Event #8: $1,500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold'em
Event #8: $1,500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold'em
Day 1a completed

Day 1a of Event #8: $1,500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold'em Makes History

Jonathan_Zaun • Level 9: 300-600, 75 ante
Greg "FBT" Mueller is among the chip leaders to emerge from Day 1a of the Millionaire Maker
Greg "FBT" Mueller is among the chip leaders to emerge from Day 1a of the Millionaire Maker

With some poker prognosticators out there predicting that the game's popularity will soon fade, going the way of other fads which captured the collective consciousness before people moved on, today 4,722 players refuted that suggestion in fine style.

The World Series of Poker's "Millionaire Maker" event went from an experiment last year to a genuine extravaganza in 2014, as a truly massive field convened to pack the Rio from room to room. Each player in attendance harbored hopes of becoming the next Benny Chen, after the young grinder parlayed $1,500 into a $1,198,780 payday in last year's debut of the event. Last year Chen bested an enormous field of 6,343 entrants, and this year that number was eclipsed midway through the day.

Ten-handed tournament tables filled the Brasilia and Amazon Rooms, as well as the Pavilion, with overflow and alternates necessitating fourth area be set up outside of Buzio's restaurant. It seemed as if every poker player breathing the dry Las Vegas air on this fine Saturday morning all had the same idea: win a million bucks playing the game they love.

A long list of professionals were sprinkled throughout the swarms of amateurs, with far too many to recount in this space, but sufficed to say you're favorite pros were in the house here today. While WSOP legends like Barry Greenstein and Allen Cunningham were culled from the field early on, joining the long line of players heading over to the registration desk to pony up for tonight's second starting flight, quite a few notable names could be found on the chip bags by the end of Day 1a.

Matt Glantz (75,000), Greg "FBT" Mueller (72,000), David Sands (30,000), Scott Clements (28,000), David "ODB" Baker (27,000), Loni Harwoo (21,000), and Matt Salsberg (15,000) all managed to avoid the showers to earn a ticket to tomorrow's second day of play. When the tournament resumes at 2 p.m. local time (pushed back an hour from the original restart time), the historically large field will combine as one, and to put the numbers in perspective, take a look at the list below:

EventEntrants
2006 WSOP Main Event8,773
2014 WSOP Millionaire Maker7,904 and rising
2010 WSOP Main Event7,319
2011 WSOP Main Event6,865
2008 WSOP Main Event6,844

With each of the WSOP Main Events above being played over multiple starting days, this makes today's Millionaire Maker the largest single starting day field in poker history, something that should give anybody who doubts poker's sustainability a reason to shelve their predictions for the foreseeable future.

Check back with PokerNews tomorrow at 2 p.m. local time to follow all of the flops and folds live from the floor of the Rio, as the 2014 WSOP Millionaire Maker rolls on.

Tags: Allen CunninghamBarry GreensteinBenny ChenDavid "ODB" BakerDavid SandsGreg MuellerMatt GlantzMatt SalsbergScott Clements

Play Wrapping Up

• Level 9: 300-600, 75 ante

The clock has stopped and they are playing six hands at each table and then bagging and tagging for the night. They will return to action at 2 pm tomorrow joining with the surviving players from Day 1b.

More Counts

• Level 9: 300-600, 75 ante
Matt Glantz us 75,000
Greg Mueller ca 72,000 72,000
David Sands us 30,000 18,500
Scott Clements us 28,000 28,000
David "ODB" Baker us 27,000 27,000
Cong Pham 27,000 27,000
William Reynolds us 23,000 23,000
Katie Stone us 23,000 -9,000
Loni Harwood us 21,000 7,500
Theo Tran us 21,000 10,500
Matt Salsberg us 15,000 10,500
James Mackey us 11,500 11,500
Jason Koon us 11,000 -6,500
Shaun Deeb us 8,500 -200
Victor Ramdin us 3,500 -24,500
Level:
9
Blinds:
300/600
Ante:
75

Last Break

• Level 8: 200-400, 50 ante

Players are now on their last 20-minute break of the evening.

Final Number For Day 1a

• Level 8: 200-400, 50 ante

According to Seth Palanksy via Twitter, the final number of entrants for Day 1a was 4,722, Quite the turnout and with Day 1b registration open until 11:45 pm and 7,707 entrants it's completely possible that we'll top the 8,000 entrant mark. To put this into perspective, this is now the 2nd largest live poker tournament in history:

2006 WSOP Main Event - 8,773 entrants
2014 WSOP Millionaire Maker - 7,707 and growing
2010 WSOP Main Event - 7,319 entrants
2011 WSOP Main Event - 6,865 entrants
2008 WSOP Main Event - 6,844 entrants

The big difference, however, is this event seats all the players in one day while the WSOP Main Event has always had 3-4 starting days. An impressive feat to say the least.