In the past five weeks, the 2014 World Series of Poker has seen 64 events begin, new and repeat bracelet winners crowned, and millionaires made, but the marquee event of the series began on Saturday with Day 1a of the $10,000 Main Event taking center stage.
With this year seeing the WSOP celebrating 10 years at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, 2005 Champion Joe Hachem sent the cards in the air. Fellow Main Event Champions led players into the field with both Ryan Riess and Greg Merson finding themselves located on the feature table, while Chris Moneymaker, Tom McEvoy, and Johnny Chan were also in the field alongside bracelet winners Jason Mercier, Phil Laak, Ted Forrest, Hoyt Corkins, John Monnette, Billy Baxter, Antonio Esfandiari, David Singer, and Layne Flack.
It would take until midway through the second level until the first few bust outs started to occur as Steven Sanzone was bounced out the door before Bruno Fitoussi, Steven Gee, "All-American" Dave Swanson, Jean-Robert Bellande, David Chiu, and Marc-Etienne McLaughlin were just a handful of the players eliminated throughout the day as the first flight's starting field of 771 was cut down to 505 by the end of play.
Although the chip lead rotated between the likes of Aaron Wilt, Mukul Pahuja, Ken Einiger, Jon Broderick, and Nick DiVella throughout the day, it would be no-limit hold'em beast and Swede Martin Jacobson ending the day as chip leader with 200,100.
Wilt (157,650), Seamus Cahill (150,775), Andy Hwang (118,875), Pahuja (114,800), and Alex Simic (110,675) all round out the top few chip counts while the likes of Flack (75,450), Riess (70,225), Moneymaker (69,850), Esfandiari (59,775), and Annette Obrestad (54,625) all sit with healthy stacks.
The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be back on deck at 12 p.m. (PDT) on Sunday to provide all the Day 1b action live from the 2014 World Series of Poker, so be sure to tune back in.