The Main Event will be played out until July 15th or possibly July 16th. Approximately 1,885 players started on Day 1A, 1,878 players will start on Day 1B, and 1,898 players on Day 1C. The reason for splitting up Day 1 into three different days is because they simply can't manage 5,660 players at the same time. Even though the Rio's 60,000-square-foot exhibit hall is filled with 200 tables and is the biggest tournament poker room ever created, it simply cannot hold all the participants.
On Day 2, Sunday, July 10th, all survivors will merge into one starting field just like in any other tournament. Day 3, 4, and 5 will all be played out at the Rio, and then the tournament will move on to Binions Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas. At this time, there will only be 27 players left to compete at 3 tables. Binions Horseshoe is the birthplace of the World Series of Poker and played host to the tournament from its inception until last year.
Total prize money for this year's 45-tournament World Series of Poker will be approximately $100 million, which is more than double last year's record breaking $45 million. The payout structure has not yet been released but I wouldn't be surprised if they paid the number 1 spot $10 million and made 9th place $1 million, thus guaranteeing the final 9 at least $1 million each.
ESPN had a televised feature table set up all day in order to follow defending champion Greg Raymer's journey through the gigantic field. At the time of this writing, Greg was the biggest stack at his table. The only players who have won the Main Event back-to-back are Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Stu Ungar, and Johnny Chan. But the fields were so much smaller back then that a repeat of this feat today would definitely be considered one of the greatest achievements in the history of sports.