Monday July 7,2014 : WORLD SERIES OF POKER MAIN EVENT GETS UNDER WAY
771 players sign up for first day's starting field.
The first of three starting days for the main event at the World Series of Poker is traditionally a smaller field, especially this year following Independence Day celebrations in the States, but 771 players anted up the $10,000 buy-in Saturday to get the prestigious competition started.
The field included a host of notable names that included Johnny Chan, Billy Baxter, Jason Mercier, David Chiu, and 2007 WSOP-Europe Main Event winner Annette Obrestad. Also spotted taking their seats were last year's winner Ryan Reiss, a rather unusually attired Phil Laak in ski goggles and a glittering track suit, former champ Greg Merson, Ted Forest, Tom McEvoy, Mike Matusow, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Trishelle Cannatella, Chris Moneymaker, professional hedge fund manager Bill Perkins, UK legend Barny Boatman, Tony Dunst, Ole Schemion and Big One winner last year Antoinion Esfandiari.
The ‘shuffle up and deal' call honour went to former WSOP champ Joe Hachem this year, who set in motion 771 eager players at the Rio; it was an appropriate choice, as the Australian was the first to win the main event at this venue.
This year, each of the three starting flights will play 5 two-hour levels, with a 20-minute break after each level and a 90-minute dinner break after level 3.
The main event tournament will last a full 10 days as it plays down to the final table of nine, who should each receive seven-figure rewards, with at least $10 million guaranteed for the winner. Playewrs will then break for several months before returning to decide the winner.
Last year’s Main Event drew 6,352 entrants and was won by Ryan Reiss (the youngest champ to date) who took home $8,361,570 after besting Jay Farber ($5,174,357) in the heads up.
Jamie Gold still holds the record for the biggest first prize at WSOP's main event; in 2006 he cashed for over $12 million.