Many of poker’s biggest names were among the crowds that stood in line to register for Day 1C – the last entry day – of the World Series of Poker Main Event.
It turned out to be a record Day 1C at 3,963 players, among them a large contingent of top international players, former WSOP main event champions and celebrities.
Officials surmised that it was the biggest single start day in the 47 year history of the series, bringing the total number of entries for the 2015 Main Event to 6,420 and creating a gigantic prize pool of $60,348,000.
With the new flatter payout structure, the winner will get $7,680,021; final table survivors will receive seven-figure pay checks, and the top 1,000 entrants will cash for at least $15,000 each.
Last year’s champion, Martin Jacobson, gave the traditional shuffle up and deal call, but was unfortunately among the day’s casualties, along with other previous main event champions Greg Merson, Joe Cada and Jerry Yang.
That still leaves five other former main event champs in contention in Ryan Riess, Jamie Gold, Joe Hachem, Peter Eastgate and Phil Hellmuth.
Mark Newhouse, one of last year’s November Niners, also departed.
On the celebrity front Breaking Bad TV star Aaron Paul fell during a day of torrid exchanges, along with MLB stars Wade Townsend and NBA ace Earl Barron.
Attracting plenty of attention in a pink prom dress and tiara was Daniella Anderson, who had lost a prop bet with Eli Elezra, requiring her to appear with a “loose and aggressive” sash across her shoulder.
Among the many top players facing each other on the same tables were Phil Ivey and Phil Hellmuth, and Daniel Negreanu and Bertrand Grospellier.
Surviving Day 1C when the chips were bagged Tuesday night were celebrity comedians Ray Romano and Brad Garrett.
1,624 players advanced from Day 1A and Day 1B, and the official numbers for Day 1C survivors were still awaited when we went to press.
Day 1C chip leader is US player John Gorsuch on 198,100, just ahead of nearest rival Zarik Megerdichian on 180,400.
To give a sense of perspective on this year’s Main Event field, here are the historic numbers for this competition over the past decade:
2015 Main Event — 6,420 players
2014 Main Event — 6,683 players
2013 Main Event — 6,352 players
2012 Main Event — 6,498 players
2011 Main Event — 6,865 players
2010 Main Event — 7,319 players
2009 Main Event — 6,494 players
2008 Main Event — 6,844 players
2007 Main Event — 6,358 players
2006 Main Event — 8,773 players