Let's take a look at what's happened in the starting 3 days of WSOP's Event #65: $10,000 NLHE MAIN EVENT - World Championship.
A total of 925 players participated in the first Day 1 flight of the Main Event but after 5 levels of 2 hours each, only 659 survived to advance to Day 2. Timothy Lau claimed chip leader position (338,700 chips), followed by Truyen Nguyen (324,800) and Chris Fraser (316,100).
The highlight of this day may very well be the elimination of 2017 WSOP Main Event champ Scott Blumstein by Brian Yoon. Yoon will advance to Day 2 with 145,000 chips. Though disappointed at the outcome, Blumstein handled the defeat professionally.
Other former Main Event champs who failed to advance were Qui Nguyen and Jerry Yang. Well-known pros like Felipe Ramos, Stephen Chidwick, Chance Kornuth, Richard Seymour, Jonathan Little, Christopher Andler and Brian Rast hit the rail as well.
Poker commentator David Tuchman (111,000 chips), actor Kevin Pollak (71,300), and comedian actor Ray Romano (61,100) managed to get through Day 1A along with several other poker enthusiasts and first-timers from all over the world.
The second starting day of 2018 WSOP $10K Main Event has attracted a total of 2,378 players. After 5 levels of 2 hours each, below 1,900 players survived.
The action kicked off 11am local time. John Hesp, the grandpa who made a miraculous deep run in last year's WSOP Main Event, was warmly welcomed in the Amazon room by a lot of applause before the cards were dealt. Hesp survived the day and will advance to Day 2 with 63,900 chips.
France's Smain Mamouni bagged most of the chips on this day (311,600), followed by Samuel Bernabeu (309,500). Mamouni was able to jump right to the big stack when his flopped nut flush draw knocked off two players, whereas Bernabeu gradually built his stack in the Brasilia room.
This day's spotlight however was focused on Alex Foxen, who recently won the MSPT Venetian $5,000 tournament in June for $239,000 after defeating his girlfriend Kristen Bicknell in a heads-up match. He has made it to top 5 of Day 1B with a healthy stack of 242,300 chips.
Two-time Main Event champ and 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Johnny Chan was also among the players who joined in on Day 1B. He ended the day with a stack of 151,100. Other well-known players who made it to Day 1B include Michael Mizrachi, Pablo Fernandez, Shaun Deeb, Pierre Neuville, Rifat Palevic and Chris Ferguson.
Players who did not make it include the two former WSOP Main Event champions Greg Raymer and Jamie Gold, Noah Schwartz, Jesper Hougaard, Kenny Hallaert, Jason Somerville, Justin Liberto, Mickey Craft, Brandon Wong, Anton Morgenstern and Doug Polk.
Day 1C drew in a total of 4,571 participants, making this third starting flight the biggest turnout in WSOP history. The number of survivors was estimated to be around 3,500, according to the tournament supervisor.
Just like in Day 1B, another Frenchman has bagged the chip lead for Day 1C, and it was Samuel Touil who turned his 50,000 starting stack into 352,800, giving him the overall lead heading into Day 2. Touil said, "I think I played very well all day long. I got very lucky on a big hand when I four-bet shoved with six-eight of hearts on the button and flopped two pair for a pot of more than 145K. I also made a really big bluff at the beginning of the tournament. I just played my game today and my stack has never been at risk."
Touil is followed by Pete Forsstrom (283,200) and Robert Covert (240,300).
Patrik Antonius also made it to the top 10 of Day 1C with 208,700 chips. After six years of being absent, Antonius said he's going to play at the WSOP again, "It felt very special to be back. I got in after dinner break, brought a lot of action to the table and managed to get some big hands. It was great to see so many poker players I have not seen in so long. I am very tired and going to rest for a while after this."
Former Main Event champions Martin Jacobson (38,400), Jonathan Duhamel (17,500) and Joe Cada (16,500) as well as poker superstars Phil Hellmuth (63,700) and Phil Ivey (92,300) have made it through to Day 2.
Martin Jacobson will then join during Day 2 his fellow 888poker Ambassadors Chris Moorman, Dominik Nitsche, Parker Talbot, and Jessica Dawley.
Those who did not make it through were Chris Moneymaker, Chris Vitch, Marcel Luske, Andrew Moreno, Jonas Mackoff, Daniel Negreanu and Vanessa Selbst.
Player number recap
On July 4, 2018, registration has been officially closed in the 2018 WSOP $10,000 NLHE Main Event. With a total of 7,874 entries, this year's WSOP main event has gathered the second biggest field in the history of this tournament. The only main event that had the larger turnout was back in 2006 with 8,773 players.
This year's Day 1C alone attracted 4,571 entries, the biggest player turnout on a starting flight for the main event. The attendance number built a total prizepool worth over $74 million, with $8.8 million set aside for the eventual champion.
Here's a comparison between this year and last year's 2018 WSOP Main Event entries:
Below shows the WSOP Main Event entries and prize pool since 2000
The survivors of the starting flights Day 1A and Day 1B can enjoy 2 days off before coming back to the action on July 5 Thursday at the Rio, whereas those who survived Day 1C shall come back on July 6 Friday.