Day 1a of Event #6: $1,500 "Millionaire Maker" No-Limit Hold'em has come to a close after the first eight levels of play have wrapped up. A massive field of 3,713 players came out for the first of two starting flights, and former World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner Ryan Welch is contending for the chip lead. He bagged up 68,450, although we'll have to wait for the official counts from the WSOP before verifying if he topped this flight or not. There is also an entire batch of players in the Day 1b flight, so someone could emerge with plenty more chips later tonight.
The story of the day wasn't so much the poker being played, but rather the insanely large turnout for the event. All day long the registration lines were stretched far down the hallways, but seemed to move fairly fast. For several hours of the day, the event had players in all three rooms inside the Rio. This field has already crushed the record previously held for the largest $1,500 no-limit hold'em event at the WSOP, and it stands to become one of the largest poker tournaments of all time. Despite the unique payout structure that will be used for this event, the attraction of a guaranteed $1 million for first place had players storming through the doors.
Some of the notables advancing from Day 1a were gold bracelet winners John Monnette, Tristan Wade, Timothy Adams and Jake Cody. Micah Raskin, Kenny Nguyen, Dennis Phillips, Dani Stern and Rupert Elder were amongst those to advance as well.
862 from the 3,713 entered made it thorugh to day 2 but right now we're going to kick things over to PokerNews' Day 1b coverage. It's been a fun, record-setting day, but it's not over yet!