The 39th World Series of Poker Main Event action through the four heats of Day One completed this week with the end of Day 1D, which saw 1 652 survivors going forward to the Day 2 series, including former World Champions Phil Hellmuth, Carlos Mortensen, Johnny Chan and the current reigning champion Jerry Yang.
Other big names, both Internet and land, who survived the last of the Day One heats were David Oppenheim, Gus Hansen, Cliff Josephy, Antonio Esfandiari, Brandon Cantu, Nam Le, Steve Billirakis, Jean-Robert Bellande, Jennifer Harman, Phil Gordon, Hevad Khan, Allen Cunningham, Men Nguyen, Scott Clements, Van Nguyen, Shannon Elizabeth, Nick Binger, Eric Mizrachi and Johan Storakers.
But many other pros did not make it, and saw their ambitions for a final table and perhaps the big win itself dashed. Among them were former Main Event winners Chris Ferguson and Noel Furlong, in good company with Annie Duke, Andy Bloch, 2007 WSOP Player of the Year Tom Schneider, Jennifer Tilly, Phil Ivey, Vinnie Vinh, Karina Jett, Maria Ho, Todd Brunson, Michael Mizrachi, Cyndy Violette and Layne Flack.
Day 1D's chip leader was Steve Austin on $149 000, just ahead of Mohamed Kowssarie on 146 000 and Davis Stucke on 140 525.
After a break Monday, the surviving players from Day 1A and 1B get down to business again Tuesday in Day 2A as the field is whittled down. Players who made it through Days 1C and 1D will then fight it out in Day 2B.
At stake is a Main Event prize-pool of over $64 million, delivering a first prize of more than $9 million and cashes right down to 666 places, with even the lowest finisher collecting over $20 000.
Associated Press quotes official WSOP sources indicating that total Main Event entries this (2008) year have, at 6 844, surpassed the 2007 total of 6 358, although it lags behind the 2006 entry field of 8 773.
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