That's no longer a record, though: registration for Event 2 hadn't yet closed in the middle of the day and the field was already well over 3,500, with approximately 4,000 expected by the start of Day 1b.
One of the many changes to this year's WSOP involves splitting these types of events into separate flights in order to relieve some of the congestion that comes with the huge crowds. Today's Event 2, the $1,500 NLHE, is the first chance Harrah's has had to employ its new strategy.
The hallways leading to the Amazon Room were, of course, packed wall to wall with the normally elusive American Donkfish (Piscus americanus), all of whom took the low-buy-in bait to feed their dreams of winning a bracelet.
The crowd wasn't quite as thick as in past years, however, and there were no registration lines snaking out to the Rio proper. All this would seem to indicate that the "two flights" plan was working out well.
The play was as bad as the local cardroom donkaments, as all WSOP regulars have come to expect of these monster fields. Plenty of players were calling monster raises before the flop with a range bigger than Montana, and then floating post-flop with pair draws. That's bad for good players who get unlucky, of course, but it truly makes the tournament a fantastic value for anyone with even a modicum of skill.
Among those who were taking advantage of the weak field was Jay Greenspan, author of , a chronicle of his journey through casinos and home games across America to build a bankroll for the WSOP. He was already up to 23,000 when the average stack was still hovering around 5,000. It looked in the middle of the day like all that practice hunting fish across the continent was great preparation for the old-school poker writer.
All the madness won't end with the close of play today, thanks to the second flight due to begin tomorrow. We'll have plenty more doses of donkalicious goodness for you from the floor then.