Analysts were divided over the weekend on whether the relatively low turnout for Day 1 B of the World Series of Poker Main Event was caused by the July 4th holiday weekend or something more sinister – like the impact of the New York action against e-cash processors which may have tied up the Internet players' $10 000 buy-ins required to enter the event.
Whatever the cause, the entry field was, at 873, substantially down on last year's 1 158 for Day 1B, and lower than Friday's 1 116 who signed for Day 1A. 821 players will be going forward from Day 1A, and at the time of writing numbers were not yet available on how many survived Day 1 B.
Late statistics from Day 1A show Canadian pro Eric Cloutier in the lead for that heat, with a good range of well known online pros still in contention.
The honour of making the "Shuffle Up and Deal" call on Day 1 B went to veteran pro Doyle Brunson, who was playing – and was eliminated – in the heat. Other big names bundled out of this year's Main Event included David ‘The Dragon' Pham and former WSOP Main Event winner and Internet player Chris Moneymaker. Vicky Coren, Jeremiah Smith, Ralph Perry and David Steicke also fell by the wayside.
The day concluded at 10.27pm Vegas time Saturday with the following better known players among the survivors: Joe Sebok, Raymond Davis, Juha Helppi, Barry Greenstein, Mike "The Mouth" Matusow and Mike Caro. Unofficial chip counts Saturday night indicated that a relatively unknown player, Brandon Deme headed the Day 1B chip list on 140 000.