WSOP 2013: Record Day 1C flight, but smaller field heads to Day 2
In the end, the World Series of Poker had to close registration on the Main Event at some time. That time was today, a manic Monday that saw a gigantic field of 3,467 Day 1C players (the biggest single Main Event single-day flight in history). While it was a very harried time at the Rio, it was not busy enough to make up for the lighter fields on Day 1A and Day 1B. Total entries for the 2013 WSOP Main Event number 6,352, the smallest field since the U.S. Congress passed the UIGEA in 2006. WSOP execs still held their high, and with good enough reason. After all, there is a prize pool worth nearly $60 million in play.
What, if anything, this year's smaller field says about the state of the game is something that will have to be debated another time. For now there are several thousand people with their eyes on the $8.3 million first prize.
To be sure, more people wanted to get in. They just waited too long. It was clear in the melee we saw at registration deadline this afternoon. Their procrastination cost them a chance at riches.
Not only was this the biggest flight of the Day 1s overall, but it was also the day most of the Team Pros chose to come out. Eighteen people under the PokerStars flag survived Days 1A and 1B. Nearly twice that number came out for the last flight, led into battle by heavy hitting names like Jason Mercier, Daniel Negreanu, and Vanessa Selbst. Most of them survived with enough chips to make some hay on Day 2 (we'll post their counts Tuesday on our PokerStars WSOP players page)
Each flight has trimmed about a third of its players so far this year, and the PokerStars stable was not without its casualties caught in the cull. Day 1C saw 2010 champion Jonathan Duhamel, Team Pro Vanessa Rousso, and Team Online's Shane Schleger all fall in early action.
Most of the people in today's flight are not yet celebrities, no matter how much some want to be, how much some would like to avoid it, or how much some...er...stumbled into it. The next step toward WSOP fame begins tomorrow.
So, now we turn our attention to the two Day 2 flights. Days 1A and 1B will return Tuesday for another five levels of action. Then today's Day 1C flight comes back on Wednesday before the entire field meets for the first time on Thursday. It's a long road to hoe, but we'll get there eventually. At the end sits millions, and fight to win them will be monumental as ever.
Until then, we'll leave you with a time-lapse video of the nearby Mt. Charleston wildfire as photographed by poker pro William Reynolds.
Goodnight from the Rio.