Often called the “last great American gold rush”, the World Series of Poker's Main Event was off to a fast start yesterday with 771 runners taking their seats in hopes to be one of the 2014 November Nine and get their shot at the promised $10 milly first place prize.
Sure, 771 is probably a little lower than organizers had hoped would turn out for the initial flight of the Main, but don’t count this Main Event out just yet. According to WSOP.com, over 4,000 people – both online and in person – attempted to satty into the Main yesterday giving high hopes to massive Day 1B and Day 1C flights.
Furthermore, just because the number was a little down didn’t detract from the excitement of yesterday as amateurs and pros stormed the castle Rio for, what many hope, will be a marathon event. As “Salty” Joe Hachem performed his ambassador-like duties of announcing “Shuffle Up and Deal”, play got underway and it didn’t take long before the chips began to fly.
A ton of notable names were spotted in the field on Saturday, a list so long we couldn’t possibly name them all…but here’s a bunch of them: Martin Jacobson holds the overnight chip lead while Aaron “WiltOnTilt” Wilt finished the night in 2nd.
Evolution of a #WSOP chip stack. Martin Jacobson bags 200,100 after Day 1a of the #MainEvent.
Right behind those two are big time talents Kenny “Sick Call” Tran, WPT Player of the Year Mukul Pahuja and the “Orient Express” 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Johnny Chan who all have top ten chip stacks.
That’s just the top ten.
Nick DiVella, Kevin MacPhee, Layne “Back-to-Back” Flack, German sickos Ole Schemion and Martin Finger, Barny Boatman, Noah Schwartz, David Vamplew, Hasan Habib, Justin Bonomo, Maria Mayrinck, Max Altergott, David Singer and the one and only Mike “The Mouth” Matusow all ended the day with above average (45,800 avg.) chip stacks.
Ultimate Poker ambassador and 2012 One Drop Champ Antonio Esfandiari and WSOPE Main Event Winner Annette Obrestad finished with ton of chips as well.
Four previous WSOP Main Event Champions finished the day still in the game as Ryan Riess (2013), Chris Moneymaker (2003), Tom McEvoy (1983) and Greg Merson (2012) all will be back for Day 2. In Merson’s case he’d better run it up quickly as he finished the day with one of the lowest recorded chipstacks at 7K (according to PokerNews).
You want even more names? OK, you got it.
Bill “The Businessman” Perkins, Hac Dang, Hoyt Corkins, Abe “Out On Bail” Mosseri, 2013 runner-up Jay Farber, Joe Tehan, Mr. WPT Mike Sexton, Lee Watkinson, Lee Markholt, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, David Benefield, Cory Zeidman, Andy Bloch, “Miami” John Cernuto, Kyle Cartwright, Josh Arieh, Amanda Musumeci, Andrew “Luckychewy” Lichtenberger, Tony “Bond18” Dunst and Randal Flowers all held on to some of their stack though the first 5 levels of play.
The same can’t be said for these big time talents that hit the rail on Day 1A. Jason Mercier, Marc-Etienne McLaughlin, Jeff Gross, reality star Trishelle Cannatella, “All American” Dave Swanson, Steve Gee and even late registration couldn’t help Jean-Robert Bellande hold on to chips this summer.
Sadly, our pick to win everything, all time time, Phil Laak went busto as well. He may have lost all his chips, but he leaves the Rio in style.
While there’s still two starting days left and, no doubt, a plethora of big name stars will take their seats, one man who made a promise not to be in the Rio for the Main is, unfortunately, Doyle Brunson who shot this message out to his fans.
The action will intensify today as Day 1B will bring another hoard of dreamers to the Amazon room. For all the updates, make sure you give the hard workers at PokerNews some love. Catch up with all the action of Day 1B starting that 12pm PST.
If you want to read more about what went down on Day 1A, there’s no shortage of material. Like these: