The big moment of every World Series of Poker is always the start of the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship, better known as the Main Event. It was no different for this 45th series either, as cards were in the air to start the path toward crowning a new poker champion.
It was Joe Hachem, the 2005 Main Event winner, who was given the honor of opening the biggest and most important tournament of not only the series, but of the whole year. As far as poker tournaments go, none can compete with the Main Event in terms of number of participants and prestige, as no other tournament of the year with a $10k buy-in can attract even close to these numbers.
It is an important year for the WSOP as it celebrates its 10th anniversary since moving to the Rio from Binion’s Horseshoe, which was its home for 35 years. To celebrate this occasion, WSOP organizers decided to guarantee a $10,000,000 prize for the winner, which should result in a big turnout.
Play will be spread across three starting days. Day 2 will take place on Tuesday for players from Day 1A and Day 1B. Players from Day 1C, which traditionally gets the biggest turnout, will compete in their Day 2 on Wednesday. Finally, all players will take their seats together on Thursday and play down until the final table of nine is formed. The concept of November Nine still stands, however, so the winner of at least $10 million will be known after play on November 10th and 11th.
The number of participants in some of the previous events provide a clue that the Main Event will likely gather a huge field. The Monster Stack Event, for example, took down a couple records and the Millionaire Maker event certainly did not fall far behind. However, we will just have to wait and see how things develop as Day 1A did not produce such a huge number of entries – just 771.
The defending champion, Ryan Riess, is one of those who decided to try their luck today. As the day is coming to an end, his stack is looking very healthy. If he wants to have any shot at defending the title, making Day 2 is an obligatory step. Riess is looking good to do it as things stand right now.
Other notable names who are also still in the mix with the end of the day looming include Antonio Esfandiari, Annette Obrestad, Chris Moneymaker, Greg Merson, and many others. Jason Mercier was eliminated, so the series is over for him. The same goes for Phil Laak, Jeff Gross, and Jean-Robert Bellande. The latter decided to register to play super late and it did not help his cause of surviving the day.
We are at the start of the biggest yearly poker event and there is a lot ahead to look forward to. One thing that might disappoint some fans is Doyle Brunson’s announcement via Twitter that he would not be playing the Main Event this year. Let’s hope the ten-time WSOP champ and poker legend changes his mind.
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