Every summer the World Series of Poker attracts tens of thousands of poker pros and recreational players to Las Vegas, and on days like Tuesday, it can feel like all of them are there at once.
Several of the WSOP’s patented low- and mid-level buy-in tournaments took place yesterday, packing the Rio to the rafters with players in every room.
In Event #19: $365 NLHE “Giant” – the lowest buy-in for a bracelet event ever – 1,606 hopefuls turned out for Day 1C. The tournament’s unique structure spreads five starting flights over five Fridays, and this time it was Todd Louer leading 146 survivors with 730,000 chips.
Event #47: $1,500 NLHE “Monster Stack” attracted 6,716 entries, making it one of the largest poker tournaments ever held, and 20 players secured a seat for Wednesday’s final day.
The top prize of $1,094,349 provides ample motivation for all, as chip leader Stoyan Obreshkov (11,300,000) attempts to fend off a pack of pros which includes Scott Montgomery (7,335,000), Will “The Thrill” Failla (5,400,000), Brian Yoon (3,900,000), Maurice Hawkins (3,500,000), and Scott Baumstein (1,955,000).
Event #50: $1,500 NLHE Bounty brought 1,927 entries into the fold, but only 29 remain in contention after Tuesday’s playdown. Veteran pro Harrison Gimbel (1,085,000) has built the biggest stack thus far, but he’s trailed closely by Marc Foggin (982,000), Tobias Peters (963,000), Jiri Horak (943,000) and Jacob Bazeley (904,000).
Along with the $500 cash chip bounty awarded for every elimination, the final 29 are vying for a top prize of $266,646.
Event #51: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better world championship played down to 15 from the 207-runner field, with two-time bracelet Sportsbook Josh Arieh (1,695,000) atop the counts.
Poker fans will also be sweating – or anti-sweating, to put it more accurately – Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (486,000), as the poker pariah closes in on his sixth bracelet.
Event #52: $1,500 NLHE didn’t offer any bells and whistles, but the standard WSOP fare was enough to add 1,580 more entries on Tuesday for Day 1. After a grueling day on the felt, 246 players managed to navigate the minefield, giving themselves a shot at the $364,438 Sportsbook’s share.
The top five on the leaderboard entering Day 2 are Kework Besiktasliyan (177,400), Kyle Muelrath (131,500), Parker Drew (119,300), Griffin Malatino (116,500), and Finn Zwad (113,700).
Several big-name pros are still kicking as well, including Kelly Minkin (94,700), Rainer Kempe (93,600), Cary Katz (88,200), Jeff Madsen (55,700), Jason Mercier (40,300), and Barry Greenstein (19,700).