Day 1c of the $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event - World Championship is notoriously the most hectic day of the summer at the World Series of Poker, but the 2019 edition might very well go down as the craziest single day in WSOP history.
The single-day attendance record for the WSOP Main Event was broken on Friday with almost 5,000 players registering for the Day 1c flight. That number brings the total attendance for the 2019 Main Event over the 8,000 mark, making it the second-highest ever. With late registration still available until the start of the Day 2 flights (Saturday and Sunday), there’s still a chance that this year’s tournament could break the all-time record for Main Event entries. The current record of 8,773 players has stood since the 2006 Main Event.
As single day attendance hit an all-time high, so did the level of strangeness during a day unlike anything ever seen at the Main Event. A pair of player disqualifications, an earthquake panic that shook the Rio, and Phil Ivey’s elimination within the first hour all marked a day that will live on in poker lore for years to come.
With the wild flight complete, it was James Henson (316,100), Mike “Timex” McDonald (306,300), Joshua Ray (304,200), Robert Kokoska (285,500) and Mamouni Mohamed (284,000) that ended the day among the names at the top of the chip counts.
Other top performers for the flight included WSOP bracelet winners Adam Friedman (263,100), Timur Margolin (197,400), Calvin Anderson (178,100), Joey Couden (170,300) and Josh Arieh (169,500), who’s coming off a runner-up finish in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. As the Main Event progresses to the first of three Day 2 flights Saturday, it’s Bryan Campanello (417,500) with the overall chip lead from all of the Day 1 flights combined.
The tone for this wild day was set in the first hour of play, beginning with 10-time bracelet winner Ivey busting out before the clock had even struck 1 p.m. Ivey found himself in a three-way, three-bet pot, making an all-in reraise on the flop with the nut flush draw against Jeffrey Chang’s top two pair. The spade Ivey was looking for never came, and the poker legend was one of the first eliminations of the day.
Not One But Two Disqualifications!
Minutes later, at the table of 2015 Main Event Champion Joe McKeehen, Georgii Belianin was disqualified from the tournament. Belianin was shown the door after reaching out and scooping up the chip stack of the player next to him, to the shock and amazement of everyone else in the vicinity. WSOP Vice President Jack Effel escorted Belianin out of the Rio after the unexplainable actions.
Belianin’s exit, however, wouldn’t even end up as the strangest player disqualification of the day. That dubious honor went to a player in the opening minutes of Level 2. This player went all-in blind preflop, turning over Q3 offsuit before anyone else had acted yet behind him. He then proceeded to turn around, drop his pants and moon everyone else at the table, then take off his shoes and throw them, hitting the player in seat one.
The man was immediately disqualified and led to the exits, resurfacing again later in the day on a video that made the rounds on social media. In that piece, the same man was seen dancing on a craps table at Luxor, once again dropping his pants.
The next few levels of the day went on at a level of relative normalcy until a significant earthquake shook the halls of the Rio for the second time in two days.
With the chandeliers and other fixtures of the Rio Convention Center swaying noticeably, many players stood up and left their respective playing areas mid-hand as the 7.1 magnitude quake rolled for several seconds. The tremor caused enough of panic that WSOP officials immediately put the field on dinner break, 40 minutes ahead of schedule, during Level 4.
In between moments of insanity, plenty of poker was played. Former Main Event champions in the Day 1c field included McKeehen, John Cynn (2018), Jamie Gold (2006), Robert Varkonyi (2002) and Joe Cada (2009), who got the festivities started with a quick speech and a “Shuffle Up and Deal” at the beginning of play.
The players that survived Day 1c advance to Day 2c, which restarts at 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 7. Other notable players on that list include Garrett Adelstein (216,700), Leon Tsoukernik (167,200), Matt Affleck (166,800), Sam Greenwood (126,400), and Ali Imsirovic (102,500).
First up, however, is Day 2ab, which brings back all of the survivors from Day 1a and 1b in a combined field. That restart commences at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 6. Both of the Day 2 flights will play through five two-hour levels, and the players that make it through the Day 2 flights will all come back for Day 3 on Monday, July 8 at noon.
Stay tuned and follow along with the PokerNews live reporting team as the 2019 Main Event continues to unfold.