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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP 2010 | WSOP Tournaments

WSOP Main Event Day 1D: Last Flight Gives Impressive Numbers

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The people chosen to launch each day of the WSOP Main Event are unique and special to poker for a reason. Former champion Greg Raymer did the honors on Day 1A and Joe Cada took care of 1C, both of whom hold special places in poker history. Day 1B found the MVP of the WSOP dealers, a woman named Ashley, holding the microphone to kick things off, and the dealers are obviously important to the Series. Day 1D? American football star Emmitt Smith. He was playing the tournament but took the stage before the action to tell the entire field to “shuffle up and play.”

With that, the last of the four starting days of the 2010 World Series of Poker $10K NLHE Championship was underway. It was truly the most important day of the summer games, as the final number of entrants would dictate the overall health report for the WSOP. Does attendance continue to grow despite global economic difficulties? Can the prestige of the WSOP eclipse the prohibitive nature of the $10K buy-in and continue to attract new players?

Yes and yes. The 2010 WSOP Main Event became the second biggest in its history. There were 7,319 players in the tournament. The numbers from the first three days didn’t exactly add up, as Day 1D was reported to have 2,319 players in it, and combined with previous days’ numbers, the total would be more than 7,319, but the exact number of entries for each starting day will likely be sorted out and rereleased in the coming days. In the meantime, the 7,319-player field created a $68,798,600 prize pool, out of which the final 747 players would be paid and the winner would receive $8,944,138. The exact payout schedule is as follows:

10th - 12th
13th - 15th
16th - 18th 
 19th - 27th $317,161
28th - 36th
37th - 45th
46th - 54th
55th - 63rd
64th - 72nd
73rd - 81st
82nd - 90th
91st - 99th 
100th - 171st 
172nd - 243rd 
244th - 315th
316th - 387th
388th - 459th
460th - 531st
532nd - 603rd
604th - 675th 
676th - 747th

The 2010 registration number went far past the 2009 figure of 6,494 entries but fell short of beating the all-time record of 8,773 players in the 2006 WSOP Main Event. But in a Series that grew overall but saw some of its tournaments fail to surpass the previous year’s numbers, creating speculation that there would be an overall downturn this year, the final statistics were very positive and showed continued growth in the poker industry, specifically at the World Series of Poker.

Speaking of the field, there were some interesting faces in it, including the aforementioned NFL player Smith who kicked off the festivities before playing a few levels in the tournament. Another sports figure at the tables was Audley Harrison, a well-known British boxer. Shannon Elizabeth made her appearance, as did poker enthusiasts and actors Jason Alexander and Hank Azaria. Jennifer Elise Cox, whom some might remember as Jan Brady from The Brady Bunch, also played the tournament. And one of the friendliest and most welcome faces in the crowd was Jack Ury, the 97-year old man who plays in the WSOP each year, usually with his grandson. Finally, some past champions graced the tables, as Joe Hachem and the legendary Doyle Brunson took their shots at another title.

Many didn’t make it through their first day of play, though, and some of those names included Hachem, Phil Gordon, Jeff Lisandro, Pam Brunson, Michael Craig, Cliff Josephy, Joe Cassidy, Paul Darden, John Juanda, Allen Kessler, and Sorel Mizzi.

When all was said and done, there were no estimates as to how many players remained in the field, but there were some chip counts for the day. Those revealed the top ten players for 1D as follows:

Steve Billirakis 
Khamsy Nuanmanee
Steven Tabb 
Julien Foussard 
Nestor Martinez 
Roger Pruzansky
Daniel Springfield 
Theodore Bort 
Frank Gu  
Aaron Gustavson 


Some overall numbers were released by the WSOP after the Main Event tally was complete. The final report revealed that the 2010 WSOP had a history-making 72,966 players in the 57 events, including the Main Event, and the overall cumulative prize pool for the summer was $187,109,850. The players traveled from 117 countries and territories.

As compared to the 60,875 players in 2009 and the $180,774,427 prize pool, the current year showed a 20 percent increase in attendance.

All in all, the 41 years of WSOP tournaments has awarded a total of $1,228,375,121 in prize money.

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