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2018 WSOP: Record-Setting Day 1C Makes for Second-Largest Main Event in History

Poker in the 21st century has seemingly rewritten the record books every year. That can also be said for the 2018 World Series of Poker and its marquee event, the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship. After a record-setting day, France’s Samuel Touil came out on top of the field as Day 2A prepares to take off on Thursday.

Event #65 - $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship

After the two previous Day 1s bettered their numbers from 2017, there was some hedged optimism for Day 1C at the WSOP Main Event. It was tempered, however, because of the Independence Day holiday in Las Vegas … who wants to be inside playing poker during arguably one of the biggest outdoor celebrations in the U.S.? As it turned out, A LOT of people wanted to be inside playing poker, especially if it is for poker’s greatest prize.

A total of 4,571 players came out of the woodwork for Day 1C at the Main Event, shattering the previous record-high day of 4,262 set just last year (Day 1C). Along with the 925 players who entered on Day 1A and the 2,378 runners who came to the line for Day 1B, the total size of the 2018 WSOP Championship Event field is 7,874. That makes it the second-largest WSOP Main Event of all time behind only the monstrous 8,773 players who played in the 2006 Main Event.

The resulting prize pool will also be astounding. With it totaling $74,015,600, 1,182 players will be able to say they cashed in at the 2018 Main Event. That minimum cash will be for $15,000 (with 15 percent of the field being paid, a standard set last year), but the true focus of everyone will be on the top of the board. The entirety of the final table will walk away with a seven-figure score and the eventual champion will take home an $8.8-million payday, with the runner-up receiving $5 million.

All of that, however, is quite some ways down the road. Out of those 4,571 who came to play on Wednesday, a surprising 3,200 will be coming back on Friday for Day 2B of the tournament. Some of those who won’t be a part of the field include Marcel Luske, John Racener, Daniel Negreanu (who was on the ESPN2 Featured Table for the entirety of his stay, including his bust-out with pocket jacks against a flopped set of tens) and former world champion Chris Moneymaker. Other pros like the Phils, Ivey (92,300) and Hellmuth (63,700, who showed up to Wednesday’s play as the superhero Thor), and former WSOP Championship Event winners Martin Jacobson (38,400), Jonathan Duhamel (17,500) and Joe Cada (16,500) will be around on Friday, but they will have some work to do.

Taking a firm hold on the leaderboard is France’s Samuel Touil, who self-admittedly “hit some big hands” after the dinner break to seize a sizable advantage:

2018 WSOP EVENT #65 – Main Event Day 1C Most Chips
Player Chips
Samuel Touil 352,800
Peter Forsstrom 283,200
Bernhard Steiner 282,000
Denilson Menezes 272,000
Anthony Reategui 256,500
Gary Payne 248,600
Ignacio Sanchez 244,700
Robert Covert 240,300
Martin Malone 237,400
Fabrizzo D’Agostino 234,900

That stack also allowed Touil to take the overall lead for the 2018 WSOP Championship Event:

2018 WSOP EVENT #65 – Main Event Chip Leaders
Player Chips
Samuel Touil (Day 1C) 352,800
Timothy Lau (Day 1A) 338,700
Truyen Nguyen (Day 1A) 324,800
Chris Fraser (Day 1A) 316,100
Smain Mamouni (Day 1B) 311,000
Samuel Bernabeu (Day 1B) 309,500
Barbara Rogers (Day 1B) 307,000
Peter Forsstrom (Day 1C) 283,200
Bernhard Steiner (Day 1C) 282,000
Denilson Menezes (Day 1C) 272,000

Today’s schedule at the WSOP will see the survivors from Day 1A (659) join those from Day 1B (1,794) to make up Day 2A. Those 3,303 players will come together at 11 a.m. Las Vegas time in the Rio’s Amazon and Brasilia rooms to continue the fight for poker’s World Championship.