They came early, they came late and they came often as some 1,587 players filled the Brasilia Room and Part of the Pavillion for the first six-handed event of the 2014 WSOP today — a number that absolutely crushed the 1,069 this same $1,500 event drew last year.
But as fast as they came, they left just as quickly, and by the level before the dinner break a third of the field had been sent packing. Such is the way with six-max poker, as ranges are loosened up and aggression rules the day.
North of 1,500 players meant they played through 11 levels on the day and the money bubble burst rather quickly into the day’s final stanza. Speaking of money, once registration closed it was announced the prizepool reached a healthy $2,142,450 and while it’s not a Millionaire Maker, a first-place prize just under half a million dollars will be awarded to the winner of this one. A total of 162 people will get paid, and with 134 left when play was done, some already have.
Among the players who built big stacks on the day and have an inside track on the big money up top are Nicholas Immekus, Luis Camprlo, Blake Whittington, Chris MacNeil, Jason Wheeler, and Abraham Korotki, who all appear to have bagged up over 100,000. A group of well known pros including David Peters, Erik Cajelais, Eddy Sabat, Mike Sowers, Jason Mercier, Olivier Busquet, Jeff Madsen and Noah Schwartz are all also within striking distance.
All will be chasing Steven Hensley, however, who finished the night with the chip lead after collecting 184,200.
The hunt for $449,980 and a much coveted WSOP Gold Bracelet will continue at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, and if this brisk pace continues we should be looking at a final six by the time ten levels are through. The plan is to play to whichever comes first. To catch it all tune into the PokerNews Live Updates page right here, early and often.