Well, it's finally here. After 6 weeks of bracelet chasing and 60 champions named the one they all crave is on its way to being decided as Day 1a of the 2012 $10,000 Main Event has come to a conclusion with 657 of the 1066 day 1 entrants progressing through to day 2. Currently leading the way is William John, and it's quite a lead with his 266.7k over 100k ahead of his nearest rival (Gerado Lubas 165.8k).
As is generally the case we expect todays turn out to be the lowest of the three Day 1's, and currently that looks to be the case with over 4,000 entrants already registered prior to the start of Day 1b. Things are looking good for a big turnout with Day 1a's total of 1066 players up considerably on last years figure of 897.
As you would expect with the biggest event in the yearly poker calendar we saw a lot of big names take to the felt chasing glory including four former Main Event Champions; Phil Hellmuth, Joe Hachem, Jim Bechtel and the current champion, Pius Heinz. Of the four only Heinz will be returning, and even he made hard work of it, being down to around 10k (from a 30k starting stack) before rallying well in the late stages to end the day at around 40k chips. It was a disappointing end the Hellmuth's WSOP campaign as he entered the fray late in the day around level 3 and was out by level 5, eventually running his top pair (AJ on a A 10 3 board into for EPT champion Michael Tureniec's flopped set of 3's) and busting out. Hellmuth however can reflect on another successful year having not only increased his all time cashes record at the WSOP to 91 (15 ahead of Men Nguyen), taken home his biggest ever win ($2.6 million for his 4th place in the Big One for One Drop) and landed his 12th WSOP bracelet (Event 18, $2.5k Razz).
Plenty of other name players failed to make to it day 2 including; Allen Bari, Greg Mueller, Matt Glantz, Chris Klodnicki, John Monnette, Tommy Vedes, Kathy Liebert and Ivan Demidov. Those fortunate enough to live to fight another day include; Ronny "1-ronnyr3" Kaiser, Katrina Jett, Amanda "Mandy B" Baker, Isaac Baron, Faraz "The Toilet" Jaka, Brock Parker, Isaac "philivey2694" Haxton, Mike Matusow, Jackie Glazier and Andy Black. The highest placed notable from Day 1a is the 2010 $5k PLO WSOP champion Chance Kornuth in 6th place with just under 142k chips.
Day 1b is just underway and already some big names are making an impact with the likes of Betrand "Elky" Grospellier, Brian "tsarrast" Rast and Mike "Timex" McDonald already among the chip leaders. Other notables in the field at this stage include; Rep Porter, Steve Sung, former Main Event winners Carlos Mortensen and Peter Eastgate, Robert Mizrachi, Barry Greenstein, Jason Sommerville, Justin "ZeeJustin" Bonomo, Vanessa Selbst, Andrew "LuckyChewy" Lichtenberger and Eugene Katchalov.
We'll be back tomorrow to see how they fared.
Find more of the latest news and articles relating to the World Series of Poker in the 2012 WSOP-section.