Ask the top poker players in the world about the poker tournament they'd most like to win if prize money were not a factor, and overwhelming agreement is likely that the annual WSOP Poker Players Championship is the event that puts a gleam in their eyes.

The Poker Players Championship first began in 2006 and has since evolved into a competition of the world's elite, who test a variety of skills in various games amongst their peers in a tournament that's taken on the stature of its inaugural winner.

David “Chip” Reese won the first Poker Players Championship, establishing the mantel forever for an event that has become synonymous with excellence.  Reese, who passed away in 2009, will forever be associated with this competition.  In fact, the winner's trophy bears his name.

On Sunday afternoon, 120 poker players each paid the $50,000 entry fee hoping to become the next chapter in this event's storied history.  The greats all gathered at the Rio Las Vegas hope to join Chip Reese, Freddy Deeb, Scotty Nguyen, David Bach, Brian Rast, and Michael Mizrachi (who won this event twice).

The biggest name in the field was the living legend himself, Doyle Brunson, who graced the 2013 WSOP for the first time with his appearance in this event.  Until now, Brunson had not entered any WSOP events, citing the grueling nature of the schedule.  However, even Brunson saw it fit to come out of semi-retirement for yet another hurrah in a long career marked with innumerable moments of high drama.

The field size increased by a dozen over last year, when there were 108 entrants.  The prize pool currently amounts to $5,760,000, with yet another millionaire guaranteed to go along with the coveted gold bracelet.  Indeed, this year's WSOP is expected to produce more million-dollar (plus) winners than any series in history.

The Poker Players Championship plays as a five-day event.  Day One ended with 2010 World Champion Jonathan Duhamel on top in the chip count, with 401,300 in his stack.  Jason Mercier finished the day third in chips with 340,600, while las tyear's champ Michael Mizrachi ended in the top ten counts with 274,600.  Even Doyle Brunson, still competing gamely into his late 70's ended the day with a nice sized stack at 255,000.  Players started the tournament with 150,000.

First day action was not so kind to at least three gold bracelet winners, who hit the rail relatively early.  Johnny Chan, Vanessa Selbst, and Ralph Perry were all eliminated within the first ten hours of action.

In addition to Duhamel and Mercier – several other well-known players enjoyed a successful day. Here is a look at the top ten chip counts:

1. Jonathan Duhamel - 401,300
2. Jared Bleznick - 343,100
3. Jason Mercier  - 340,600
4. Justin Smith - 336,600
5. Brian Rast -319,900
6. George Lind - 294,200
7. Calvin Anderson - 290,500
8. Michael Mizrachi - 274,600
9. Greg Mueller - 261,300
10. Mike Leah - 248,000

A complete list of Day 1 chip counts is available on

Day Two action commences with 113 survivors.  Action resumes at 2 pm on Monday.  The tournament is expected to conclude on Wednesday, which will include the presentation of the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy to the winner.