WSOP Day 34: Main Event Kicks Off, Mizrachi Leads PLO Giant
After five weeks of big bets, big calls, bad beats, lucky streaks, and bracelets won, the $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em MAIN EVENT is finally here. Monday brings the first of three starting flights in which the first of thousands of players will start pursuing the dream of taking home the ultimate poker trophy and being recognized for a year as the game's world champion.
"Winning the Main Event has given me opportunities I've never imagined could be possible," 2017 WSOP Main Event champion Scott Blumstein told PokerNews. "That also includes the ability to meet really cool people and be part of the conversation to taking care of myself and my family and being in a position to help other people one day is what this tournament has afforded me."
In other events, Michael Mizrachi leads all those returning in Event #11: PLO GIANT - $365 Pot-Limit Omaha, while Chris Vitch returns for Day 2 as chip leader in the Event #64: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship after winning the event in 2017. Daniel Negreanu and Mike Sexton also advanced to the second day of play in that event.
After five Day 1 starting flights attracted a total of 3,250 entries, around 185 have made it through to today's Day 2. Yesterday Michael Mizrachi finished at the top of the counts in the fifth and final starting flight, and the four-time bracelet winner also takes the overall chip lead into today.
Here's a look at the five chip leaders from the five starting flights.
- 1a – Dzmitry Urbanovich — 1,246,000
- 1b – Randy Holland — 1,445,000
- 1c – Tim Andrew — 1,375,000
- 1d – Hero Aguiluz — 1,275,000
- 1e – Michael Mizrachi — 1,845,000
The winner will take home the bracelet and a $60,704 first-place prize.
Day 2 finally gets underway today at 2 p.m. with level durations increasing from 20 minutes to 40. PokerNews will have all your live updates right here.
With four starting flights complete, only about 477 players return for Day 2 on Monday from a total field of 2,495 entries who created a $1,994,004 prize pool. That total number of returners could be adjusted a bit as the list of returners is finalized.
What's clear is that Matthew Schreiber will start Day 2 with the overall chip lead after bagging 662,000 during Flight 1b.
From yesterday's Flight 1c, 888poker ambassador Chris Moorman ended with as the flight's leader with 511,000 chips. He's followed by Franz Ditz (381,000) and Christophe De Meulder (321,000). Others advancing from yesterday's first flight include Eric Baldwin (250,000), Mohsin Charania (307,000), Kevin Eyster (287,000), Yevgeniy Timoshenko (122,000), David Jackson (151,000), Champie Douglas (229,000), and Marvin Rettenmaier (242,000).
From Flight 1d, Matt Salsberg led the way on Sunday after bagging 428,000 chips, followed by Han WoolJang (356,000), Au Ngo (318,000), Ami Barer (254,000), and Dylan Wilkerson (249,000) in the counts. Others still in from the last starting flight include James Alexander (183,000), Ashton Griffin (170,000), Andy Spears (164,000), and Main Event champions Ryan Riess (150,000) and Martin Jacobson (149,000).
The PokerNews team will have you covered for all the live updates. Keep your browser locked in here for all the fun.
The last preliminary event to get underway before the Main Event starts, the Stud Hi-Lo Championship drew 133 runners from which only 63 players remain heading into Day 2.
Chris Vitch, who won this event last summer, leads a stacked field after bagging 279,500.
Following him are Daham Wang (276,500), Stuart Rutter (236,000), Terrence Hastoo (220,000), and Ryan Miller (207,500).
Other notables making Day 2 include Tom Koral (189,000), David Benyamine (166,500), Jesse Martin (158,500), Scott Bohlman (156,000), Max Pescatori (85,500), Eric Rodawig (79,500), Adam Friedman (79,000), Daniel Negreanu (76,500), Mike Sexton (72,000), James Obst (68,000), and Robert Mizrachi (35,500).
Late registration is allowed through the beginning of Day 2, and the restart begins at 2 p.m. That's when PokerNews will continue its ongoing coverage of this one, so click here to follow.
The Main Event gets underway with the start of the first flight at 11 a.m. today. Players begin with 50,000 starting chips and today will play five levels each lasting 120 minutes. There are 20-minute breaks after each level, and today's one-hour dinner break comes early after Level 2 (around 3:25 p.m.), with late registration lasting until the start of Level 4 (around 7:10 p.m.).
Last year, the event featured a field of 7,221 players and a prize pool just shy of $68 million. Scott Blumstein of Morristown, New Jersey came away victorious and took home his first bracelet and $8.15 million first prize.
The 2017 Main Event marked the first once without the delayed final table and "November Nine" first introduced in 2008. PokerNews will have all the action throughout the event until a winner is crowned July 14.
Fans can also check out the Main Event live on ESPN and PokerGO.
Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas. His work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions. He is also the host of the True Gambling Stories podcast, available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn Radio, Spotify, Stitcher, PokerNews.com, HoldemRadio.com, and TrueGamblingStories.com.