WSOP 2017: Akkari, Agarwal, Fatima shine as huge Day 1C turnout creates largest field since 2010
Not to get all mystical here at the end of the third and last Day 1 flight of the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event, but we were thinking...
People play poker. But poker plays people, too.
(Insert mind blown animated .gif here.)
Practically all of the players we've talked to over the last three days have addressed this commonly understood aspect of our favorite card game -- that when we play the game, it plays with our ideas of, well, just about everything. Indeed, the psychological battle not to let the win or loss of a single hand overly influence thinking about ourselves and/or the world can be sometimes be difficult to resist.
That said, a lot of poker people are feeling very hopeful about the future at the end of Day 1C. The majority of those who played today ended the night with chips -- around 3,300 -- and will return on Wednesday for their Day 2 flight. Added to the 2,219 who made it through Days 1A and 1B, and there are still more than 5,500 players still with a chance to become poker's next world champion.
But consider this -- a whopping 4,262 players took part today for Day 1C, meaning the overall total number of entries has topped off at 7,221 players. That's nearly 500 more than a year ago, the most in the WSOP Main Event since 2010, and the third-largest WSOP Main Event ever.
Talk about cause for optimism. And with a total prize pool of $67,877,400, 1,084 places paid, and those making the final table guaranteed at least $1 million each with a $8.15 million first prize up top, everyone left is positively bullish about the future.
From today's starting field a late night rush saw Jerome Brion, Rudy Sawa, Carl Carodenuto, and Jason Mann among the big stacks all approaching a quarter million and feeling the finest about everything. That said, no one appeared to challenge end-of-Day-1A leader Morten Mortensen's 276,000.
We knew from the start of play today it was going to be a big one. And after the initial housekeeping was taken care of and hands started to be dealt, we had a feeling as well that thanks to the deep starting stacks and slow structure, there wouldn't be that much attrition among the Day 1C participants, relatively speaking.
Team PokerStars Pro was well represented today with numerous players in action. We talked to several along the way.
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier shared thoughts about his huge $2.2 million-plus score for finishing runner-up in the High Roller One Drop. With Andre Akkari we discussed poker, patience, and pups. Grospellier limped to the finish with just 5,300, but Akkari steadily accumulated all day to end with 189,900.
And with Daniel Negreanu there were a variety of topics covered, among them problems with this year's WSOP Player of the Year system and showing your hole cards on televised tables.
Speaking of the latter, Negreanu and Mercier were on the TV table much of the day, tangling in pots along the way. Both survived those skirmishes and others, with Negreanu bagging 26,200 and Mercier 28,500. (Meanwhile Natasha Mercier ended among the day's leaders with 218,000.)
Among the other red spades, Aditya Agarwal was an early chip leader today, and as it happened we spent the enter day talking with him level-by-level. He ended in fine shape with 150,900, and you can read all about how he built that stack right here.
Things didn't go as well for Victor Ramdin whose day ended prior to the bagging.
Meanwhile Fatima Moreira de Melo (143,100), Felipe Ramos (112,900), Jake Cody (55,600), and Kevin Martin of Team Online (53,200) each made it through.
We must mention as well the newest member of Team PokerStars Pro who also played today, Jeff Gross -- whose joining of the team was just announced this morning. Gross survived to Day 2 as well with 30,300.
Back here Tuesday at 11 a.m. along with all of those who made it through 1A and 1B to see who among the many left will keep their tourney journey going.
We're feeling good about what's to come, as are many of those left. That's how poker has been playing us so far. Come back tomorrow and follow where the game takes us next.
WSOP photos by PokerPhotoArchive.com.