The final Day 1 flight of the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event kicked off yesterday with big crowds, big names, and a big controversy as 2,809 players signed up for the last shot at the Main Event and the coveted gold bracelet. The massive Day 1d field brought the total number of entrants in the 2009 Main Event to 6,494, creating a prize pool of over $61 million. All of the available tournament tables were put into service on Day 1d, as hundreds of unhappy players were shut out of the Main Event due to lack of space. When action was called to a halt, 1902 players remained from the Day 1d field, with Troy Weber holding a commanding chip lead over all the Day 1 survivors.
Among those who did make it into the field were some of the biggest names in poker, sports, and entertainment, and in some cases more than one category. Poker luminaries Phil Ivey, Jennifer Harman, Robert Varkonyi, Vanessa Rousso, and Mimi Tran all took the field on Day 1d. Joining the fray were 2009 bracelet winners Angel Guillen, Brian Lemke, and 2009 Women’s Champion Lisa Hamilton, along with 2008 Main Event Champion Peter Eastgate, who took his seat at the featured table with 2008 Player of the Year Erick Lindgren.
Among the entertainment stars taking the felt were Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, Godsmack singer Sully Erna, “Simpsons” co-creator Sam Simon, Ray Romano, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Marlon Wayans. Sports stars John Salley, Steve Davis, Audley Harrison, and Jordan Farmar all took to the felt in an effort to add a new type of trophy to their mantels. Wrestling diva Torrie Wilson joined the field on Day 1d, but her Main Event didn’t last long, as she busted before the dinner break. Wilson moved in on the flop of with , but was in deep trouble against Tony Keogh’s . Wilson picked up a few more outs on the turn, but the on the river was her undoing.
Other early eliminations included Lyle Berman, Dario Minieri, Scott Montgomery, John Salley, and Ray Romano. Romano got all his money in preflop in a three-way hand holding pocket queens, but he was up against one opponent with and another with . When the final board ran out , the player with aces sent Romano and the other opponent to the rail in one fell swoop. Other notable eliminations on Day 1d included Phil Galfond and Jeff Madsen.
2008 Main Event runner-up Ivan Demidov made his exit midway through Day 1d after he got all his chips into the middle on the flop against Dwayne Stacey. Demidov had middle pair with , but Stacey was well-ahead with a flopped set as he showed . Demidov was drawing dead after the hit the turn, and the river was the inconsequential . Also heading to the rail on Day 1d were Shirley Rosario, David Benefield, Sully Erna, Scott Fischman, and Scott Clements.
As the day grew late and some players grew bored, Tom “durrrr” Dwan and Matthew Marafioti started a prop bet with unfortunate consequences for Marafioti. Dwan bet Marafioti that he couldn’t down 10 shots of tequila within 15 minutes, and keep them down. Marafioti took Dwan’s action, and they put $5,000 on the line. Marafioti managed to survive the shots, but in his inebriation received a penalty for bad language. Marafioti then reportedly decided that he should remove himself from the room for the evening. Marafioti’s empty chair played well in his absence, and a sober Marafioti finished the day with chips to lock up a spot on Day 2b.
While some players were winning prop bets, Troy Weber was winning pots, and huge ones at that. Weber took over the chip lead early in the evening and secured his spot as overall Day 1 chip leader with a massive pot as Day 1d drew to a close. After some preflop raising, the flop came down . Weber checked and his opponent led out. Weber called and the came on the turn. Weber checked once more, and his opponent fired again. Weber check-raised, and his opponent quickly moved all in over the top. Weber thought for a long moment and finally made the cal with . His opponent was looking for help with his , and when the hit the river Weber busted another player and took down the huge pot. Weber finished the day with 353,000 – almost twice as many chips as his nearest competitor.
Among the survivors of Day 1d were Phil Ivey, Carter King, Dutch Boyd, Josh Arieh, Prahlad Friedman, Brian Lemke, Dwyte Pilgrim, and Jennifer Harman. Join PokerNews at noon local time as Day 2a kicks off!