|ESPN.com: Poker||[Print without images]|
Speaking with the WSOP's Ty Stewart this morning, he believes a field of more than 7,000 players seems to be very attainable. The registration lines are out the door and with a few more hours to register for Day 1C action, the field may exceed the expected 2,000 mark quite easily. Tables are seated 10-handed and will adjust to nine-handed play as eliminations continue to occur. The Pavilion Room will break first and if it reaches that point, the Tan section will break first in Amazon. I'm not expecting that we get much further than that after 5 levels.
Among the thousands of players in action are many of poker's biggest stars. The feature table is highlighted by Jonathan Duhamel. Just like Doyle Brunson and Michael Mizrachi on Day 1A and Day 1B, his start hasn't been what he was looking for. The champ, clean shaven and looking more serious than ever, is down to 19,000 in chips after Level 1 and is hoping to do better than Joe Cada a year ago when Cada fell just short of the money. Cada is also in today's field, among other former champions Chris Moneymaker, Scotty Nguyen, Jamie Gold, Dan Harrington, Tom McEvoy and Bobby Baldwin.
Just like the last few days, the first elimination was a result of an aces versus kings matchup. Seated at the same table, Sorel Mizzi and Jason Young found themselves in that situation with Mizzi, the 2010 Bluff Player of the Year, holding the best of it. Mizzi has four cashes this summer, including an 11th-place finish in the seven-card stud world championship. He's up to more than 70,000 in chips after the first level.
Today's field composition expands beyond just professionals and amateurs who strive for poker greatness. It also features a number of celebrities including comedians Brad Garrett and Ray Romano, Olympic champion Audley Harrison and basketball star Paul Pierce. Garrett and Romano appeared with Annie Duke and the winners of the WSOP Cupcake Wars (not playing, great cupcakes) to perform today's "Shuffle up and deal."
Other players I'll be watching on Day 1C include two of my co-hosts on ESPN properties, Phil Gordon (on the Poker Edge podcast and Bernard Lee (on ESPN Inside Deal. Gordon's table has all agreed to donate one percent of their prize money to the Bad Beat on Cancer effort which supports cancer research. Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Erik Seidel, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, Chad Brown, Dennis Phillips, Humberto Brenes and Jason Somerville are just a few notables who have the potential and experience to make a very deep run in the main event.
Small blinds: Karina Jett finished as the runner-up in the Ladies Event a week ago. The expectant mother told me as I walked around that she hopes to have a great day and that her water doesn't break during play.
The WSOP announced during the first level that this year's WSOP (all 58 events) has attracted the most entrants in their 42-year history.
I was called "Baby" by Scotty Nguyen four times in two sentences while talking to the poker icon. That number seems too low.
Jennifer Leigh is playing Chinese poker on her iPad in between hands.
Brad Garrett called the floor and asked them to call another floor to ask how Ray Romano is doing. After visiting with both of them, their taking their last longer bet rather seriously.
Our live WSOP coverage begins on Thursday on ESPN3 and ESPN2.
The bracelet ceremonies for Nick Binger and Alexander Anter are taking place during the first break.
The WSOP-staffed bartenders in the Miller Lite pod have been replaced by Miller Lite girls. Maybe they were concerned about sales on Day 1B.
Gavin Smith was yelling at Bernard Lee from another table, telling him that he was the tightest player alive. What happens next? Lee rolls over 5-3 to crack aces for the second time in Level 1.
There is apparently a 94-year old woman in the field today. It is believed that she will be the oldest player to participate in 2011.