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Monday, July 6, 2009
Pollack is sorry for WSOP miscue


6:10 p.m. ET: WSOP commissioner Jeffrey Pollack held an impromptu news conference to explain to an extremely angry crowd why main event registration was closed earlier today. Despite speeches from the WSOP about never turning anyone away from the main event in the past few years, the WSOP did just that.

"We are sorry," Pollack said. "I am sorry. The last thing we wanted to do was deny entry to any players. Operationally, we are unable to accommodate any more people."

Pollack explains that it was the biggest challenge he faced in four years, but still the crowd was amazingly hostile. Mickey Appleman will miss his first main event in 30 years. Tom Franklin, Minh Ly, Melissa Hayden and Brandon Adams were also among the notables to be turned away. As to some earlier incorrect rumors, Patrik Antonius was apparently registered in the middle of the night and somehow Sully Erna found his way to a seat in the Miranda room.

The real item to note is that the WSOP could have had a larger field than last year if officials let these players in. Instead, the WSOP will have to deal with the numbers' speaking for themselves. While the official numbers haven't been released, I'm estimating a field of 6,500 to 6,700 players, which would make this the fourth largest WSOP main event in history.

Those in action today are currently discussing the results as well. Bernard Lee was shocked when I mentioned the situation to him and all he could think about it was how mad T.J. Cloutier would be. The news isn't distracting Phil Ivey, who has chipped up in the first level. Josh Arieh is currently the unofficial chip leader with $78,000, but it's way too early to get into the numbers game. ESPN Poker Club winner Eric Mullen is hovering around $27,000, but with Nenad Medic on his right, it might not be an easy day.

Small blinds: Stories and rumors continue to float about players who were registered after registration was officially closed. No proof as of this time. … Phil Ivey has a dedicated camera team in place at his table. … Thanks to the WSOP.com team for dealing with the angry mob during Pollack's news conference. … Scott Montgomery has been eliminated. … The ESPN feature table rafters are packed to watch Erick Lindgren. … You can follow everything ESPN Poker on Twitter at @ESPN_Poker.