While the opening day of this year’s World Series of Poker Main Event was a quiet affair with a number of notable pros and a modest field of 771 players, Day 1B was quite the show that had everything from a big number to big poker names to big celebrities to keep the festivities lively all day long.
A grand total of 2,144 players turned up for the second of three starting days, bringing the total field size so far to 2,915. It is already a foregone conclusion with WSOP staffers that Day 1C will far exceed that number and break the record for largest Main Event starting flight set last year when Day 1C drew 3,467 players.
Yes, Day 1C is going to be massive, but Day 1B certainly produced its fair share of storylines thanks to a number of big name celebrities from outside the world of poker like Ray Romano, Kevin Pollak, director Nick Cassavetes, European soccer star John Arne Riise and NASCAR driver Jason White. Of that group, the top performing player was White, who bagged up 54,625 chips.
While Romano wasn’t the biggest stacked celeb, he was the only Romano to survive Day 1. His son Matt Romano, who was playing his first Main Event failed to make it to Day 2. Ray finished the day with 15,150.
There were some big name poker celebs in action too, including another Main Event Champ double feature on the ESPN stage, as the ’95 champ Dan Harrington and ’96 winner Huckleberry Seed spent the day seated side by side. Both players survived the day with Harrington edging out Seed in chips with 35,200 and 22,750 respectively. Seven previous Main Event champs have played either Day 1A or 1B. They have all survived so far and will be moving on to Day 2.The celebs were drawing the headlines, but it was the big name pros stacking the chips, most notably Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel, who managed to vault into six-figure territory before the dinner break. Seidel ended up finishing the day with 134,025 chips and will be a name to keep an eye on during Day 2. Seidel sits in 6th place on the all-time bracelets list with eight WSOP gold bracelets to his name. Bracelet winner Brian Hastings and Jonathan Little quickly joined him as top dinner break stacks as well. Hastings barely finished the day over the 100K mark while Little lost a chunk at the end and finished the day with 76,050. Other notables to survive include Taylor Paur, Marvin Rettenmaier, David Williams, Phil Galfond, Jeff Madsen, Kristy Arnett, David Bach, Sorel Mizzi, Faraz Jaka, Jason Somerville, Vanessa Selbst, Dennis Phillips and Liv Boree.But the biggest of the stacks was Trey Luxemburger. Luxemburger finished the day with 193,450 which is just shy of Day 1A chip leader Martin Jacobson. Jacobson still remains as the only player to bag more than 200K by bagging 200,100 to sit as the current overall chip leader. Luxemburger is looking to make this his first WSOP cash and is off to a strong start to do so.In total 1,428 of the Day 1B field bagged up chips and will be back in action on Tuesday for Day 2. Between those players and the 505 Day 1A survivors, that means 1,933 will be back in action at the Rio for the first of the two Day 2s.
Of course, there were also a number of bustouts, including several players like Dan Shak, who were unable to survive to the end of Level 1. Some of the other notables who failed to make it through to the end of the day include Russell Thomas, Chris Moorman, David Sands, Bertrand Grospellier, Scott Clements, Vivek Rajkumar, Robert Mizrachi, Paul Volpe, Ludovic Lucay, Mike Leah, Phillip Gruissem, Frank Kassela and Joseph Cheong, who will not be making a fourth deep Main Event run after running kings into aces.
Day 1B Top Ten Counts:
1. Trey Luxembruger - 193,450
2. Sargis Hakobian - 190,125
3. Ryan Buckholtz - 189,000
4. Daniel Wirgau - 173,350
5. Ryan Julius - 165,125
6. Maxim Panyak - 158,425
7. Jeff Norman - 156,625
8. Julian Stuer - 155,200
9. Steve Ryan - 147,500
10. Richard Moon - 146,200