Today's Day 1b attracted fewer runners than we saw yesterday, with 1,504 total coming out to take their shot at this last of the $1,000 open-field buy-in events. Put together with yesterday's field of 2,340, and that made 3,844 entrants altogether, creating a total prize pool of $3,459,000.
There were relatively fewer so-called "name" pros in our field today as compared to yesterday, too, although there were a number of familiar faces scattered among the many tables as we made our first walk throughs early in the afternoon. Among those who came and -- ultimately -- went, were Chris Moneymaker, Barry Shulman, Chad Brown, Men Nguyen, J.C. Tran, David Wiliams, Ken Aldridge, and Phil Ivey.
Midway through the day Andrew Talbot won a huge hand versus Peter Feldman, knocking out Feldman and catapulting Talbot into the chip lead. He'd remain among the leaders at the top of the counts for most of the day, joined near evening's end by Jeremy Wilck, Anthony Gargano, Yuval Bronshtein, and Josh Barnes.
However, all will be chasing James Dempsey when the two Day One flights join together tomorrow. The British pro amassed a huge stack of more than 140,000 on Day 1a, and will return on Saturday to unbag the biggest pile of chips in the room.
About 600 others will join Dempsey tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. local time to continue their quest for the WSOP bracelet and that $570,960 first prize. Come back then to see who makes it through to the top 396 spots and the money, and who is able to take their WSOP Event #54 journey even further.