The final initial flight of the 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Event #76: $10,000 WSOP Main Event World Championship witnessed an overwhelming number of entrants. On Day 1D alone, a staggering 4,100 participants joined the prestigious poker event. The current number of participants surpasses 9,350 and continues to rise, setting a significant milestone in the history of the WSOP. This was a marked increase from the previous record set in 2006, which saw 8,773 entries.

There was undeniable excitement throughout the day as game tables filled up in every nook and corner of the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas ballrooms.

Among the distinguished attendees were Chris Moneymaker, known for sparking the poker boom in 2003, and Gene Calden, the centenarian with the record for being the oldest player in the Main Event.

Nicholas Rigby Takes the Lead

Day 1D concluded with Nicholas Rigby in the lead, amassing a stack of 408,000 chips. A standout figure in the poker world, Rigby is remembered for the ‘dirty diaper’ play (a 3-2o bluff) that brought him into the limelight a few years ago. As the sole player to accumulate over 400,000 chips, the Pennsylvania native heads into Day 2 as the overall chip leader. Though Rigby doesn’t boast an extensive tournament record, he’s shown considerable prowess in this event. This prowess was particularly evident in 2019 when he finished the Main Event in the 52nd position, taking home a hefty $136,100 prize and earning widespread acclaim for playing his preferred hand, deuce-three offsuit.

Following Rigby’s Footsteps

A trail of players trails Rigby closely. Brittney Stout, the player right behind Rigby, ended her Day 1D with a formidable stack of 375,500 chips. Known for her jovial spirit and humorous exchanges throughout the day, Stout emerged as a formidable contender, much to the delight of her peers. Other notable players who dominated the leaderboard include Neel Murthy (323,100 chips), high-roller Chris Hunichen (321,000 chips), and Brandon Mincher (317,000 chips), each leaving their mark on the first day of the event.

A Day of Spectacles and Surprises

Day 1D of the 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP) wasn’t just filled with high-stakes action, it was also marked by unexpected theatrics. Legendary poker pro Phil Hellmuth made a grand entrance as a ringmaster, leading Daniel “Jungleman” Cates, amusingly clad as a lion in a cage. In a nod to his illustrious career, Hellmuth was accompanied by 17 models, each representing one of his WSOP gold bracelet victories.

Hellmuth’s entrance received a divided response: fans cheered and scrambled for pictures, while others grumbled about the distraction from the game. As per tradition, Hellmuth’s entry to the Main Event was dramatic. He concluded his night at the feature table with 108,500 chips, while Cates was sent packing soon after dinner.

Fateful Hands and Early Exits

The notorious “cold deck,” synonymous with an unfavorable first hand, appeared right from the start. Jamie Smith, armed with pocket queens, flopped a top set, while Mikolaj Zawadzki, with pocket eights, flopped a middle set. The chips were all in by the river, with Zawadzki failing to improve and getting eliminated—a stunningly expensive $10,000 hand!

Sadly, centenarian Gene Calden’s historic day was cut short. Calden, a World War II veteran, flopped two pair but was outdone when his adversary turned a straight. His Main Event ended in the second level, but not before he received applause for his service and remarkable presence on the poker scene.

Returning Champions and New Faces

Joe Hachem, the 2005 Main Event champion, was back in the mix with 125,300 chips, alongside his son Daniel Hachem, who managed to bag 22,400 chips. The Australian duo, fondly regarded by fans, will return for Day 2d.

Other previous Main Event champions on the field included Qui Nguyen (121,800), Chris Moneymaker (143,100), and Scotty Nguyen (8,400). However, Hossein Ensan was the only one who couldn’t progress to Day 2.

Unexpected Twists on the Floor

A poker event wouldn’t be complete without some unforeseen incidents. In a surprising turn of events, Gaston Miculitzki benefited from a floor ruling after a mix-up with his bet. Miculitzki mistakenly put in the wrong amount and tried to fold. However, following the floor ruling that obligated him to call, Miculitzki ended up turning a set of kings, resulting in a double-up against his competitor. It just goes to show a poker game, much like a circus, never fails to bring in the unexpected!

A Twist of Fate and Laughter on the Tables

In an engaging turn of events, Stephanie Wang found herself all-in on the flop with pocket eights, facing Brian Wilson, who held only a queen-high without any draw. Wilson unexpectedly rivered a pair and broke into celebration, drawing attention from the entire room. However, his joy was short-lived as Wang soon discovered she had rivered a flush. Both players took the twist of fate in their stride, sharing a laugh as Wang claimed the 250 big blind pot.

Top 20 Overall (Day 1A, 1B, 1C & 1D)

Below is an amalgamated chip count list, showing who’s in the lead, overall, for Days 1A, 1B, 1C and 1D:

Rank Player Chip Count Country Day
1 Nicholas Rigby 408,800 USA 1D
2 Yehuda Dayan 389,900 Israel 1A
3 Christopher Brammer 386,100 UK 1C
4 Brittney Stout 375,500 USA 1D
5 Shota Nakanishi 360,100 Japan 1A
6 Neel Murthy 323,100 USA 1D
7 Chris Hunichen 321,200 USA 1D
8 Carlos Leiva 318,700 Argentina 1D
9 Brandon Mincher 317,000 USA 1D
10 Jeffrey Weil 308,100 USA 1D
11 Matthew Adams 307,200 USA 1D
12 Vincent Pistorino 306,000 USA 1D
13 Harish Ananthapadmanabha 305,400 USA 1D
14 Hai-Chi Ho 297,400 China 1A
15 Michael Banducci 292,600 USA 1C
16 Jean-Pierre van der Spuy 287,000 South Africa 1B
17 Julien Martini 286,000 France 1B
18 Yuze Ding 284,500 USA 1B
19 Doug Polk 281,900 USA 1A
20 Gar Cheung 281,500 USA 1B

Looking Ahead to Day 2

The players who triumphed on Day 1D have been granted a day off to recuperate and strategize for their return to the tables on Saturday, July 8th, at 12 p.m. local time. Before their return, Day 2abc will take place on July 7, amalgamating players from Day 1A, Day 1B, and Day 1C. These participants will confront the next five levels of poker at the same local time.

The event will be hosted in the familiar settings of the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas ballrooms. Eager viewers and enthusiasts can anticipate a thorough coverage from a dedicated live reporting team that will provide timely updates and highlights from every corner of the tournament room. The stakes are high, the energy is palpable, and the game is set to continue its thrilling run.