The inaugural ten-game event at the WSOP is one day old, and it's already proven to be quite the success. An impressive 431 players turned up, making this -- we're assuming but fairly confident here -- the largest ten-game tournament in the world with a prize pool just shy of $1 million.
Spread the games the fish like to play and you're sure to attract the sharks, and we had no shortage of sharp-toothed poker players here today. World Champs? Had those. Greg Raymer, Joe Hachem, and John Juanda all played and survived, while Scotty Nguyen came and went rather quickly this afternoon. Math whizzes? How about Bill Chen and David Sklansky at the same table to start the day. Bracelet winners? By the bunches. Just to name a few, Steve Billirakis, John Kabbaj, Jeff Lisandro, Greg Mueller, Dutch Boyd, Erick Lindgren, Jason Mercier, and Frank Kassela all played. A few new 2011 bracelet winners like Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Eugene Katchalov were here, too. John Monnette, who won his first bracelet about fifteen hours prior to the start of this event, was also in the field, but his day was a short one. Even a few of the old guard like Sam Grizzle and Mickey Appleman showed up to play this new event.
When the chip bags came out after eight levels, there was a clog at the top of the chip counts. For now, it looks like Rob Hollink's 49,100 chips are good enough to give him the overnight lead, though a few tables were playing big pots right as the night ended. Also in the mix of leaders are Brandon Adams (39,975), Grizzle (40,100), Jordan Morgan (39,000), and Jean-Robert Bellande (38,475).
Only about 162 players survived this brisk opening day, and they'll be back inside the Amazon Room for Day 2 at 3:00 P.M. tomorrow. We'll be there too, and we hope you'll join us for some more ten-game action. Until then, all that's left is goodnight.