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Sunday at the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event saw 344 last-minute registrations put an exclamation point on the second-largest WSOP Main Event of all-time. The 8,569-player field means that sometime next week, one player will walk away with $10,000,000 and the title of World Champion. Day 2C saw the highly-anticipated arrival of Phil Hellmuth and the emergence of a fresh batch of names atop the end-of-day chip counts. Julien Milliard Inches Toward 1 Million Chips, Leads Day 2C Survivors Florida's Julien Milliard almost cracked the seven-figure stack code on Sunday. Milliard finished Day 2C with 947,900 to edge out Czech player Vlastimil Pustina, who ended up with 930,700. Andrew Brokos, co-host of the Thinking Poker podcast, rounded out the top three Day 2C stacks after ending the day with 895,400. The day started with 344 players taking advantage of the last chance to register to push the total Day 2C field to 4,008 players. Just 1,793 of those players made it through the five two-hour levels of play on Saturday. That group will combine on Monday with the 1,087 players who got through Day 2AB as the entire remaining field of 2,880 players will play on the same day for the first time. Eventual Champion Will Earn $10,000,000 Registration closed as the first card was dealt on Sunday and the final numbers show another year of growth for the Main Event and made this year's Main Event the second largest of all-time. A total of 8,569 players generated a total prize pool of $80,548,600. The eventual champion will win $10,000,000 and every player at the final table will earn at least $1,000,000. READ: 2019 WSOP Main Event Second Largest of All-Time, $10M to Champ Phil Hellmuth Arrives, Departs One of the 344 players who registered on Sunday morning was 15-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth. Just back from his vacation to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands, Hellmuth didn't take his seat until well into the first level of play. He didn't sit long. Hellmuth was part of one of the secondary feature tables on the ESPN broadcast and gave fans at home and his tablemates a little taste of The Poker Brat before busting at the hands of Timothy Stanczak's pocket fives. Familiar Faces Stay Alive on Day 2C Three-time bracelet winner Adam Friedman bagged up 549,600 on Sunday to advance to Day 3 with a top 50 stack. Sam Greenwood snuck into that top 50 with 535,800. Mike McDonald continues to apply pressure to those who bet against him, finishing Day 2C with 516,700. Other notables still in include Dario Sammartino (522,700), Jeff Madsen (488,600), Bertrand Grospellier (428,200), David 'ODB' Baker (418,700), Joseph Cheong (354,500), Chino Rheem (286,500) and Nick Schulman (278,000). Defending champ John Cynn battled back from just 24,800 chips to finish with 248,900 at day's end. All-time online poker tournament earnings leader Peter Traply finished with 234,800. Holz, Antonius, Imsirovic Headline Big Names Busting Hellmuth wasn't the only big name who didn't make it through Day 2C. Former #1-ranked PocketFiver Fedor Holz, Patrik Antonius, James Obst, Ali Imsirovic, and Adrian Mateos were all sent to the rail on Sunday. They were joined by John Racener, Ismael Bojang, Matt Berkey, John Monette, John Juanda, Denis Strebkov, Ben Heath, Jonathan Little, Shawn Buchanan, Sam Soverel, Joe McKeehen, Niall Farrell, Maurice Hawkins, and Sam Trickett. Nate Silver was also one of the Day 2C casualties. A Half Dozen Former #1s March On Kevin Saul leads a group of talented poker players who once held onto the #1 ranking on PocketFives.com. The Illinois native finished Day 2C with 623,900. Saul has cashed three times in the WSOP Main Event, most recently in 2016 when he wound up 466th. Saul is joined by fraternity brothers Calvin Anderson (459,400), Cliff Josephy (402,000), Fabrizio Gonzalez (328,800), Chris Hunichen (307,500) and Tim West (130,400). 34 Keystone State Players Survive Day 2C Chad Power leads 34 Pennsylvania poker players who managed to find a bag at the end of Day 2C. Power finished with 401,300 for the 97th-best stack on Sunday. Ralph Wong finished with 344,300 for the second-best PA stack. Kenneth Smaron, Jason Loehrs, and David Vasil round out the top five. Top 10 Chip Counts Julian Milliard - 947,900 Vlastimil Pustina - 930,700 Andrew Brokos - 895,400 Aleksa Pavicevic - 867,700 Nai Hu - 798,300 Kainalu McCue-Unciano - 765,600 Dapeng Mu - 762,700 Hugo Torres - 720,400 Cody Brinn - 708,800 Tom Cannuli - 667,000
Day 1C of the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event was definitely one for the record books, but it was also one of the strangest days in the 50-year history of the event. As more and more players piled into the Rio, two were escorted out by police and then Mother Nature had her say as well, as an earthquake shook Las Vegas and disrupted the tournament in an unprecedented way. Starting Flight Record Broken, Overall Record Close Last summer, 4,571 players made Day 1C of the 2018 Main Event the largest starting flight in the history of the WSOP. That record fell on Friday, as 4,879 players joined the Main Event. That group, combined with the 3,250 players from Day 1A and 1B, makes this year's event the second largest Main Event of all-time, with registration open until the start of Day 2C on Sunday. Earthquake Shakes Up Day 1C At 8:19 PM PT, Las Vegas was shaken by an earthquake that caused tournament officials to pause the tournament clock and send players on an early dinner break to assess any possible damage to the building. The 7.1 magnitude earthquake was centered in Ridgecrest, California and is the second one in 48 hours. In the moments after the quake hit, some players left their tables to find safety either in the hallways our outside of the Rio. Andy Frankenberger chose to leave the room he was in while in the middle of a hand only. "Never felt anything like it being my first earthquake experience," Ronnie Bardah, a WSOP gold bracelet winner, told PocketFives. "Felt like I was out at sea but instead in the middle of the Main Event at the Rio. Felt like my life was out of my control for a few seconds. Not to sound dramatic, but whoa. Made sure to get away from under the moving stuff hanging up above. Day 1c of the 2019 WSOP Main Event will never be forgotten." Play resumed after an 80-minute break and carried on for another two hours and 40 minutes before ending for the day. James Henson Bags Lead, Mike McDonald Second Just three players managed to get through the five levels of play with more than 300,000 chips. James Henson finished with 316,100 to end up on top of the 3,664 Day 1C survivors. The player right behind caused a lot of pain for his opponents on Friday, but if he goes on to win the Main Event, he could cause a lot more pain for other top pros. Mike McDonald finished Day 1C with the second biggest stack at 306,300. The Canadian poker pro booked himself against a lot of other top players and stands to win an additional seven figures in side action. Right behind McDonald is Joshua Ray with 304,200. Easy Come, Easy Go for Phil Ivey Phil Ivey's 2019 WSOP Main Event run didn't last long. The 10-time bracelet winner was eliminated in the first level of play on Friday. Ivey got the last of his chips in on a flop of [poker card="ts"][poker card="9h"][poker card="7s"] holding [poker card="as"][poker card="4s"] against his opponent's top two pair. The turn and river were bricks, eliminating Ivey. Two Players Disqualified in Different Manners Ivey was eliminated in the traditional way, but two other players found very different ways to have their Main Event end. Georgii Belianin was the first of the two to be removed from the tournament. The Russian poker pro was disqualified moving another player's stack into his own. The second involved a player exposing himself to the table and throwing a shoe at his opponent and the dealer. READ: World Series Of Poker Disqualifies Two Players Kevin Martin Bags Up 220,600 The list of players who bagged and tagged on Day 1C includes the usual list of big names. Partypoker Team Pro Kevin Martin finished with 220,600 for a top 50 stack. Coming off of winning his third bracelet, Nick Schulman ended with 141,200. Peter Traply, who recently overtook Chris Moorman for the all-time online tournament earnings lead, also made it to Day 2C with 128,500. Other notables moving on include Dzmitry Urbanovich (196,900), Maurice Hawkins (183,600) Chino Rheem (170,900), Andrew Lichtenberger (141,200), Ali Imsirovic (102,500), Danielle Andersen (102,300), and Maria Konnikova (100,900). End of the Road for More than a Few Familiar Faces Joe Cada won't be making a return to the Main Event final table this year. After finishing fifth last year, Cada couldn't make it through the opening day and was one of the more notable eliminations. He was joined by Dietrich Fast, William Kassouf, Martin Jacobson, Doug Polk, and Shaun Deeb, Jason Koon on the outside looking in. PokerStars Players Championship winner Ramon Colillas wasn't able to recreate the magic on Friday and was eliminated. Mike Leah, who skipped most of the WSOP after the birth of his first child, had a short-lived return on Friday and was one of the 1,225 players eliminated. Former #1s Represent Well Chris Hunichen, Calvin Anderson and Christopher Brammer all finished with stacks well above average. Hunichen leads the way with 181,000 but Anderson isn't far behind with 178,100. Brammer ended with 169,200. They weren't the only former #1-ranked PocketFivers who ended Friday on the good side. Cliff Josephy (111,500), Tim West (49,600), and Fedor Holz (35,900) also moved onto Day 2C. Top 10 Chip Counts James Henson - 316,100 Mike McDonald - 306,300 Joshua Ray - 304,200 Robert Kokoska - 285,000 Mohamed Mamouni - 284,000 Barry Donovan - 280,100 Robert Layne - 280,000 Dylan Meier - 277,700 Yervand Boyadjian - 277,400 Tom Cannuli - 275,000
Hold your thumb and your index finger just far enough apart so that you could be squeezing a grape. That's how close the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event came to breaking the record for the largest WSOP Main Event ever. With registration closing as Day 2C began, the official numbers are in and 8,569 players put this year's Main Event just 204 runners behind the all-time record set in 2006. That year, 8,773 runners created an $82,512,162 prize pool and Jamie Gold took home $12,000,000. This year, the prize pool hit $80,548,600 and the eventual winner will end up banking $10,000,000. "Truly an incredible cherry on top of a wonderful 50th World Series of Poker," Seth Palansky, Vice President of Corporate Communication for Caesars Entertainment, said. "The numbers this summer speak for themselves. Poker is alive and well and we can’t thank the players enough for continuing to support the World Series of Poker brand. Seeing an eight as the first number of the Main Event really did seem unfathomable with the majority of the U.S. shutout from playing the game online. But the WSOP Main Event has always been special and we’re incredibly grateful for those that came from six different continents to participate in this year’s Main Event." As Palansky pointed out, the field eclipsed the 8,000 runner mark for just the second time ever. This marks the fourth consecutive year that the Main Event field size has increased and the third straight year of at least 7% year-over-year growth. Year Entries Increase 2015 6,420 -- 2016 6,737 4.94% 2017 7,221 7.18% 2018 7,874 9.04% 2019 8,569 8.83% The near-record setting field comes just over eight years after Black Friday left poker's most prestigious event in a tough spot. In 2011, less than three months after PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and UB/Absolute Poker were shut down within the United States, leaving many players' bankrolls stranded on those sites. That year, 6,865 players entered the Main Event - a 454-player drop from 2010. Attendance dropped again in 2012 and 2013 before showing growth in 2014 with 6,683 entrants and a 5.21% increase. The number dropped again in 2015 before hitting 6,737 runners in 2016. It's grown every year since. This was the first year that registration remained open after Day 1 was complete. Players were able to register for the event up until the start of each Day 2AB and 2C. Just 100 players took advantage on Day 2AB, but 344 players registered on Sunday to give a final push. Flight Entries % of Field 1A 1,334 15.57% 1B 1914 22.34% 1C 4877 56.91% 2AB 100 1.17% 2C 344 4.01% The 2019 WSOP Main Event champion will earn exactly $10 million. This is only the third time in WSOP history that the winner gets an eight-figure payday. Gold was the first to do it when he won $12 million for his 2006 and Martin Jacobson earned $10 million in 2014 after tournament organizers guaranteed that much for first place. Every player who makes the final table will earn at least $1 million. The runner-up will have to console themselves with $6,000,000. The min-cash, for players finishing between 1063rd and 1286th place, is worth $15,000. The 10 Largest WSOP Main Event Fields Of All Time Year Entries Prize pool 2006 8,773 $82,512,162 2019 8,569 $80,548,600 2018 7,874 $74,015,600 2010 7,319 $68,798,600 2017 7,221 $67,877,400 2011 6,865 $64,531,000 2008 6,844 $64,333,600 2016 6,737 $63,327,800 2014 6,683 $62,820,200 2012 6,598 $62,021,200
In the eight years since the World Series of Poker Main Event went to a three-starting flight schedule, only once has the Day 1A field reach 1,000 or more players and that was 2012 when they snuck into four-digit territory with 1,066 players. There was no sneaking in on Wednesday. 1,336 players showed up to play Day 1A, giving WSOP officials hope that this year's event might be a record-breaker. Williams wasn't the only notable to suffer an early end to his Main Event. Shane Warne, Frank Kassela, Bryn Kenney, Mohsin Charania, Brandon Shack-Harris, and Kristen Bicknell all ended with a zero as their Day 1A chip count. Former Main Event Champs Advance Just two former Main Event winners managed to work their way through the five levels of play on Day 1A. Chris Moneymaker, fresh off of his ninth-place finish in the partypoker MILLIONS Las Vegas, ended the day 95,000 while 2016 Main Event winner Qui Nguyen had a much better day, finishing with 180,500. Foxen, Strelitz, Bonomo Highlight Notables Moving on to Day 2A There were 960 players who made it through Day 1A. While a number of top players like to wait until Day 1C to play, there were a plethora of poker superstars who played on Wednesday and finished with chips in a bag. Daniel Strelitz, still basking in the flow of winning his first bracelet, finished with 185,300. Poker vlogger Johnnie Moreno (aka Johnnie Vibes) tripled his starting stack and finished with 184,000. Alex Foxen nearly did the same, ending with 173,200. Justin Bonomo accumulated 96,000 through the day to move on to Day 2. Other notables advancing from Day 1A include Patrick Serda (216,700), Jeff Lisandro (180,100), Jack Sinclair (153,800), Isaac Baron (146,600), Kelly Minkin (137,100), Billy Baxter (131,500), Brian Hastings (124,200), Matt Glantz (120,800), Arlie Shaban (113,600), Brian Rast (109,100), Kevin MacPhee (82,500), Garrett Greer (69,300), Ben Yu (63,600), Mike Gorodinsky (57,800), Erik Seidel (57,400), Stephen Chidwick (45,000), Marvin Rettenmaier (30,800), and Poker Hall of Fame finalist Chris Bjorin (18,000). Rapper Hoodie Allen Goes to Work, Bags Big Rapper Hoodie Allen, real name Steven Markowitz, was a Happy Camper at the end of Day 1A. The 31-year-old University of Pennsylvania grad lived up to The Hype and finished with 151,500, good enough for a top 100 stack. Markowitz will hope People Keep Talking when he returns for Day 2AB on Sunday. He has one previous WSOP cash, a 35th place finish in a 2016 $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event. Michael Miller Leads Pennsylvania Contingent into Day 2A With the launch of Pennsylvania Online Poker looming, 17 players from the Keystone State managed to turn Day 1A into a trip to Day 2A. Leading the way is Michael Miller. The Haverford, PA native just missed out on having a top 10 stack after finishing with 235,800. The next biggest Pennsylvania stack belongs to Gregory Fishberg with 168,800. They're joined by Jesse Smith (136,600), Alan Schein (135,000), Brian Hastings (124,200), Matt Glantz (120,800), Alexander Krisak (117,000), John Andress (104,900), Joseph Palma (100,100), Sean Magee (88,500), Dennis Cronin (85,700), David Knudsen (76,600), James Hundt (72,900), Jennifer Shahade (72,400), Ronald Lankin (49,500), Gary Bowker (25,800), and Seth Berger (DNR). The Day 1A Numbers Could Be Hinting at Something Big Historicially, Day 1A is always the least popular Main Event starting flight. It requires being in Las Vegas the longest amount of time, there's a two-day gap between Day 1A and Day 2A, and it means being in Sin City on July 4th. Over the last five years, Day 1A has accounted for an average of 11.44% of the overall field size, staying steady with a high of 11.75% last summer and a low of 11.01% in 2017. If that trend were to hold true this year, WSOP officials are looking at a record-setting year that will eclipse the 8,773 runners that turned out in 2006. Top 10 Chip Counts Bryan Campanello - 417,500 Timothy Su - 297,300 Quentin Roussey - 266,400 Takehiro Kato - 259,200 Charidimos Demetriou - 252,000 Craig Chait - 249,600 Stephen Graner - 247,100 Mark Zullo - 245,600 David Lolis - 245,100 Thomas Roupe - 238,800