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2011 WSOP End Day 1 d
Tuesday July 12, 2011 : With all four Day 1 flights now completed, the numbers are in...and they are significant.
The last of the four Day 1 flights in the World Series of Poker main event concluded Sunday night, providing officials with the final entry and prize pool numbers and enabling them to set the winner's prize.
Officials announced Sunday night that the 2011 main event winner will take home $8.71 million, slightly less than last year but more than many players and industry followers expected given recent legal problems for online cardrooms.
6,865 players - 6.2 percent fewer than last year - entered the $10 000 buy-in NLHE main event between Thursday and Sunday, generating a $64.5 million total prize pool.
That means that the top 693 finishers will win at least $19,300, while each of the top eight finishers are guaranteed at least a seven-figure payout.
Around 65 percent of Day 1d's starter field survived to Day 2, with unaudited numbers indicating that Mory Little was the chip leader on 179,450. The top chip counts on each of the four Day 1 flights look like this as we head toward Day 2 in the main event:
Day 1a Fred Berger of Las Vegas - 209,000
Day 1b Ben Lamb from Tulsa, Oklahoma - 188,925
Day 1c Kevin Song of Diamond Bar, California - 163,325
Day 1d Mory Little from Charlotte, North Carolina - 179,450
Officials also published the final table prize list:
By way of comparison, last year's winner, Canadian professional Jonathan Duhamel, beat 7,318 opponents for $8.94 million, while 2009 winner Joe Cada won $8.55 million in a field of 6,493 opponents.
Only the main events last year and in 2006 topped this year's tournament in terms of entrants, officials revealed.
This year's 42nd World Series of Poker also established a new record for overall registrations with 75,672 total entries for the entire 58-tournament series.
Sunday's Day 1 entry field again proved to be an irresistible attraction for the big names in the game, with a great turnout, although pros like Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer were conspicuous by absence from the final registration list for main event action.
Spotted taking their seats were Tom Dwan (who unfortunately was an early casualty), Phil Laak, Antonio Esfandiari, John Juanda, Huck Seed and Vanessa Rousso. "American Pie" actress and poker player Shannon Elizabeth also played, along with rapper Nelly.
Dwan was just one of many pros who failed to make it through Day 1d; also falling by the wayside were Prahlad Friedman, Steve Zolotow, James Mackey, John Juanda, Frank Kassela, Tom Marchese, Melanie Weisner, Bertrand Grospellier, Jennifer Tilly, Ivan Demidov, Alexander Kravcheko, Owais Ahmed, Antonio Esfandiari, David Williams, and rap star celebrity player Nelly.
2010 November Niners Jason Senti and John Dolan have also busted out; with Michael Mizrachi’s elimination on Day 1b that makes three of last year's final tablers who won't be among the November Niners this year.
Pros who were more fortunate in Day 1d and will now play in the two Day 2 flights include: World Champions Huck Seed, Jamie Gold, Berry Johnston, Robert Varkonyi and Joe Hachem; along with accomplished players like Noeh Boeken, Lars Bonding, Lyle Berman, Freddy Deeb, Phil Laak, Mike Sexton and Darvin Moon.
Respected poker veteran Mike Sexton told Associated Press that interest in the main event showed that poker is still growing, despite the lack of a place for Americans to play online.
"It shows you these people are really putting up the money and coming in to play. Poker is growing - it's expanding," Sexton said. "Obviously this is the mecca event that everybody wants to play in, and you see the turnout we're having here."
Monday will see the 2,031 survivors of Day 1a and Day 1c combining to form the first flight of Day 2, kicking off at noon Vegas time.
On Tuesday those remaining from Days 1b and 1d will gather together to contest Day 2b.
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