2012 Main Event: Day 1c Fails to Surpass 2011's Field

The lovely Lacey Jones survived Day 1c with 44K.
The lovely Lacey Jones survived Day 1c with 44K.

With 3,418 players taking seats on Day 1c of the WSOP Main Event, the total field size is officially 6,598. That number falls 267 short of last year's field size, and it marks the first time in WSOP history that the Main Event field has decreased two years in a row.

The total prizepool is $62,021,200, and the top 666 players will finish in the money, guaranteed at least $19,227. First prize is worth $8,527,982.


Michael Mizrachi's Roller Coaster Day

Today has been a roller coaster day for Michael Mizrachi, as he skyrocketed into the chip lead before the dinner break with nearly 160,000.

To put that in context, he had more chips in the middle of the day than all but a handful have here at the end of the day.

But Mizrachi dropped to about 100,000 by the dinner break, and the final two levels were much worse to him.

Mizrachi was down to about 35,000 in the final minutes of the day, clinging to a stack that is only slightly larger than the 30,000 in chips everyone started with.

Michael Mizrachi
Michael Mizrachi went from massive chipleader back down to nearly a starting stack.

Late Chipleader Marco Bognanni

The chipleader late in the last level was Marco Bognanni, who was reported to have 190,000 at one point. With 15 minutes left in the day, he had about 170,000.

However, there was a lot of late movement among the players near the top of the leaderboard, so we'll need to wait for the official results to find out who the official Day 1c chipleader is.

Odds are excellent, given the size of the field, that there is somebody over the 200,000 mark.

An Internet Legend Falls

Kevin Mathers, known throughout the poker industry by his screen name "Kevmath," played in his first WSOP Main Event.

Mathers sold shares in himself, and enough players and others in the industry chipped in to get Mathers into the tournament.

Mathers made it through most of the day, but was never able to get much momentum going. Mathers was eliminated in the last 30 minutes or so of the day. Here's what happened, in his own words:

@Kevmath (Kevin Mathers): Minraise from @JamieKerstetter I ship with QQ, she had the aces flop a gutshor, but brick turn river. Was fun while it lasted @KevmathChips

@Kevmath (Kevin Mathers): Thought it was honey when people said the day they busted the Main Event was the worst day of the year. Then it happened to me.

End of Day Tweets

It’s the end of the day, and the twitter feed is blowing up with players updating the world about their Main Event Day 1C success … or defeats.

@BenLamb (Ben Lamb): 32475 to end day 1 :(

@PhilGalfond (Phil Galfond): 3 hands left and I have the table covered. If I manage to not make day 2, I'll honestly be really proud of myself. #WSOP

@Kwickfish (Paul Wasicka): Ended day 1c with 69k. I'm very happy with how I played :)

@Doc_Sands (David Sands): 21,375 to end day 1 of the main. Tomorrow we are off so I'll have to wait until Wednesday to run it up.

@mwbinger (Michael Binger): Finished with 31400. Pretty happy with my play. Could have been out twice. Day off tomorrow.

@Maridu (Maria Mayrinck): Lol i am finishing the day with 31,100 after having 47k and 12k. Overall happy cuz an italian to my left tank folded every hand. Yay day 2!

@Samtrickett1 (Sam Trickett): Party time.....

Updated Chip Counts

The official chip counts will be released later tonight by the WSOP staff, but here is the unofficial top of the leaderboard, courtesy of WSOP.com:

Marco Bognanni
Marco Bognanni was the chipleader late in the last level, but unofficially finished third among the Day 1c starters.
1.  Randy Haddox  -  188,275
2.  Erik Hellman  -  175,950
3.  Marco Bognanni  -  169,600
4.  Daniel Morgan  -  160,025
5.  Mathias Maasberg  -  159,150
6.  Brandon Adams  -  158,100
7.  Steve Yea  -  157,175
8.  Paul McTaggart  -  155,475
9.  Asa Smith  -  148,475
10.  Zennawi Petros  -  148,150

Day 2a begins tomorrow (Tuesday) at 12:00 noon. The players who survived Days 1a and 1b will be back in action.

The players who survived today will return to action on Wednesday. Return to PokerListings.com for continuing coverage of the 2012 WSOP Main Event.

2012 Main Event: Chatter, Cashes, and Crashes

Fabrice Soulier is fighting the good fight to make it to Day 2.
Fabrice Soulier is fighting the good fight to make it to Day 2.

Players went on their last 20-minute break of the day. As players gathered in the hallways, we ran into French pro Fabrice Soulier who is looking to add to his $3.9 million in tournament winnings.

“I am fighting,” Soulier told us, “I have about 54,000 which is ok.”

We also heard some other chatter amongst the players who were just standing around waiting to rail some of the players.

“You know what I could do with $10,000?” one spectator said to the other, “I could put a down payment on a house or buy a new car.”

“If I could get into the Main Event,” said another spectator, “I would quit my job.”

Tweet Relief

Jared Hamby @TWKftw: "Down to 18k, no hands and lose when I raise #bleeding #efro"

Jay Rosenkrantz @DCkrantz: "drinking double dose of mental game tonight. @thetommyangelo's Eightfold Path, @jaredtendler's The Mental Game of Poker. #gameofminds"

Cherish Andrews @CherishAndrews: "Busto the big one :( shoved my last 10 bigs with 55 on the button bb calls with 66. Oh well. Always next year! Gl to all friends in!"

Matt Affleck
Matt Affleck at the 2010 World Series of Poker.

Affleck Loses Some Steam

On our last update we reported that Matt Affleck has been having a pretty good Day 1. We were able to catch up with him as he was trying to rake in more chips, but it just didn’t go his way.

There was a raise preflop with Affleck in late position. Play went three to the flop of 3 K 8.

The small blind fired out 1,500, and the player in middle position folded quite quickly. Affleck made the call to see the turn.

The 6 came out, and the small blind fired out 3,500. Affleck took a few moments, starring at the board before he threw his chips in for a call.

The 4 was the last card to hit the board, and this time the small blind threw out a orange chip for a bet of 5,000. Affleck looked at his opponent for a few moments while considering his option. In the end, he decided to call one last time.

The small blind player turned up Q K for top pair. Affleck let out a deep sigh and mucked his hand.

Prize Pool

Money. It's what transforms poker from a mere hobby to a full-fledged career. The feeling of pride you get when beating your friends at a home game is made sweeter when you get there money too. In the same vein, being the World Champion of poker is more appealing when the title comes with $8,527,982.

But to get to that prize, players have to outlast 6,597 other players. But this isn't a winner-take-all event, the $62,021,000 prize pool will be divided amongst 666 players, with cash a mincash being worth $19,227. But the big(ger) bucks always kick in at the final table. The final nine players of the 2012 Main Event will be guaranteed $754,798. From there on, the payouts jump drastically:

9th: $754,798

8th: $971,252,

7th: $1,257,790

6th: $1,640,461

5th: $2,154,616

4th: $2,850,494

3rd: $3,797,558

2nd: $5,292,889

1st: $8,527,982

2012 Main Event: Phil Ivey Losing Chips

The Humphreys get VIP rail seating to sweat Phil Ivey.
The Humphreys get VIP rail seating to sweat Phil Ivey.

Phil Ivey famously skipped last year's WSOP after the dramatic events of Black Friday, suing his former company (Full Tilt Poker) and pledging not to play until the situation was resolved.

Well, the situation hasn't really been resolved, but Ivey is back in action at the WSOP.

And without missing a beat, the Humphreys, who have famously been sweating Phil Ivey in the WSOP Main Event for years, are back on the rail to cheer for their favorite player. Complete with their usual Ivey-themed t-shirts, buttons, and signs.

Unfortunately, there hasn't been a lot for them to root for today, as Ivey has slipped toward the bottom of the chip counts, and he currently has about 14,000.

Matt Affleck, Main Event Veteran

Matt Affleck has lots of chips in the Main Event. It's a position he's kind of used to.

Back in 2009, Affleck made a deep run in the Main Event. That year, he managed to make it to 80th place and cashed for $68,979.

The following year, Affleck went even further. Affleck had the chip lead several times during the tournament and was near the top of the leader board with 15 players left. But that's when he got into a hand with the future champ, Jonathan Duhamel.

The board read 10 9 7 Q and Affleck had moved all-in. Duhamel pondered the call for about five minutes. There was about 45 million chips in the pot, and whoever won it would have a good chance at entering the final table as chip leader.

Affleck had aces, Duhamel had jacks.

Matt Affleck
Matt Affleck went deep in the Main Event in '09 and '10. Can he do it again in '12?

Duhamel eventually called and a Q fell on the river, eliminating Affleck and giving Duhamel a commanding chip lead.

Affleck then left the Amazon room in an emotionally fragile state. But that was 2 years ago. Affleck didn't manage to cash last year, but now he's in a good position again. He's happy, feeling good and is near the top of the leader board again. His birthday was also a few days ago, we wonder if that has something to do with his Main Event run good.

@mcmattopoker: 50,000 at first break from 30,000. Amazing start

@mcmattopoker: Boom. Flat T9o in cO Qj8r get in 31k vs JJ and hold. 81k

@mcmattopoker: 102K at break. Haven't lost hand at showdown :)

@mcmattopoker: 121k at dinner break. This is a joke how many hands I'm hitting

A Round With 888poker Pro David Mudachi

We spent a round following David Mudachi after the dinner break. We’ve found that sometimes when we follow players, what we find is something completely different than what we expected.

While we were following Mudachi, we counted five all ins out of nine hands.

Hand 1:  Mudachi was in the cutoff and raised to 800 after it folded around to him. Only the big blind player with the blue shirt on called to see the flop.

The flop came out 4 4 J. The blue shirt big blind player checked, then Mudachi fired 1,200 into the pot. The blue shirt player called.

When the 6 hit the turn, the player with the blue shirt pushed all in. Mudachi asked for a count, and it was determined that it was 7,200 more to call. After a few moments of thinking, Mudachi folded his hand.

Hand 2:  Mudachi folded his hand from the hijack, which was probably a good decision because the player in the blue shirt pushed all in again.

Hand 3:  Mudachi folded and the big blind was given a walk.

Hand 4:  The eight seat moved all in for 3,025 from middle position, and the nine seat called. Mudachi folded his hand to leave the two to battle it out.

Nine Seat:  T T
Eight Seat:  A 4

The player with pocket tens was looking good when the board came 8 J 3 5, but the 2 came on the river to give the eight seat a wheel for the win.

Hand 5:  Mudachi folded from under the gun plus one.

Hand 6:  Mudachi folded under the gun.

Hand 7:  A player raised in middle position, and Mudachi folded from the big blind.

Hand 8:  The player in the blue shirt moved all in, and Mudachi folded his hand.

Hand 9:  Mudachi raised to 800, and the player with the blue shirt called from the big blind.

The flop came 7 3 5. Both players checked, and the 7 came on the turn. The player with the blue shirt checked again, but Mudachi tried to steal it with a 2,000 bet. The player with the blue shirt called.

When the 6 came on the river, the player with the blue shirt checked a third time. Mudachi sensed weakness and bet 2,500. This time, instead of pushing all in, the player in the blue shirt folded to give Mudachi the chips.


Updated Chip Counts

Here is a look at the top of the leaderboard, with blinds at 150-300 and a 25 ante, courtesy of WSOP.com:

1.  Jeremy Allen  -  139,000
2.  Daniel Ospina  -  124,000
3.  Farzad Bonyadi  -  105,000
4.  Matt Affleck  -  104,000
5.  Aditya Agarwal  -  103,000
6.  Claudia Crawford  -  99,000
7.  Jake Cody  -  98,000
8.  Roberto Romanello  -  97,000
9.  Jamie Heitner  -  95,000
10.  Barry Wiedemann  -  91,650

Action will resume after dinner at 8:25 pm PT, with the blinds at 150-300 and a 25 ante.

2012 Main Event: Back From Dinner

A glimpse of the record-breaking Day 1C field
A glimpse of the record-breaking Day 1C field

The last starting day of the 2012 WSOP is back from its 90-minute dinner. Thousands of players started the day, and thousands came back from dinner break too. Before we didn't know exactly how many players there were -- all we had was conjecture -- but now we have solid numbers. 

Day 1C drew 3,418 players, bringing the total number of entrants for the 2012 WSOP Main Event to 6,598. While Day 1C saw the biggest Day 1 field in the history of the Main Event, we saw a 3.8 percent decrease from last year's 6,865 players. 

This is also the first time in WSOP history that the Main Event field has shrunk two years in a row. The 6,598 field will pay out 666 players, with a mincash being worth $19,227.

But, like every year, there'll only be one Main Event champion. This year, that lucky, still unknown player, will get $8,527,982 in prize money. 

But we're still a few months away from crowning a champion. Today, we'll focus on cutting down the field just a little bit. 

2012 Main Event: Mizrachi Briefly Takes the Chip Lead

Michael Mizrachi led for a little while. Can he get it back?
Michael Mizrachi led for a little while. Can he get it back?

Michael Mizrachi had built up his stack to 155,000 during this level, taking the chip lead as the field neared the dinner break. (The field is now on dinner break until 8:25 pm PT.)

Mizrachi, true to form, was using those chips aggressively to put pressure on the rest of the table.

Unfortunately, the other players were winning the pots.

After a bit of a downward slide, Mizrachi raised from the button, and the woman in the big blind moved all in for 10,375. Grinder quickly called with A Q.

But his opponent turned over A K.

The board came J 10 5 J 10, and the big blind won the pot with her king kicker to double up.

Sam Trickett won't back down from a fight.

That pot dropped Mizrachi down to about 96,000, but by the dinner break he had fallen down to 75,000 -- just out of the top 10 chip counts.

Sam Trickett Fights Back

A few days ago Sam Trickett was mugged by a group of six guys who assaulted him as he was leaving the casino.

Luckily, he wasn’t robbed and his girlfriend who was with him at the time was left (relatively) unscathed.

Despite the injuries, Trickett has returned to the Rio today to play the Main Event. After taking second place in the million dollar buy-in One Drop a week ago for $10,112,001, he is back to fight for another big score.

Trickett picked up A A and another player shoved all in for his last 10,000 in chips. Trickett called and dominated his opponent, who turned up A K.

The board ran out 3 4 6 5 4, and the pocket aces held up for Trickett to add more chips to his pile. He now sits at 44,000.

Updated Chip Counts

Here is a look at the top of the leaderboard, courtesy of WSOP.com:

1.  Jeremy Allen  -  160,000
2.  Daniel Ospina  -  110,500
3.  Matt Affleck  -  97,000
4.  Farzad Bonyadi  -  95,000
5.  Aditya Agarwal  -  93,000
6.  Barry Wiedemann  -  91,650
7.  Scott Freeman  -  86,000
8.  Liutaurus Armavicius  -  85,000
9.  David Tuchman  -  81,000
10.  Randy Lew  -  79,000
T11.  Michael Mizrachi  -  75,000
T11.  Steve Billirakis  -  75,000

Action will resume after dinner at 8:25 pm PT, with the blinds at 150-300 and a 25 ante.

2012 Main Event: Thor Hansen, Back In Poker

Thor Hansen back to doing what he does best
Thor Hansen back to doing what he does best

Registration is now closed for the 2012 Main Event. The next world champion of poker is now either sitting somewhere in the Rio or preparing for their Day 2 tomorrow. There's a good chance that person is playing today though, this year's Day 1C is officially the largest field that has ever sat down for the Main Event. 

The official numbers still aren't in, but they're coming in soon. As of now, this field already has the 2009 field beat. We'll see if this year's Main Event can overtake the 6,865 that sat down to play last year. 

Surprise Visit

Doyle Brunson wasn't the only surprise old-school player in the field today. When we were zigzagging around the Brasilia room we heard an announcement. 

Nolan Dalla was introducing a player to the room. The player was a two-time bracelet winner who had been out of the poker scene for some time. The player was also an incredibly nice guy, everyone who met him only had nice things to say. This player was also the first non-American to win a WSOP bracelet.

The bracelet came in 1988 during the seven-card Stud Championship. If you don't know who we're talking about yet, I'll fill you in: Thor Hansen.

Earlier this year, Hansen was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Hansen had always led a healthy lifestyle and -- like many poker players -- never got around to getting health insurance. 

And being sick in the United States without health insurance is an economic death sentence on its own. Thor managed to get surgery, but was released from the hospital the following day due to lack of funds.

Several players and people in the poker community, including Matt Savage, set up funds to help Hansen out. Today though, Hansen is back doing what he does best, playing poker. The Norwegian native took a seat at table #446 with a round of applause from the Brasilia room. 

Good luck Thor. 

Allen Kessler
Allen Kessler chopping instead of sawing

The Chanisaw Chops 

John Juanda has been raising a lot of hands, but hardly any of them are turning into wins. He raised under the gun to 650 and got callers in four positions. Allen Kessler was one of the callers when he threw in extra chips from the small blind.

The flop came 7 T A. Juanda checked, and the player in middle position made it 1,325 to go. The button called behind, as did Kessler from the small blind. Juanda laid down his hand.

When the 6 came, everyone was too scared to bet, so it checked around. The river brought the 4, and everyone checked that as well.

“I must have the best hand,” said Kessler.

“No, I think I do,” said the button player.

Kessler turned up A Q, and the button player turned up the same hand with A Q . The middle position player mucked his hand giving Kessler the chop. 

Twitter Chip Update

Jonathan Little @JonathanLittle: “At 31k. Got up to 40k but ran 76 into J3dd when I thought he had Ax on Ad6d6c9dQc and went to valuetown.”

Andy Frankenberger @AMFrankenberger: “44,775 at second break.”

Matthew Affleck @mcmattopoker: 102K at break. Haven't lost hand at showdown :)”

David Doc Sands @Doc_Sands: Back to 40k on 2nd break. #breathingroom”  

Jennifer Harman @REALJenHarman: “2nd break I have starting stack. Internet is really bad today. So tweets not going through.” 

Thor Hansen Eliminated, But We're Glad He Was Able to Play

The poker world was shocked in January to learn that Thor Hansen had terminal cancer, and it wasn't clear whether he would be returning to tournament poker.

When asked at the time, Hansen said he would have to wait and see.

Well, the poker world received a small gift today as Thor Hansen took his seat here on Day 1c of the WSOP Main Event.

Unfortunately, Hansen was recently eliminated during Level 3. We're glad that he was able to take his seat and play the game he loves, but wish it could have had a better result.

As we noted in our last update, Doyle Brunson had a change of heart and decided to play after tweeting that he was going to skip the Main Event this year.

Brunson has slightly increased his stack in the last hour, up near 35,000 in chips.

Amazingly, Brunson is at a quiet table, with players checking their phones rather than taking advantage of sitting next to a living legend and engaging him in conversation. His stories alone justify the $10,000 buy-in if you find yourself at his table.

Pro Tip: If you ever find yourself at a poker table with a legend like Doyle Brunson, talk to him. Even if he gets a good read on you, it'll be worth it for the +EV in the Game of Life.

2012 Main Event: Kevmath and Brunson

Jamie Kerstetter and Kevin "Kevmath" Mathers
Jamie Kerstetter and Kevin "Kevmath" Mathers

Level 2 is almost done and the players keep on flowing in. Day 1C already has more than Day 1A and 1B combined, giving us a minimum of 3,210 players. There still about another hour of late registration available, but for now, the Main Event has about 6,500 entrants. Last year's Main Event drew 6,865 entrants, we don't think we'll be able to pass that number in an hour.

The Main Event grew steadily since it's start in 1970, only facing a slight dip in players back in 19992. The real explosion came after Chris Moneymaker won the ME in 2003. That year, 839 players attended, the following year drew 2,576 players. 

After that, the Main Event peaked in 2006, when it drew 8,773 players. After that, the WSOP took a big hit due to the UIGEA. 2007 saw a 27.5 percent drop, the biggest drop in the history of the Main Event. Since then, the numbers have gone up and down, up and down. 

The Black Friday hit and online poker died in the United States. The Main Event used to be filled with Full Tilt and PokerStars patches, but now there's a myriad of funky poker room logos. So far, we've seen patches for: 

Hogwild Poker






There was even a PartyPoker.net patch floating around over there. 

Questions With Kevmath

There are several players here today enjoying there first WSOP Main Event. One such face is that of  2+2 and Twitter celebrity, Kevin "Kevmath" Mathers. 

Mathers' life has changed dramatically over the past few years. The once internet recluse who spent most of his time on Twitter and poker forums, was a mystery to everyone in the poker world. Mathers then revealed his identity in an interview with Tatjana Pasalic. 

Kevmath then got a job in the poker media industry and is now playing the World Series of Poker Main Event. He's come a long way since then.

Kevmath is now down to about 25,800. We caught up with the man with the high Klout Score and asked him a few questions. The first was what was on his mind.

"Getting back to starting stack," Kevmath said. "Also, who paid for Ray Bitar's bail?" 

When we asked him if there was anything he wanted to say to his fans, Kevmath simply said, "Follow@KevmathChips." 

We also found out that Kevmath's favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip and, when given a choice between chicken and beef, Mathers prefers chicken.

We'll bring you more questions with Kevmath on our next update. 

Where Is Doyle Brunson?

Doyle Bruson is probably the most famous and recognizable players in poker. Not only has he proven himself as a successful cash and tournament player, but he has also contributed strategy systems of play and ethics to the poker community. 

Doyle Brunson
Brunson is in the building

After winning back to back Main Events at the WSOP in 1976 and 1977, he was able to seal his name in poker history forever. He continued to make a name for himself as a tournament king with over $5.6 million in tournament wins, but his ability to crush high stakes cash games kept him busy year round. 

For over 35 years, Brunson has been playing the Main Event-becoming one of the most recognized and adored players in the field. However, this year is different. After playing countless hours of high stakes cash games and bypassing many of the WSOP tournaments, Doyal has decided not to play the Main Event.

Much to the dismay of many fans across the world, Brunson announced through twitter that he was going to bypass this year’s Main Event.

Doyle Brunson @TexDolly: “I'm not playing the main event because I'm really tired after 6 weeks of tough cash games, playing 10-12 hours every single day. Sorry.”

Bryan Micon @BryanMicon: “With all due respect @TexDolly- Get your ass to the @WSP Main Event. The poker world begs for the legend to continue #ddwsop”

There is a slim chance that Doyle might change his mind. He tweeted a bit ago that an urge might get him out of relaxation mode to register.

Doyle Brunson @TexDolly: “I'm having second thoughts about playing the main event. I'm pretty tired after all this playing but it's such a great event! 3 hours left.”

There is a little more than an hour left for registration, so we will wait and see if he rolls in.

Edit: We have confirmation that there have been sightings of Dolly in the registration area. For further confirmation, we got it from the horses own tweet.

Doyle Brunson @TexDolly: “Ok I'm I'n the tournament. Just saw my friend Chuck get broke on a 2 outer. Ouch!”

2012 Main Event: Every One Is On The Bracelet Hunt

Jason Alexander is back to score his first Main Event cash.
Jason Alexander is back to score his first Main Event cash.

Players went on their first 20-minute break of the day. This means that there is one level down with four more to go for the day.  The second level boasts 100-200 blinds; antes won’t come into play until level 4.

Alexander Plays Straight Up

The “Seinfeld” comedian Jason Alexander has been playing the Main Event for the last several years, but he has always come up short. In 2010, he scored a 5th place finish good for $16,933 in a WSOP circuit event, and he's back this year to add more cashes to his record.

On a 4 T 3 board, both Alexander and his opponent checked to see the turn. When the 2 came, Alexander checked again and his opponent bet 825 from behind. Alexander just called.

When the 4 completed the board, both players checked again. Alexander showed A J for the wheel, and his opponent threw his cards into the muck.

Antonio Esfandiari's One Drop Check
Sorry, Antonio, but that check isn't real. You've already been paid, remember?

Twitter Twatter

We try to keep our eyes peeled for what the pros have to say through their twitter feeds. In our first edition of Day 1C Twitter Twatter, we compiled some insightful info from the pros.

We will have more tweets coming throughout the day.

Phil Galfond @PhilGalfond: “BB walked away from the table so I open raised button and SB folded and I won the blinds #WSOP”

WSOP @WSOP: “Mel and Pat Humphreys have arrived to rail @PhilIvey on Day 1C.”

Jason Mercier @JasonMercier: “23k on first break. Won one pot in 2 hours. Goin to 100/200. Saving the run good for the antes #boombee”

Jonathan Little @JonathanLittle: “At 34200 going to 100/200. I was fairly nitty that level. My table is fairly wild.”

Antonio's One Drop Bracelet & Duhamel's Replacement Bracelet

Antonio Esfandiari has had a whirlwind day here on Day 1c of the WSOP Main Event, and that's before Level 2 even began.

Esfandiari's table (which also included Brian Hawkins) started the day on the ESPN main stage, playing in front of a rather sparse crowd -- without an announcer, fans can't really follow what's happening.

Most fans prefer to wander along the rail in the rest of the room, where they can see much more going on at one time.

Jonathan Duhamel and Sasquatch
Sasquatch tries to steal Duhamel's new bracelet.

But at the end of the first level, Esfandiari's table was asked to bag their chips, as they would be moving off the stage and back to where their table is among the field.

We're still not sure why Esfandiari's table was moved, but some of the ESPN crew has been working on some of the lighting and other parts of the stage. It looks like the main stage may stay empty for the rest of the day.

But during the first break, Esfandiari had to swing by the Pavilion Room to be part of the Bracelet Ceremony so he could receive his One Drop WSOP bracelet and an oversized check for $18 million.

Esfandiari brought his father on stage with him, restating that he had dedicated this bracelet victory to his father.

Esfandiari then announced that he was matching the 11% vig on this event ($111,111) as a donation to the One Drop charity.

Elizabeth Hurley's Empty Chair
Elizabeth Hurley's empty chair is nicer than the infamous chair of Vinny Vinh.

Esfandiari was joined on stage by Jonathan Duhamel, the 2010 WSOP Main Event champion who had his bracelet stolen last December.

Miraculously, Duhamel's WSOP bracelet was recovered after a street sweeper in Montreal found it and returned it. But the bracelet was severely damaged, so the WSOP had a replacement bracelet commissioned, and awarded it to Duhamel this afternoon.

As a joke, Sasquatch (the Jack Links Beef Jerky mascot) snuck up behind Duhamel and tried to steal the bracelet again. Duhamel seemed legitimately surprised, but jokingly wrestled with Sasquatch to protect his new bracelet.

Elizabeth Hurley Has Left the Building

It didn't take Elizabeth Hurley very long to realize that watching poker from the rail during a massive tournament isn't really that exciting.

The chair that the WSOP staff has reserved for her sits empty, and based on what she tweeted earlier, she is probably out shopping.

2012 Main Event: Stars and Sasquatches

Elizabeth Hurley with Ali Nejad and Brandon Adams
Elizabeth Hurley with Ali Nejad and Brandon Adams

This is the last day for poker players to start their Main Event journey. 

Having been here for six weeks, it's hard to believe this is the first WSOP day for many players. We've seen 60 events start with hundreds of players and end with 60 bracelet winners. 

The pros, like many reporters here, have been here for the whole stretch. They too get jaded by the large fields, numerous bad beats and non-stop 12-hour sessions of poker. 

But the memory of that first-time excitement all runs back when you see amateur living out their poker dreams. Even pros take notice: 

@RealKidPoker: Seeing the joy on recreational players faces just having the opportunity to play the main event puts everything in perspective. Poker is fun

Lex Veldhuis@RaSZi: I love the main event. Such a diverse group of people and most of them are friendly and happy to be here. Feel amazing and good table.

So this goes out to you, first-time Main Eventers. You keep the sport pure and put joy on the most jaded of players and reporters. Play well and good luck. 

Actress Elizabeth Hurley and Cricket Player Shane Warne

Shane Warne is a world-renowned cricket player, and according to Wikipedia, he is "widely regarded as one of the greatest bowlers in the history of the game."

Assume that bowling is something that a cricket player does, and not what the poker media does at the Gold Coast Casino a couple nights a week.

While Warne is certainly famous, his celebrity appeal here in America is rather limited. That doesn't apply to his fiancée however -- actress/model Elizabeth Hurley.

Hurley became famous in the 1990s with top modeling contracts and films like "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery."

Hurley surprised a lot of people when she showed up to sweat Warne today, and the WSOP staff wisely gave her a seat inside the ropes so fans wouldn't cause a commotion around her.

But Hurley's star power is strong enough to pull in people who shouldn't be as awed by celebrity, like Ali Nejad (who is doing video updates for ESPN) and poker pro Brandon Adams.

If you'd like to be shocked, look up Elizabeth Hurley's Wikipedia page, check out her age, and then look at this photo again. Yeah, we didn't believe it either.

Sasquatch Attacks Alex Villegas
PokerListings reporters messed with Sasquatch and paid the price

If you'd like to get a look at Hurley, you should act quickly -- she might be getting bored and looking to do some shopping soon.

@ElizabethHurley: Anyone know if there's a Todds store in Vegas?

Sasquatch Promotes Beef Jerkey; Kills Poker Media

Ever since Jack Links Beef Jerkey became a premier sponsor of the World Series of Poker, their mascot Sasquatch has been making appearances at the WSOP Main Event.

If you've seen their commercials on TV, you'll know they usually follow a theme of "Messing with Sasquatch," where a couple of guys play pranks on Sasquatch until he rips off their arms like a wookiee who just lost at chess.

Well, our own reporter Alex Villegas joined forces with Ali Nejad to try to trip him by pushing him back over a kneeling Nejad, but Sasquatch got the upper hand and crushed Villegas instead.

Later today, we might get a photo of Sasquatch with a lightsaber. No promises though.

Starry Field

Here are some other stars we’ve spotted in the field:

Sorel Mizzi

Tom McEvoy

Jonathan Little

Viktor Blom

Annette Obrestad

Jimmy Fricke

David Chiu

Matt Savage

Scott Clements

Robert Williamson

Jennifer Harman

Daniel Alaei

David Benyamine

Allen Kessler

John Juanda

Freddie Deeb

Jason Mercier

Humberto Brenes

2012 Main Event: Cards In The Air For Day 1C

Esfandiari is seated at the ESPN feature table.
Esfandiari is seated at the ESPN feature table.

Cards are in the air for the last starting day of the Main Event. There has been a surprisingly good turnout this year with 1,066 entrances for Day 1A, and 2,114 for Day 1B. It has been speculated that there will be over 4,000 players for today’s Day 1C.

We expect to see a lot of big names take their seats today. Day 1C usually draws the biggest field, and many of the big names wait until the last day to capitalize on more chips in the field.

Here are some of the names we’ve spotted so far:

Humberto Brenes

Dan Kelly

Shannon Shorr

Matt Affleck

Jonathan Duhamel

Jeff Shulman

Maria Mayrinck

Ben Yu

Joseph Cheong

Mike Leah

John Racener

Andy Frankenberger

Nacho Barbero

Jason Wheeler

Antonio Esfandiari

Although we haven’t tracked Phil Ivey down yet, we expect to see him arriving at some point today.

2012 Main Event: Huge Day 1c Set to Go Off

Ivey time?
Ivey time?

Today is the final starting day of the 2012 WSOP Main Event and we’re expecting a monster field.

Day 1a drew 1,066 players and Day 1b attracted 2,114 players but the last starting day is traditionally the biggest at the WSOP Main Event and this could be even bigger than usual considering there are only three starting days this year.

Some of the biggest names in poker have yet to take a seat in this year’s big dance so we’re expecting see Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius, Gus Hansen, Jennifer “Jennicide” Leigh and Matt Savage in today’s festivities.

With 3,180 players already signed up over the first two starting days we’re going to need to hit 3,685 runners today if we want to see the 2012 Main Event match last year’s attendance numbers.

Getting 3,685 players on one day seems like a fairly tall order but thanks to extra tournament space this year, the WSOP is certainly equipped to make it happen.

In other words, if you’ve got $10,000 burning a hole in your pocket then you should get down to the Rio in Las Vegas ASAP because they’ll be able to accommodate you.

Because today is the final starting day there’s also a good chance will get a look at the prize pool later in the day, which should be interesting.

Action begins at 12 p.m. today so be sure to check back here in about an hour to get real-time live updates of the biggest poker tournament in the world.


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