There had been a whopping 4,620 entrants to start the sucker, so far the largest field of any tournament at the WSOP this summer, although the Main Event (which starts today) will eclipse that by a lot. There had been two Day 1s which ran a little short, meaning Day 2 had to play a bit longer in order to keep with the schedule.
That meant we began at 1 p.m. yesterday and didn’t finish until close to 3 a.m. so they could play nearly 11 one-hour levels. A total of 51 players made it through to today’s Day 3 when they’ll be playing down to a final table of nine, then come back to finish it on Sunday.
Everyone was getting a bit punchy by the end, but the mood was quite upbeat. As the last level began, a short-stacked player noticed how everyone had started to become tired, and so he offered a proposal to his table mates.
“If you guys want to leave now, I’ll bag your chips for you, no problem,” he said. “For free!”
I’ve written before about these $1K events and how for a lot of the players who make it deep they often provide a first significant tourney score. As a result, even those who bust near the end are usually in good spirits, and a lot of camaraderie tends to build among the participants -- and even with those of us reporting on it, too -- after sharing such a long journey together.
I remember at one point last night a player remarking they’d crossed another pay jump. “We’re all guaranteed at least $10,800,” he noted once the field had shrunk to 54. “Now the money’s getting good.”
Before long his table was ordering beers as the final hands of the night played out, toasting and congratulating one another. Somewhere in there one player related to me his story of how it was his first ever WSOP event, and it was hard not to share his excitement.
The remaining players will reconvene today in the Pavilion room, clearly part of the undercard at the WSOP today as the start of the Main Event will be occupying the majority of everyone’s attention.
Yesterday I noticed the long line of folks waiting to register for the Main Event as well as other tourneys (including satellites) and snapped this photo. The line extended all of the way down the hall, past the various booths and extending toward the parking lot entrance.
I’ve heard various predictions regarding the possible turnout for the Main Event, including some indicating that it will exceed 7,000. There are three Day 1s scheduled, and I believe we’ll see the fields get larger each day.
I don’t know how others are experiencing it all, but the Main Event has kind of snuck up on me this year. Perhaps because I won’t be moving over to help cover it until a few days in this time -- I’ll be riding out Event No. 59 this weekend, and won’t hop in over at the ME until Day 2 -- I’m a little less conscious of it this time.
Soon, though, the Main Event will be all. The mood will remain upbeat, even carnivalesque for the early stages. Then will come the increasing tension as the money bubble approaches (to burst on Friday, Day 4). And the excitement will build anew after that as the field gets smaller, they start moving tables out of the Amazon, until finally just nine players from the thousands who started will remain.
I wouldn’t miss it!