Thursday saw 2,391 players take their seats on the felt for Day 1d of the World Series of Poker Main Event. That number, combined with the total from the first three day ones, added up to 7,319, making this the second largest Main Event in WSOP history, falling short of the the record for the biggest field set in 2006 when Jamie Gold bested a field of 8,773 players.
The winner, who won't be determined until November, will walk away with $8,944,138 million dollars — more than the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, and both U.S. Opens in golf and tennis combined.
At the end of the night, about 1,700 players remained, and when chips were bagged, it was Steve Billirakis who had accumulated the most chips — 187,150. Khamsy Nuanmanee finished the night near the top, as well, after spending most of the day in the lead with a stack of 170,525. Other large stacks belonged to Julian Foussard, David Benyamine and Steven Tabb.
Team PokerStars Pros Vanessa Rousso, Humberto Brennes, Jason Mercier and Vanessa Selbst all chipped up throughout the day and will be back for Day 2.
Mercier dominated the players around him throughout the day and raked in a sizeable pot before the last break of the night to climb up the leaderboard. With the board reading and 12,000 in the pot, Mercier added another 11,800 and sent his opponent into the tank. Finally, the opponent made the call but mucked when Mercier revealed his for a seven-high straight. Mercier lost some of his chips back to Nuanmanee but was still sitting pretty at the end of the night with just over 90,000.
Selbst increased her stack during the final level of play, getting up to 52,275 after a pot in which she defended her big blind against the player under the gun. The two saw a flop, and Selbst check-raised her opponent's 1,000 bet to 2,600 with her opponent making the call. Selbst then check-called a bet of 3,000 after the dealer opened up the on the turn, but after the was revealed on the river, Selbst bet 11,400, and her opponent showed for trip sevens. Selbst's for trip tens, however, was good enough to to take the pot.
Also coming back for Day 2 will be Bill Chen, Phil Ivey, Frank Kassela, J.J. Liu and Kara Scott, who all still have a chance to make a deep run in this years main event.
Although they are playing for World Cup supremacy on Sunday, the Dutch will not find their first Main Event winner in Team PokerStars Pro Noah Boeken. He was sent home after getting his last 8,000 in chips into the middle holding two red sevens, and found himself up against two red aces. The board ran out and Boeken was unable to find the seven he needed to stay alive.
2005 Main Event winner Joe Hachem and his brother Tony Hachem were also disappointed at being unable to survive Day 1D. Joining them on the rail was Olga Varkonyi (wife of 2002 Main Event winner Robert Varkonyi), Pam Brunson, Jose "Nacho" Barbero, Joe Cassidy and John Juanda.
Day 2a gets under way Friday afternoon at 12 p.m. at the Rio, and you can be sure PokerNews will be on hand for every flop, turn and river. Follow all the live coverage in our WSOP live reporting pages.