With the promise of $10 million for the last player standing, we knew this year's Main Event had potential to be big, in particular the third and final starting flight, which kicked off at the Rio on Monday. This flight was a record-breaking one which helped to push this year's field into the top-five all-time for the Main Event and produce the first growth in Main Event field size since 2010.
Day 1C of the 2014 Main Event breaks the record for the largest starting flight in Main Event history drawing 3,968 entries. The previous record was held by Day 1C of the 2013 Main Event when it drew 3,467 players. Add Day 1C entries to the total entries of the first two flights and the grand total comes to 6,683 total entries creating a $62,820,200 prize pool with $10 million for first place.
This massive field whittled it's way down to 2,571 players by night's end. The surviving players will return Wednesday, July 9 to play Day 2C. The record-breaking field brought out lots of notable professional poker players and celebrities. Two of the biggest named celebrities in today's field include two athletes who are all-stars in their respective sports. Paul Pierce is a ten-time NBA All-Star playing in his second WSOP Main Event. The other all-star athlete is FC Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique. Both men are looking for their first WSOP cash. Right now Pierce sits with 60,400 chips, compared to Pique who only has 23,325 chips.
The previous Main Event Champions have had strong performances in the first two flights. Day 1A and 1B saw all seven Main Event Champions who played survive to return for Day 2. The Main Event champs did not have the same luck today and we saw more than one of them hit the rail. 2006 Main Event champ Jamie Gold was the first to bust followed soon after by 2004 Main Event Champ Greg Raymer and 2007 winner Jerry Yang. However, Joe Cada and Phil Hellmuth were able to put together a successful day and finished with 66,925 and 49,425 chips respectively. Other previous Main Event champions to survive include Joseph Hachem, Jonathan Duhamel and Carlos Mortensen.
To no surprise there are a handful of professional poker notables who came away from Day 1C with healthy chip stacks. The most notable name to end the day with a big stack is Phil Ivey. Ivey didn't just finish with a big stack, he finished with a monster stack and 187,025 in chips which is good enough for second place. Ivey's day started out rocky where he had lost about a third of his chips in the first level. Things quickly turned around for Ivey in Level 2 and only got better after the dinner break. The ten-time bracelet winner reached the Main Event final table in 2009 but end up with a disappointing 7th place finish. Daniel Negreanu also finished among the chip leaders. Negreanu is hot off of his runner-up finish in the Big One for One Drop where he won more than $8 million just last week. Negreanu is sitting at 129,250 heading into Day 2. Other notables to survive the day include James Obst, Gus Hansen, Greg Mueller, Barry Greenstein, Nick Schulman, Victor Ramdin and JC Tran.
After all the chips were counted the man with largest stack in the room was Eric Tracy. Tracy finished the night with 206,175 chips and is the overall Day 1 chip leader passing Martin Jacobson for the overall chip lead.
Not everyone was lucky enough to survive the day and will have to wait till 2015 for another shot at the Main Event Title. Players who did not survive the day include Tom Dwan, Calvin Anderson, Tom Schneider, Sam Trickett, Stephen Chidwick and last year's Main Event last lady standing Jackie Glazier.
Day 1C Top Ten Chip Counts:
1. Eric Tracy - 206,175
2. Phil Ivey - 187,025
3. Ronald Pease - 181,850
4. Nick Yunis - 171,100
5. Thomas Sarra Jr. - 168,100
6. Martin Hansen - 167,250
7. Jared Bleznick - 165,200
8. Blair Hinkle - 161,650
9. Konstantin Tolokno - 161,550
10. Paul Richardson - 158,825