The 2017 World Series of Poker main event is underway, and ESPN's resident poker writer Tim Fiorvanti offers daily dispatches recapping the action from the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino.
It took five days of poker to get through the first two days of the 2017 WSOP, but with nearly two-thirds of the field already out the door, there's finally enough space to fit the entire field under one roof on Thursday. As the start of Day 3 approaches, London's Artan Dedusha (680,000) has the overall chip lead, but 12 players have over 500,000; among that group, only Ryan Hughes (pictured) has won a WSOP gold bracelet (he has two). Previous main event champions Johnny Chan, Scotty Nguyen, Carlos Mortensen and Joe Cada are all still in the mix, with the dream of becoming the first repeat champion since Stu Ungar won his third main event title in 1997. If last year's event is any indication, the money bubble could come into play late in the day on Thursday. Play resumes at 11 a.m. local time (2 p.m. ET), and this will be the last day of the main event that won't air on ESPN.
The 2017 WSOP main event is halfway through Day 2, and as the biggest stacks climb closer to 1 million, several players are starting to make serious inroads to a deep run in the tournament. After the simultaneous Day 2A and 2B sessions, 1,023 have locked up their spots for Day 3 on Wednesday, including chip leaders Lawrence Bayley (618,000) and Mickey Craft (pictured, 608,100). Jared Hamby (455,600), Marvin Rettenmaier (359,100), Jamie Gold (346,000) and Kenny Hallaert (331,800) each finished with top-60 stacks of their own. Former champions Gold, Joe Hachem (134,700), Greg Raymer (106,400) and Tom McEvoy (29,600) each made it through play Tuesday. Day 2C is Wednesday, and the full remaining field combines on Wednesday. (Photo c/o WSOP)
After out-performing expectations through the first two starting sessions of the 2017 WSOP main event, Day 1C blew away any lingering doubts. With 4,262 players -- the largest single-day turnout in the history of the WSOP main event -- the total field rose to 7,221. That puts it third all-time, in terms of field size, behind only the 2010 WSOP main event and the "poker boom" peak of 2006. The winner will receive. $8.15 million and the most coveted prize in all of poker. Of the 7,221, 5,519 players continue to hold on to their shot at becoming the 2017 WSOP main event champion, although we're still two full days away from the field combining into a single session. Notable big stacks at the end of Day 1C include chip leader Jerome Brion (247,900), Eric Nathan ("Barstool Nate", 228,500), Adam Levy (220,700) and Natasha Mercier (218,400). Days 2A and 2B will play out in parallel on Tuesday, and Day 2C is Wednesday. (Photo c/o WSOP)
Day 1B of the 2017 WSOP main event will likely forever be remembered for one of the craziest hands of televised poker in recent memory, but a lot more than that went down on Sunday. Most since the tournament transitioned to three starting sessions in 2012. With 2,164 entries, Day 1B drew its biggest field in over 10 years, and the largest Day 1B field since the tournament transitioned to three starting days in 2012. Richard Dubini had the best Day 1B of all, bagging 254,500. Greg Merson did not make it through the day, but other past main event champions Robert Varkonyi, Greg Raymer, Joe Hachem, Jamie Gold and Jonathan Duhamel each bagged up on Sunday. The final starting session begins at 11 a.m. local time in Las Vegas on Monday.
The long journey of the 2017 WSOP main event began Saturday, and by the time Day 1A had wrapped up, there was a lot of positive signs to take from the day. With 795 players, 1A drew its largest field since 2013, with 576 making it through the first five levels of action. Defending champion Qui Nguyen got a late start to the day, but bagged 96,700 to put him comfortably among the top 25 percent. 2014 champion Martin Jacobson finished with less than a starting stack, while 2007 champ Jerry Yang failed to make it through the day. Morten Mortensen was the first one to bag a chip lead, with 276,000 to end the day. Sam Grafton (231,600) and Jonathan Little (211,300) also finished Saturday night in the top five. Former New England Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour is in great shape with 114,000, good for 77th overnight. (Photo c/o WSOP)