At 11:45 am Las Vegas time the Amazon room was quiet and empty, save for the dealers and floor staff preparing for the start of Event #2, $1,500 No Limit Hold’em. But only 60 seconds later the room had been transitioned into a nightclub atmosphere with Let’s Get it Started by the Black Eyed Peas blaring over the loudspeakers.
Then, 2,046 players began to fill the room and suddenly there was a never-before-seen atmosphere at a time normally filled with nervous tension. Those players, combined with the Day 1b players who will play Sunday, have shattered the year-old record for the largest non-main event field in history. Currently there are 1,458 players registered for Day 1b and tournament organizers are predicting the day could sell out at 2,050. Players have until 2 pm Sunday to register
The previous record came in Event #49, also a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event, and had 3,151 players.
The event is also the fourth largest field of all time, trailing only the 2005 Main Event (5,619), 2006 Main Event (8,773) and last year’s Main Event (6,358). The event has attracted a number of recognizable faces including Greg “FBT” Mueller, Josh Arieh, Phil Ivey and Ted Forrest. But, as one of the lowest buy-in events on the 2008 WSOP schedule, the field is full of amateur players looking for their shot at a bracelet.
At the dinner break Jeremiah Smith had the chip lead with 63,000 chips. A total of 1,586 players had been eliminated from play leaving the Day 1a field at 460.
In the second day of Event #1, $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em, 70 players returned at 2 pm but the bustouts came quick. Eli Elezra
began the day with the chip lead and as play has continued throughout the day he’s managed to maintain his spot. Elezra currently leads the field with 350,000 as hand-for-hand play continues on the bubble.