WSOP 2017: Hard light of day begins Day 2 scrap
Late yesterday in Las Vegas, as the blistering sun dipped behind the Spring Mountains and the shimmering neon dragged its disciples to the Strip, PokerStars Blog got a little spiritual about the World Series of Poker.
We were caught up in the wonder of seeing 4,262 players sit down on a single day to play the $10,000 Main Event, guaranteeing that this would be the third-largest renewal in 47 years. They've been playing this series for nearly half a century, and yet it had never felt more relevant. Eight million dollars for the winner of a poker tournament. Think on that for a while.
But that was then, and this is now. Flash forward 10 hours, and the sun's up over Las Vegas again. People are jabbing their elbows into midriffs in the line for caffeine; merchandise hawkers are shoving sunglasses and bracelets and subscriptions to 12 months of something you won't like under your noses; and 2,219 players are bustling busily to the convention centre of the Rio Hotel & Casino, preparing for Day 2AB.
The time for mystical gobbledegook is over. It's now a scrap for survival.
Today is going to be frantic at the WSOP. Another five two-hour levels are scheduled, but they won't get anywhere close to reaching the money. It means that the only thing any player can guarantee for sure is the prospect of going home with nothing--and huge swaths of the field will be eliminated. Dreams will die a sad and lonely death.
The aim is to avoid it at all costs.
Along with all the other survivors from Days 1A and 1B, Barry Greenstein (146,800), Randy "nanonoko" Lew (90,900), Jen Shahade (50,100), Liv Boeree (45,700), Maria Konnikova (29,400) and Celina Lin (14,900) return today, hoping to wear the Red Spade of PokerStars all the way.
We hope to be chatting with nanonoko and Greenstein this afternoon, but as we wait for cards to be tossed in the air, you should catch up on our previous coverage featuring the other four:
A tag team talk with bracelet winners Liv and Igor
Konnikova seeking answers in the cards about life, poker, and everything
Secret's out: Jennifer Shahade now playing for two
Celina Lin on first-level eliminations
It's also worth a quick reminder of those payouts. You can bet everyone returning to the Amazon Room and beyond this afternoon won't be forgetting these key stats:
2017 World Series of Poker Main Event
Prize pool: $68 million
Places paid: 1,084 (min-cash $15,000)
Final table payouts:
1st - $8.15 million
2nd - $4.7 million
3rd - $3.5 million
4th - $2.6 million
5th - $2 million
6th - $1.675 million
7th - $1.425 million
8th - $1.2 million
9th - $1 million
The Danish player Morten Mortensen leads the field at this stage, having finished with 279,000 at the end of Day 1A. But as soon as he rips open the bag in which they have been safely stowed, they are on offer to everybody else. It's time for the scrap to begin again.
WSOP photos by PokerPhotoArchive.com.