WSOP 2017: The end of the beginning
Good morning everybody and welcome back to Las Vegas for what is best described as the end of the beginning.
Today is Day 1C of the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event, the final flight in this three-pronged opening day. In short, if you haven't ponied up $10,000 by the start of the fourth level of play today (around 7:10pm), you're not in it. You've missed out on the chance to be World Champion and pick up close to a $10 million payday.
That would be a clear mistake because every indication so far points to this being a very big tournament. Numbers on Day 1A were at a six-year high. Numbers on Day 1B were similarly landmark-setting. Even before today's largest flight, 2,959 people have entered this event, and the Day 1C crowd is usually well over the first two flights combined.
Qui Nguyen beat a field of 6,737 last year. It seems highly likely we'll coast past 7,000 this time.
With the masses come the quality. Today's the day when Team PokerStars Pro will come out in force, led by the two-time Player of the Year and six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu.
Negreanu told the Blog yesterday that he will be there at the very start (full interview coming today), strapping in for what he'll hope to be another five two-hour levels of play.
Jason Mercier, Jason Somerville, ElkY, Fatima Moreira de Melo, Leo Fernandez, Andre Akkari, Victor Ramdin, Felipe Ramos, Aditya Agarwal, Jake Cody, Kevin Martin and new recruit Jeff Gross will also take their seats.
We'll be catching up with all the Red Spade superstars as they start their efforts this morning. Play begins at 11am Vegas time and we'll be on hand throughout the day.
WSOP photos by PokerPhotoArchive.com.