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Two WSOP Main Event Champs Reach Day 2 of PokerStars Summer Series Finale

September 09, 2023
PokerStars Summer Series

The $2,200 buy-in PokerStars Summer Series Event #3, the last of the tournament, is slated to play down to a winner on Sunday, and there's at least a reasonable chance the winner will be a former world champ.

Both Joe McKeehen and Jamie Gold advanced to Day 2 in the $500,000 guaranteed no-limit hold'em tournament. Gold won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event in 2006 for $12 million, while McKeehen took it down in 2015 for $7.7 million.

Champs Moving On

Jamie Gold
Jamie Gold

The two world champs bagged above average stacks following Day 1. McKeehen busted out to a fast start on Day 1a and finished with 464,000 chips, putting him in fourth place out of the 12 players who bagged from the session. Gold, with 344,000 chips, ended the Day 1b flight in ninth place out of the 17 players who survived the lengthy Friday grind.

Day 1c on Saturday, the final starting flight, produced the biggest field of them all. When registration closed after Level 12, 222 players were registered for the session, bringing the overall prize pool to $873,600, significantly higher than the $500,000 guarantee at Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia.

The session won't end until 12.5% of the field remains, or 28 players. When that occurs, the tournament as a whole will be down to 57 players, all of whom will come back at 11:15 a.m. ET on Sunday. Gold and McKeehen are locked in to Day 2. The plan is to play down to a winner on Sunday, but if it runs too long, the tournament staff could decide to push back the final table to Monday.

Both McKeehen and Gold bagged stacks on their first bullets, and they were the only WSOP Main Event champs in the field. Gold long held the record for winning the largest Main Event ever had that record cracked this summer. The $12 million he won in 2006 also topped the charts until July when Daniel Weinman received $12.1 million for beating out 10,043 players, easily surpassing Gold's record of 8,773.

Find Out How the Past WSOP Champs Perform on Day 2

The past world champions weren't the only big name players competing in the PokerStars USA sponsored event. Bin Weng, perhaps the hottest player in tournament poker this year, fired bullets in each of the Day 1 starting flights, although he didn't cash. Others to enter the tournament include PokerStars ambassadors Jen Shahade and Arlie Shaban, WSOP bracelet winner Frank Funaro, and tournament crusher Brian Altman.

The PokerNews live reporting team will keep you updated throughout Day 2 and into the final table of the PokerStars Summer Series finale. Stay tuned for what should be an exciting final day with the remaining players chasing a huge six-figure payout.