Whoa there, Nellie Kane. Did you think that PokerStars would surpass 1,000 entries in the Players Championship? I did not have faith, but I'm a total jaded vet. Even with an additional 320 entries due to Platinum Passes, there was still nearly 700 other runners who took a shot at the largest tournament that PokerStars ever hosted.
With $5 million set aside for the champion, the 2019 PSPC will also have the largest first-place prize in the history of all things PokerStars.
It was truly a historic day in the Bahamas. I'm sure every Stars suit and exec is currently in the Bahamas as we speak, so I could only imagine the relief and excitement among the crew when the official number ticked over from 999 to 1,0000. We're talking about popping oodles of corks on (premium) champagne bottles and getting super lit (ho hum, the jet ski guys take care of you) because PokerStars pulled off a sick feat for a single-entry event with a $25K price tag.
Yeah, these numbers were not boosted by re-entries and double-bullet affairs. Nope, it was an old-school freezeout. One ticket, one event. As HST said, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”
As of press time (ho hum, Monday morning Vegas time), a total of 1,014 brave souls took part in the historic event with registration still open. That total event number includes 320 Platinum Passes (and supposedly a handful of winners were no-shows).
When the dust settled at the end of the first day, only 756 players remained and a good 25% of the field was liquidated. Dunzo. Fini. Pooof.
Talal Shakerchi, best known as that British bankster who has been crushing the virtual tables and navigating the rough seas of Euro-centric high roller events, bagged up the big stack. He nearly 7x his starting stack of 60,000. London's Shakerchi amassed the biggest stack in the room with 425K.
Dan O'Brien is the second-biggest stack with a shade over 301K. Other notables in the top ten included Americans Jon Dolker and Dylan Wilkerson.
The one and only Kevin Mathers is still alive. KevMath survived the cut with nearly 76K in chips. I'd love to see the WSOP Information Czar go deep.
Other noteworthy names still alive include... Kristen Bicknell, Dan Shak, Mustapha Kanit, Christoph Vogelsang, Celina Lin, Patrik Antonius, Chris Moneymaker, Johnny Bax, Justin Bonomo, Jason Somerville, Natalie Teh, Kevin Martin, Aditya Agarwal, Lex Veldhuis, Phil Hellmuth, Leo Margets, Linda Johnson, Jake Cody, Bill Perkins, David Peters, Bruce Buffer, Daniel Dvoress, Diego Sanchez, Vincent Moscati, Brian Rast, Noah Schwartz, Matt Salsberg, and Jennifer Shahade.
Several French players are still alive. Adrien Delmas is the biggest stack among Les Bleus with 211K, followed by Julian Martini (166K), Johan Girad (123K), Laala Redjouh (122K), and Corentin Ropert (111K). Also still alive are.... Jeremie Sarda, Illan Serruya, Benjamin Pollak, Bruno Lopes, Thi Nguyen, Pierre Lewandowski, Gino Cardenia, Alex Reard,Paul Tedeschi, Adrien Allian, Romain Lewis, Victor Chopeaux, Gaelle Baumann, Pierre Calamusa, Guillaume Diaz, Nicolas Dumont, and Jimmy Guerrero.
Follow along for top-notch coverage via venustyle, who is reporting from the front lines in the Bahamas.
Among the notables who busted on the opening day included best-selling author Maria Konnikova and former NBA star Paul Pierce. Pierce busted late on Day 1 and failed to advance to the second day of action. I wonder if he was betting NBA action at the sportsbook?
You can watch the stream starting at noon local time...