The World Series of Poker has reached an all-time high, not just for its own history, but also for poker history across the globe. The $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop became the largest buy-in in poker history today as it kicked off with 48 players plopping down the massive seven-figure price of entry. At the end of the first nine levels of play, 37 players remained with Brian Rast on top of them all with 10.71 million.
Going into the day, the excitement was building and you could feel the electricity in the air. An elaborate Cirque du Soleil performance highlighted the introductions as each of the participants was announced one by one to the spectators as the ESPN cameras rolled. A little bit before 2:00 PM in the afternoon, the cards were in the air and the chips were flying.
The first player eliminated on the day was Justin Smith. He lost a massive hand for nearly all of his chips right before the first break when he paid off Frederic Banjout on the river with an eight-high straight. Banjout had backed into the nut flush to win the pot. On the first hand back from the break, Smith's lost to Rast's .
Rast then claimed the scalp of Andrew Robl when he made the nut flush against Robl's pair of kings. On the flop in a four-bet pot, Rast and Robl got all the money in. Rast held he versus Robl's and spiked as the board ran out with the and .
The other players that were eliminated on the day included Jens Kyllönen, Jonathan Duhamel, Paul Phua, Erik Seidel, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Nick Schulman, Eugene Katchalov, Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi and Giovanni Guarascio.
Mizrachi was the second-to-last player eliminated on the day, falling at the hands of Mike Sexton. On the board, Mizrachi moved all in for his last 180,000 with the . Sexton called with the . After the river landed with the , Mizrachi's million dollar tournament was over with.
Of those advancing to Day 2 are Jason Mercier, Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, Ben Lamb, Sam Trickett and Phil Ivey. Twelve-time WSOP gold bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth also survived and will be taking 8.395 million in chips to Day 2.
Action for Day 2 will begin at 12:00 PM PT and the plan it to play all the way down until the final table of nine is set. With over $18.3 million up for grabs for first place, everyone will be bringing their best game to the felt and looking to run it up. It's going to be an absolutely amazing day of poker and you won't want to miss out on any of it.
Be sure to join us right back here on PokerNews for all of the live coverage and until then, goodnight from Las Vegas!