Fatigue, thy name is Day 1A

Managing a field as large as this year's main event of the World Series of Poker is beyond daunting. The cards hit the felt just after 11 am on Thursday morning. At 1:41am, the chips are still clacking. We've almost played through seven levels. Seventy-one tables remain. Tournament Director Johnny Grooms says we're not stopping until several more tables are gone. The man has a job to do. He has to fit all of the survivors from the three flights into this room on Sunday. That means they play until Grooms says they stop playing.

I caught a tired Grooms in the back of the tournament room a while ago and he told me the official high-water mark of entrants was 5661. However, he said, the official number of entrants (not available until Sunday) will be smaller, likely somewhere in the 5540's, because a number of players will not be attending due to documented medical emergencies. That will mean a prize pool of just more than $54,000,000.

With 690 players remaining in this flight, Grooms says nobody leaves until we hit 650.

While we're waiting, here are all of today's reports from this side of the blog.

Shuffle Up and Deal: Day 1 begins

Wil Wheaton, Eric Bloore, John Gale, and a photo gallery of a whole bunch of players

Team Blog

Surviving the dinner break

Cannibalism, poker style