WSOP Main Event takes off; Day 1A field sees 44% increase from 2018

The biggest WSOP event of all has finally arrived – event 73. The $10,000 NLH Main Event is underway, with the first of three starting day flights having played out last night. With the smoke having cleared after the opening salvos, we have all the latest on risers and fallers to bring you.

Typically, the first starting flight is the smallest, meaning that we cannot get an accurate read on total entries yet, but numbers are significantly up on day 1A in 2018, which is surely a good sign. Joe Giron PokerNews
WSOP Main Event – Photo Joe Giron – Credit Pokernews/

Event overview

The first day of the $10,000 buy in Main Event involved five two-hour levels, with the structure beginning at 100/200 with a 200 ante and ending at 300/600 with a 600 ante. With this slow structure, the event will feature two additional starting flights and a final table broken up into three days of play, resulting in a total of 13 separate days of play. The event will conclude on July 16th. Last year, 7,874 players played the Main Event, making it the largest field since the record-setting 8,773 runners of 2006. Could we see the record challenged this year?

Day 1A overview

One of the most interesting stories to already come out of the Main Event is that Day 1A has seen a large increase in entry numbers compared to last year’s tournament. 1,335 players took their seats on the opening event, which represents approximately a 40% increase on the 925 of last year. If the following two starting flights follow the same pattern we could yet see one of the biggest Main Event fields in history. 960 players survived the first day this time around, with the leading stack topping 417,000. The average stack is currently 83,438 with players having started with 60,000 chips.

Day 1A chip leaders

Bryan Campanello
Bryan Campanello – Photo / Pokernews

The man at the top of the pile after day 1A is Bryan Campanello. The 2013 $2,500 Razz champion is looking to add a second bracelet to his tally, and has started in the best way possible, bagging up 417,500 chips at the end of day 1A. He has a comfortable advantage over US compatriot Raymond Travis Rice, who sits is next on the list with 335,000. Timothy Su is a little further back with 297,300. The pack bunches up a little after that, with just 21,000 separating 4th and 10th place.

Notable survivors

Many of the big names have yet to make their entrance into this year’s Main Event, but of those who have, the following notable names are marching on with plenty of chips: 2016 champion Qui Nguyen (180,500), Jeff Lisandro (180,100), Faraz Jaka (174,100), Alex Foxen (173,200), Kelly Minkin (137,100), Niklas Astedt (129,300), Igor Kurganov (129,100), Brian Hastings (124,200), Allen Cunningham (116,700). Slightly further down the order is Brian Rast with (109,100), Justin Bonomo (96,000), Chris Moneymaker (95,000) and Kevin MacPhee (82,500).

Asian players through to day 2

There are plenty of Asian hopes among the field for this event, with the following players having bagged a big stack: Japan’s Takehiro Kato (259,200), China’s Yuan Li (218,900), China’s Dong Guo (166,800), Macau’s Yee How Lee (158,600), Japan’s Simon Casserly (139,200). Further down the order and above starting stack are Japan’s Shintaro Baba (97,800), Macau’s Huidong Gu, China’s Chao Duan (96,900), China’s Franklin Yao (81,900), India’s Abhinav Iyer (79,500), Hong Kong’s Kunal Jain (65,800) and Japan’s Kento Mori (64,700).

In the field: shots fired

Social media has provided us with two more interesting moments during the first day’s action, as Liv Boeree was busted out of the tournament by her boyfriend Igor Kurganov. She immediately took to Twitter to voice the fact that her boyfriend is not currently in her good books.

Elsewhere in the field, David Williams took out his phone to record a huge pot between him and another player, later uploading it to Twitter. Having flopped the nut straight, all the chips went in against his opponent’s top set. The turn of course, brought quads and that put an end to Williams’ campaign.

Stay tuned to Somuchpoker for daily reports on the biggest event of the year.

Article by Craig Bradshaw