10 July 2017 (Las Vegas) – It’s now official: The Main Event at the 2017 World Series of Poker is the biggest in nearly a decade. On Monday, 4,262 players took to the felt for Day 1C, the third and final starting day of this year’s Main Event. That brought the total number of entrants up to 7,221, the third-highest participation in WSOP history, and the biggest total since 2010.

“It’s amazing on all fronts, the third-largest Main Event ever,” tournament director Jack Effel said after announcing the prizepool and payouts. Players seem to agree. “It’s such a great tournament, and I’m really happy to see the number so high,” said bracelet winner Eric Baldwin. “It’s a great field, all the characters really show up for this one, and it’s a fun atmosphere.”

And today’s atmosphere was actually record-setting, as the 4,262 players who took to the felt for Day 1C represent the largest single-day field in the history of the Main Event, besting last year's record of 4,240. On Saturday, 795 players entered Day 1A, and there were 2,164 in Day 1B. The combined 7,221 players has only been eclipsed twice. In 2010, the Main Event attracted 7319 people, and the all-time record is 2006, when a staggering 8,773 players ponied up the $10,000 entry fee.

The leader from Day 1C is (unofficially) Jerome Brion, who bagged up 247,900 in chips. Others near the top of the leaderboard on Monday include Rudy Sawa (238,600), Carl Carodenuto (237,800), Jason Mann (236,000), Eric Nathan (better known as BarstoolNate from Barstool Sports, 228,500), Adam Levy (220,700) and Natasha Mercier (pictured above, 218,000).

Approximately 3,300 bagged up chips on Monday. (As of the time of this publication, tournament staff was still working to confirm an official number.) Combined with the 576 who advanced from Day 1A and the 1,643 who survived 1B, there are over 5,500 players still in contention.

When a winner is determined in just under two weeks, the newly crowned champion will earn $8,150,000. All nine players who make the official final table will take home at least $1,000,000, and the top 1,084 players will make the money. The 1,084 players cashing is also a WSOP Main Event record. (Click here for a full breakdown of the payouts.)

Brandon-Shack Harris weighed in on the field as well. “I think it’s awesome!” he said. “It’s great that the fields keep growing.” Shack-Harris has a record of success in big-field events. His first career WSOP bracelet (he now has two) was in a record-setting pot-limit Omaha event, at the time the biggest Omaha field in WSOP history. “I’m pretty acclimated to the endurance it takes to try to stay sharp,” he said, but also added his experience gives him no other advantage. In fact, he rarely thinks about it. “I try not to ever look at the field, and just focus on my table. And I turn around every now and then and see there are fewer tables.  But I try not to think about it at all when I’m playing.”

As befitting the most prestigious poker tournament in the world, there was no shortage of action, and Baldwin was involved in one of the day’s most remarkable hands. Just before dinner break, bracelet winner Eric Baldwin lost most of his stack when his quads ran into Laurence Grondin’s royal flush. The odds against such a cooler are astronomical, but wild hands like this hand have become virtually de rigueur in this tournament, starting with the hand everyone was talking about yesterday, when Vanessa Selbst was eliminated by Gaelle Baumann in Level 1.

Unlike Selbst, Baldwin wasn’t eliminated in the cooler, and he quickly put his efforts to recovering from the setback. “That hand was ridiculous,” he said later in the day. “But something like that, you gotta be able to just laugh off. You really have two options. You can let it bother you and you can just be the guy who ran into the bad beat. And let that be your story. Or you can realize it’s a once-a-year opportunity, and laugh it off, and say ‘that would make the story even better, if I came back from this.’” Baldwin survived to Day 2, so his story for this event is still being written.

The players who made through to the end today will have Tuesday off, then return Wednesday for Day 2C. On Tuesday, players who advanced from Days 1A and 1B will return for their Day 2. Action begins at 11:00 a.m., and the event will be broadcast virtually live (on a 30-minute delay) almost all day. Starting at 11:30, coverage will be available on PokerGo. Then at 4:30 p.m., it moves to ESPN until 8:00.

Click here for full lists of chip counts and seat assignments:

And for counts from previous flights, check the event reports page.