So, the Day 1’s are over. Now it’s break day before Day 2A begins. Of course, I am talking about the World Series of Poker’s 2008 Main Event. There was much speculation as to whether this year’s Main Event would have more entrants than last year’s, and in the end it did. This year the Main Event took on 6,844 participants, nearly 500 more players than last year but still very shy of the 2006 record of 8,773 when Jamie Gold took home 12 million dollars for the record first prize in poker history. This year the prize pool totals 64.3 million dollars for a top prize of 9.12 million, the second largest first prize in Main Event history.
Top notables left in the event include Victor Ramdin with 124,600 chips, David Oppenhiem with 114,400, Carlos Mortensen with 109,825, Gus Hansen with 102,900, Aaron Kanter has 99,700, Nikolav Evdakov has 93,850, Antonio Esfandiari with 93,775, Thomas Keller with 80,175, Phil Hellmuth with 78,900, and finally Johnny Chan has 77,500 chips.
Notable people busted out include mixed martial art fighter Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, Phil Ivey, David Williams, Andy Bloch, Annie Duke, and Jennifer Tilly.
Probably the oddest attempt at Main Event glory, or actually at avoiding it, was Phil Laak’s disguise. According to the International Herald Tribune, Phil “The Unabomber” Laak tried to keep opponents from recognizing him by having a makeup artist give him a fake mustache and don him in a latex mask with face paint, a far cry from his usual hoody and sunglasses. “On a scale of one to 10 I thought it was going to look like a nine and a half. It’s like an eight. But if they see something’s funny they don’t know it’s me, so it’s huge,” Laak said of his apparently functional disguise.
On July 8th and 9th Day 2A and B will take place followed by Day 3, where everyone left in the tournament will play together for the first time on July 10th. Look for further updates on FTR to come.