The 2010 version of the World Series of Poker’s Main Event will go down as the second largest field in tournament history after the final session of Day 1 qualifying concludes today at the Rio.
More than 7,000 players are expected to compete in the $10,000 buy-in No-limit Hold’em World Championship event once the final entries are tallied.
The record number of entries for the Main Event took place in 2006 when Hollywood producer Jamie Gold topped a field of 8,773 players to take home a first place payout of $12 million.
World Series of Poker officials scheduled four days of "first day" tables through today. Remaining players will start returning Friday and play through July 17 when a final table of nine players is determined.
Thursday attracted more than 2,300 players, including 11-time individual event bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth Jr., who entered the Rio dressed a UFC contestant. However, Hellmuth’s run ended after about six hours when he was sent to the rail.
“Out! Still feel calm (not freaking out),” Hellmuth wrote on his Twitter page. “Did autographs (and) pics (for) 45 mins straight after busting. 2010 WSOP: played great, cards were not great.”
Meanwhile, defending champion Joe Cada survived his first day with about 55,000 in tournament chips, which is above average.
Also surviving were popular poker professionals Annie Duke and Daniel Negreanu.
“Frustrating day,” Negreanu wrote on Twitter. “Put in a solid effort and ran a bit salty. Will resume on Friday at noon.”
Former Main Event Champion and 10-time bracelet winner Johnny Chan ended play Wednesday with the second-highest chip count of the day.
Busting out Wednesday were 1996 main event champion and four-time bracelet winner Huck Seed, 2007 champion Jerry Yang, and seven-time gold bracelet winner Men "The Master" Nguyen.
Poker champion Phil Hellmuth Jr., (right) is greeted by fellow poker professional Mike Matusow before Wednesday’s play at the World Series of Poker.
Photo courtesy of the WSOP