Durant Okla. (January 19, 2013) — The first of two starting flights in the $1 million guarantee Main Event at Choctaw Resort began Friday at 12 p.m. with 466 entrants. That number places the tournament ahead of Horseshoe Bossier City and Harvey's Lake Tahoe, and makes the Choctaw Resort Main Event the fifth largest of the Circuit season with one start flight remaining.

Last year's Main Event drew 978 entrants and awarded $270,380 to its champion, Abraham Araya. Saturdays typically have a higher draw than Fridays at Choctaw Resort and the 2012-2013 tournament is expected to give last year's attendance figure a run for its money.

Friday's starting field included notables Allen Kessler, Felicia Johnico, Drazen Ilich, Rex Clinkscales, Michael Sanders, Doug "Rico" Carli, David Nicholson, David "ODB" Baker, 1986 WSOP Main Event champion Berry Johnston as well as six-time WSOP gold bracelet champions Layne Flack and T.J. Cloutier.

Just 64 players remained after 14 hours and 17 levels of Day 1A play. The tournament's chip leader is Ilich. Ilich accumulated 650,000 chips placing him well ahead of second place John "Cowboy" Land (482,000.) Andrew Watson ended the day third with 315,000.

Other players fortunate enough to punch their ticket to Day 2 include Cloutier (276,500), Jeff Fielder (263,000), Will Carrion (164,500) and Flack (136,000).

Chris Conrad (44,500), Brett Schwertley (33,500) and Michael "Car Wash" Schneider (32,500) are among the shortest Day 1A stacks.

Day 1A began at 12 p.m. and registration remained open through dinner break (the start of level 13.) All players eliminated in the tournament's opening flight have the opportunity to re-buy into tomorrow's Day 1B. The second of two starting flights begins Saturday at 12 p.m. and is expected to outdraw Friday's opener.

Saturday play will match the 17 levels of Day 1A. Prize pool information will be made available after registration closes prior to the start of level 13. All players combine Sunday at 12 p.m. for Day 2.

The final table takes place Monday and will be streamed on a slight delay on ESPN3.com featuring analysis from WSOP Circuit commentator Bernard Lee and a player guest.

The Main Event champion receives automatic entry into the season-ending WSOP Circuit National Champion Presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof set to take place May in New Orleans.

Top 10 Day 1A chip counts:

1. Drazen Ilich - 650,000
2. John "Cowboy" Land - 482,000
3. Andrew Watson - 315,500
4. Brian Jordan - 279,000
5. Brant Hale - 278,000
6. T.J. Cloutier - 276,500
7. Doug Ashmore - 272,500
8. Jeff Fielder - 263,000
9. Richard Booker - 256,000
10. Geoff Gafford - 250,000

Blinds will be 2,000/4,000 with a 1,000 ante when players take their seats for Day 2.

Full chip counts available on WSOP.com.