Day 1C of Main Event sees record turnout

5 July 2018

(LAS VEGAS) -- Since the World Series of Poker Main Event went to three starting flights in 2012, Day 1c has traditionally hosted the biggest turnout. With the 4 July weekend coinciding with Day 1c this year and larger-than-usual turnouts on Day 1a (925) and Day 1b (2,378), some wondered if Day 1c would be as massive as usual.

As it turned out, a record field showed up at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, packing the halls and the tournament areas like never before.

The 4,571 runners who came out for Day 1c made it the biggest single flight in the history of the WSOP since organizers began divvying up the field into more than one starting day. Combined with the Day 1a and Day 1b numbers, that pushed the total field to 7,874, making it the second-biggest Main Event ever, behind only 2006's 8,773 entrants. It's nearly a 10% increase over the 7,221 who showed up last year.

The total prize pool came out to $74,015,600, and this year's world champion will claim a first-place prize of $8.8 million.

The number of surviving players wasn't immediately available, but an announcement from a tournament supervisor during the bagging process indicated about 3,500 players made it through, which would roughly match the ratio of survivors from the first two starting days.

French player Samuel Touil bagged the unofficial chip lead after five two-hour levels of play, turning his 50,000 starting stack into 352,800. That gives him the overall lead heading into Day 2.

"I think I played very well all day long," Touil said. "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."

Other big stacks included Jarod Ludemann (230,100), Patrik Antonius (208,700), Loni Harwood (194,200), Tyler Patterson (166,900) and Chino Rheem (149,500).

Antonius said he was making his return to the WSOP after six years away.

"It felt very special to be back," he said. "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."

Superstars Phil Ivey (92,300) and Phil Hellmuth (63,700), as well as former Main Event champs Martin Jacobson (38,400), Jonathan Duhamel (17,500) and Joe Cada (16,500) also made it through.

Speaking of Jacobson, he'll be joined on Day 2 by fellow 888poker Ambassadors Parker Talbot, Dominik Nitsche, and Chris Moorman, among others.

Another former Main Event champ did the honors of getting the day underway, but that proved to be the high point of Chris Moneymaker's 2018 Main Event. Moneymaker was eliminated in an early level when, already short-stacked, he flopped a set of fives and got his stack in there against an overpair of tens. A ten hit on the river to send Moneymaker packing.

Andrew Moreno, Marcel Luske, Chris Vitch, Jonas Mackoff, John Racener, Vanessa Selbst and Daniel Negreanu also hit the rail. Negreanu got all his chips in the middle with jacks but took a beat when an opponent with tens hit a set.

The players who made it through will battle it out again on Friday, 6 July, for Day 2c. They'll return to the Rio at 11am that day. In the meantime, Day 1a and Day 1b survivors will populate the venue at the same time on Thursday, 5 July. Come back to PokerNews then for more coverage of the Main Event.

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)

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