WSOP Main Event: Billion dollar day

wsop2009_thn.gifWhen the World Series of Poker opens this afternoon, it will hit a milestone that would make Benny Binion proud. As of this afternoon, the WSOP will cross the $1 billion mark for total prize money awarded.

Between 1970-2005, the WSOP paid out $354,000,000 in total. Since then, the prize money has grown every year up to $180,774,427 in 2008. While we won't know the total amount for this year until sometime tomorrow, the WSOP Commissioner is already proud to report the big milestone.

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After smaller than normal numbers in the Day 1 A & B flights, we're expecting a much bigger field today. We're also planning to see a ton of familiar faces. Scheduled to play in Day 1C are William Thorson, Marcin Horecki, Isabelle Mercier, Daniel Negreanu, Dennis Phillips, Joe Hachem, Tom McEvoy, Ylon Schwartz, Gavin Griffin, Maridu "maridu" Mayrinck, Darus Suharto, Marcel Luske, and Hevad Khan.

The rest of the field is filling in behind and looks to be a big one. We won't know the numbers for a while this afternoon, but there's little chance it will be near as small as yesterday's 873.

In fact, Tournament Director Jack Effel has just announced that instead of only playing four levels (like Day 1A and 1B), today and tomorrow's field will play five and that they'll work out the difference on Day 2.

With the call of shuffle up and deal from Rep. Barney Frank, a crash of cymbals from a player at Table 88, and the riffling of thousands of chips, Day 1C is underway.

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STATISTICS OF THE HOUR

Number of players in full Native American headdress: 1

Number of players penalized before the start of play for crashing cymbals together: 1


TWEET OF THE HOUR

"No tweets today cause I think I'm at the feature table." -- @REALKIDPOKER