Thousands more flock to $1.5k No-Limit event

Dennis Phillips

The world is in economic free fall, but recession or not, the World Series of Poker is flourishing.

The $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em tournament that began today drew 2,793 players and is the second event in the 2009 WSOP to cross the 2,000 entrants mark.

Over the first seven events this year there have been an astounding 11,741 players - up 3,224 players compared to the first seven events in 2008.

Although lower buy-in events are the bread and butter for more casual players, a large number of pros have made their presence felt in the first level of play.

Among them are Joe Sebok, Jean-Robert Bellande, Kristy Gazes, Humberto Brenes and Dennis Phillips.

Phillips, who came in third in the 2008 WSOP Main Event for $4.5 million, is already impressed with the numbers coming in for the 2009 Series.

The Field
Another day, another massive field.

"It's been unbelievable," said Phillips. "Can you imagine when Congress changes the law and opens it up to online poker rooms again? This thing is going to get monstrous."

Phillips said that with the overwhelming success of the lower buy-in events the new $1,000 tournament is likely here to stay and could potentially get expanded.

"I was talking to Jeffrey [Pollack] last night and we're already talking about adding a couple more $1,000 events," said Phillips. "We might get the overall number of events bumped up to 60 next year."

With that said Phillips mentioned he wasn't pleased with the large number of $1,500 No-Limit events.

"I think seven of them is a little over the top," said Phillips. "They might bring back a few of the rebuy events next year instead. They'll probably run five $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em events next year and three or four of the $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em."

Last year's first $1,500 event was the first low buy-in event of the WSOP and it drew 3,929 entrants. Poker pro Grant Hinkle was the ultimate survivor and he took down $831,279 for his efforts.

The 2009 WSOP runs until July 15th with Main Event final table playing out in November. Check the live update, blog, video and news pages for all the action throughout the summer.

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