CHIP CHATS: BREAKING DOWN THE DAY 1 STACKS

July 09, 2013 - 05:58:23 PM EST  | 

CHIP CHATS: BREAKING DOWN THE DAY 1 STACKS
People may say they play poker for the money and the bracelet, but when you break down the day to day of a poker tournament, really only one thing matters: chips.  So, we have decided to take a look at each day of this year's Main Event strictly by the counts to see what history has taught us, what the future may hold, and how this year's event stacks up. Since we always tell you the top ten counts, let's have a glance at the top ten stack stories from the starting flights of the 2013 WSOP Main Event:

1. 30 Chips, 30,000 Chances


Each player starts with T30,000 chips, but when it comes to physical poker chips, everyone actually gets just 30—four 5,000 chips, eight 1,000 chips, two 500 chips, eight 100 chips, and eight 25 chips. When it comes to physical chips, that means there are 190,560 chips currently up for grabs. That won’t be the case for long though, as the green 25 chips come out of play during Day 2 action, meaning the tournament has to gather up 50,816 little discs in the span of a single break.

2. Less Than Stellar Starts


While the big stacks often amass five or six times the starting stack in a single day, more people than you might expect actually bag up less than they start with. Of the 4,186 Day 1 survivors, 1,449 of them are returning with less than they started. Do the math and it amounts to 34% of the field. The player with the biggest uphill battle? Day 2B’s Lear McCoy who is returning with 1,725 chips—roughly 3.5 big blinds.

3. Placing Bets on Past Champs

Day 1 is often spent speculating which Main Event winners might be able to make lightning strike twice. Even though the end of the summer Main Event action is still a full week away, it is never too early to start handicapping this race. We had 20 past champions in the field, 14 of which advanced to Day 2. Going purely off the chip counts, Phil Hellmuth is the current frontrunner, as he bagged up the most with 92,850. Reigning World Champ Greg Merson and Doyle Brunson aren’t too far off pace though with 81,600 and 81,075 respectively.

4. Grinder Grinds Again

It wasn’t too many years back that Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi basically ran over the entire WSOP. After starting out the summer with a resounding victory in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, Mizrachi made several more final tables, but seemed to be cooling off a bit heading into the Main Event. Within two hours of the 2010 Main Event beginning though, he was back to his winning ways. He had a tremendous Day 1 at the tables and ended up bagging 142,650 chips. Sunday felt a little like déjà vu, as, once again, Mizrachi tripled his starting stack in the first level, then went on to finish the day with 176,100—good enough for fourth in the Day 1C counts. In 2010, that stack was the start of a November Nine appearance. Could it happen again?

5. Can Cheong Outdo Himself?

Mizrachi isn’t the only 2010 November Niner we are going to take a look at today. Joseph Cheong has posted some of the most impressive Main Event results of the post-Moneymaker era taking third in 2010, 114th in 2011, and 116th last year. Each of those years, Cheong has started relatively strong bagging up Day 1 stacks of 89,750, 54,150, and 84,775. This year, he has outperformed himself and will return on Tuesday with 143,375 chips.

6. Blame Canada

A glance at the top ten overall chip counts heading into Day 2 reflect a reasonably diverse line-up of players. The overall leader, Mark Kroon, hails from the United States, as do six other players in the top ten. The other countries represented are France, Puerto Rico, and Sudan. It is worth noting that Nick Crisp lists Dallas as his home town, but originally hails from Britain though. Also worth noting? Unlike just about every other event this summer, there are no Canadians near the top of the counts. The top performing Canadian from Day 1 was Marc Carpenterperrault of Quebec, who bagged 155,250.

7. How Does PokerH0 Stack Up?

Mark Kroon, known to many by his old online poker nickname, PokerH0, certainly performed better than any other player on opening day this year. However, over the past five years, his 246,900-chip stack is on par with most other Day 1 chip leaders. Last year, William Johns bagged up 266,700 chips, while the 2010 and 2009 chip leaders bagged up less than Kroon. No one has ever come close to the massive stack Troy Weber put together on Day 1D of the 2009 Main Event though. Not only is Weber the only player to surpass 200,000 chips that year, he was the only player in the 300,000+ range, bagging up 353,000—more than 11 times the starting stack.

8. Lovely Ladies

After the runs from Gaelle Baumann and Elisabeth Hille last year, we of course need to check in and see how the women are faring so far in the Main Event. Both Baumann and Hille advanced to Day 2, but it was Vanessa Selbst who had the strongest start for the women with 115,225 chips. Last year, Baumann ended Day 2A/B on top with over 500,000. Remains to be seen if we’ll see a woman leading the pack this year though.

9. Blinding Truths

We have a lot to thank Tom Dwan and Gus Hansen when it comes to their contributions to the poker world and high stakes history. We can also thank them for answering the question of how many chips you would have if you registered at the last possible minute and just blinded out of the Main Event. Both players opted to do that on Day 1C yesterday. Hansen fared a little better than Dwan come bagging and tagging time. He will return with 17,975. Dwan, whose stack moved tables several times over the course of the evening, will arrive to 17,825. Neither will be particularly short-stacked, as blinds begin Day 2 at 250/500 ante 50, giving them both over 30 big blinds to work with.

10. A Cheesy Add-On

As we noted on Twitter during Day 1, there were a few bonus chips on the table this Main Event thanks to friends over at Ruffles. During each of the Day 1s, players were treated to bags of Ruffles Crispy Potato Fries. Day 2 provided an even bigger bounty of snacks, as the cheese flavor version awaited players in the Day 2A and 2B fields.

 
Share & Connect   

Jessica Welman – Reporter/Contributor


About the author: Jessica Welman is an aspiring Hollywood mogul turned aspiring academic turned actual poker media member. A graduate of University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television with an MA in Communication and Culture from Indiana University at Bloomington, Welman first started in poker at the 2008 World Series of Poker as part of a grad school research project. That research project quickly turned into an unexpected career shift.
Connect with the author viaGoogle+ | Twitter