lot shorter with only 28,000 and he managed to chip up to 150,000 before bagging 101,000.

“When I see him at the table I really want him to do well, but at the same time I want to beat him.”

When asked if they found it distracting to be playing in the same tournament, Natasha said it was business as usual.

“I think we’re both very competitive,” Natasha said. “So when I see him at the table I really want him to do well, but at the same time I want to beat him. I’m like hoping to get more chips than he does.”

“I don’t really wanna beat Natasha,” Jason said. “Actually, it’s nice to see her still in the event. Especially when she has so many chips, so hopefully if I bust, she can go on and go really deep. It’s awesome that we’re both still in. We’ve never both made day three.”

All those advancing from Day 2c will join together with the 1,023 players that advanced from Day 2ab for Day 3 on Thursday. Cards will be in the air at 11 a.m. local time, and PokerNews will be there to cover the action from start to finish.

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