WSOP 2011: Biggest Main Event start in history?

wsop2011-thumb-blog.pngBelieve. Don't be a cynic. Don't be a doubter. Don't be a hater. Believe in the power of poker. Believe just how big it can be.

Frankly, one could take that speech and give it to a group of social misfits who need some life coaching. Because we don't have any of those around here (cough), we'll save it for poker.

Somewhere out there, a poker writer is digging up the old Mark Twain cliche about exaggerated reports of death. Not only is the WSOP not dead, it may just start playing Godzilla to the record books' Tokyo. Already this is the biggest WSOP in history when you include the preliminary events, Now, after days of hand-wringing and early reports the WSOP was on its way to an early grave, the WSOP PR machine is telling us that could be the biggest-ever Day 1 flight. When asked what kind of numbers we were looking at for the day, WSOP head PR guy Seth Palansky simply said, "Too many to count."

While official numbers won't be in until a little after dinner tonight, there is evidence of record-breaking numbers in the hallways. There was a line 20-deep outside the Sao Paulo Cafe in the Rio for breakfast . The crush to get toward the Amazon Room was tougher than it has been since last summer. Today, simply put, should be a fun be to watch.

As we slogged back to our sulphur-smelling hotel rooms after Day 1C last night to dreams of bed bugs with machine guns and career aspirations in the mortuary industry, Team PokerStars Pro JP Kelly bagged up more than 80,000 chips, good for Team Pro's chip lead and a great stack for Day 2. He'll be joined here tomorrow for Day 2A by Humberto Brenes (80,175), Juan Maceiras (79,850), Christophe de Meulder (65,700), Marcel Luske (62,250), Diwei Huang (61,150), Joe Cada (58,225), Julien Brecard (46,650), Tom McEvoy (45,000), Ville Wahlbeck (44,050), Daniel Negreanu (41,175), Jonathan Duhamel (41,150), Greg DeBora (40,450), Matthias de Meulder (33,850), Jason Mercier (28,650), Victoria Coren (27,150), Dennis Phillips (21,900), and Arnaud Mattern (15,125).


That was last night. Now we turn our attention to Day 1D, the last of the flights here in the 2011 Main Event. The tables will feature Team PokerStars Pros Noah Boeken, Liv Boeree, Ivan Demidov, Alexander Gomes, Barry Greenstein, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Angel Guillen, Tony Hachem, Theo Jorgensen, Victor Ramdin, Vanessa Rousso, and David Williams.

They just kicked off with 30,000 chips apiece. Here's to hoping they have more than that 12 hours from now.

For now...believe!

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker