The fourth and final Day 1 flight has come to a close. Today saw the largest field of all four flights -- 2,391 -- fill the Amazon and Pavilion Rooms. Added to our first three days, the overall total of 7,319 players means this year's Main Event is the second-largest tournament in live poker history (behind the 8,773-player 2006 Main Event).
That field together creates a $68,798,600 prize pool to be divided up between the top 747 finishers. And come November, the one player from this group who manages to accumulate every last chip will claim $8,944,138, the gold bracelet, and poker immortality.
A number of notables chose the last starting day, and for some their starting day was also their finishing day. Phil Gordon was an early exit, as were John Tabatabai, Justin Smith, Michael Craig, Jose "Nacho" Barbero, and the top two finishers from the 2005 Main Event, Steve Dannenmann and Joe Hachem. Others failing to survive to Day 2 included John Juanda, Allen Kessler, Cliff Josephy, Sorel Mizzi, and Wendeen Eolis.
Meanwhile, David Benyamine, Bill Chen, Phil Ivey, Kara Scott, and Jason Mercier all jumped out to good starts today, though they were soon overtaken by Khamsy Nuanmanee. She would be the first to six digits, then would spend much of the evening near or at the top of the leaderboard.
At night's end, though, it was Steve "MrSmokey1" Billirakis making a late charge to claim the lead, with Steven Tabb, Julian Foussard, Dan Springfield, and Lestor Martinez also ending the night filling their bags with extra chips. And a quick glance down the leaderboard shows other familiar names such as Archie Karas, Vanessa Rousso, Josh Arieh, and probable 2010 WSOP Player of the Year Frank Kassela having done especially well for themselves today, too.
Of the 2,391 who started today's Day 1d, about 1,700 made it through, meaning we're still looking at more than 5,000 players whose 2010 WSOP Main Event dreams remain alive. Tomorrow those who made it through Days 1a and 1c will come back for Day 2a, with the rest (from Day 1b and Day 1d) continuing their tourney journeys on Day 2b.
Thanks for following our coverage today! And be sure to come back tomorrow at noon Vegas time when the cards go back in the air once again.
For a moment, I thought Freddy Krueger had burst through the felt as a piercing scream emanated from the center of the room. Although I'm not a believer in such boogie men, there had indeed been a butchering, and the victim wouldn't be sleeping easy tonight.
It was Lyle Berman who started the nightmare, raising it up as he had done many times before. Another player then pushed all in for 18,000 leaving the decision on Ross Boatman who held pocket nines. Boatman, who later claimed that the man could easily have been steaming from previous hands, made the call, only to be shown picket aces.
But despite the predicament, Boatman spiked a nine in the window (hence the scream), and so eliminated his foe. As a result, Boatman will be joining his brother in Day 2 (although different days, if that makes sense) with 44,675.
A horrible noise coming from the throat of a player alerted our reporter to the fact that said player was all in with against Ross Boatman's . The board had run out . Boatman's stack increased to 38,000.
"There's no crying in poker," commented another player as the luckless gentleman busted out.
On a flop of , Ylon Schwartz moved all in and was called by his opponent in Seat 8.
Schwartz's pocket rockets were good, but they needed to dodge the diamond draw. The turn was the and the river the . Schwartz managed to double up here at the end of the day and is up to 23,000.
Wendeen Eolis, the first woman to ever cash in the Main Event, was all in and at risk with and was unfortunately dominated by an opponent's .
The flop was all she wrote and after the turn and river came , respectively, Eolis' tournament came to an end.
Brian Townsend has hit the rail after getting his last in with pocket jacks on the turn of a board, only to discover that his opponent was holding for a straight. The on the river was purely academic, and Townsend duly busted out.