If you ever chat to someone who tries to tell you that interest in live poker tournaments is waning, point them in the direction of the PokerNews Live Reporting pages of Event #8: $1,500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold'em from the 2014 World Series of Poker.
Then walk away smiling to yourself knowing that person is talking rubbish.
You see, this event is the second-largest World Series of Poker tournament ever run, attracting a mind-boggling 7,977 players over the two starting flights. The only WSOP event to surpass this massive total was the 2006 Main Event that saw 8,773 players, but they came through the doors over the course of several days, which makes today's event even more impressive.
Take a look at the table below that shows the five largest WSOP events in history.
|2006 WSOP Main Event||8,773|
|2014 WSOP Millionaire Maker||7,977|
|2010 WSOP Main Event||7,319|
|2011 WSOP Main Event||6,865|
|2008 WSOP Main Event||6,844|
So large was the field that all three rooms of the Rio were packed to capacity, with the surviving players ending their night in the Amazon Room.
Bagging up the most chips at the close of play was the popular pro Andrew Seidman who turned his 4,500 starting stack into a tournament leading 137,700.
Seidman bought into Day 1a at 11:00 a.m this morning and busted from it at around 6:45 p.m. He then took advantage of late registration and entered Day 1b, but got off to a terrible start and was down to a mere 2,000 chips.
"I was down to 2,000 quickly," said Seidman, "Then I quadrupled up with vs vs vs !"
The man known in online poker circles as "BalugaWhale" continued to run well over the next nine one-hour levels including winning two large pots from Phil Laak: (1) hitting trip threes on the river and (2) "sucked out with vs ."
Another hand of note came when Seidman was priced in to call with in a huge pot, turned the nut flush and had an over-bet shove on the river paid off by a set of nines.
We wouldn't be lying if we said Seidman was running well, but that's only part of the story.
"I feel like I am playing awesome," said Seidman before explaining he built big stacks in the $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em at the start of the series and lost a crucial flip in the $1,500 Shootout.
Now that Seidman has bags of chips at his disposal he is going to be a nightmare to play against.
Joining Seidman through to Sunday's Day 2 included such luminaries as Jamie Kerstetter (33,000), former WSOP Main Event champion Joe Cada (20,100), Mohsin Charania (19,900), Amit Makhija (19,100), Taylor Paur (17,500), Jake Cody (15,400), Dan Kelly (13,700), Maria Ho (12,000), David Peters (11,700), and George Danzer (7,300).
Others weren't as fortunate and will have to enter a different event on Sunday if they want to continue with their quests to win a bracelet.
Stephen Chidwick, Zachary Korik, Bryn Kenney, Freddy Deeb, Phil Laak, Dominik Nitsche, Dave "Devilfish" Ulliott, Marvin Rettenmaier and Shannon Shorr being a small selection of stellar names who played on Day 1b but failed to progress.
Day 2 commences at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon and should see approximately 1,500-1,600 players return to the Rio. Prize pool information is not yet available, but as soon as it is, we will publish it on our payout pages.
Until Day 2, it is goodnight from the PokerNews Live Reporting team.