The $10m guaranteed for first place has attracted 5% more players than entered in 2013.
After the third starting day, the 2014 WSOP Main Event tallied 6,683 entries, well up on 2013’s total of 6,352.
Phil Ivey had a slow start to this year’s WSOP, but a bracelet in Event #50: $1,500 Eight-Game Mix seems to have started a heater—he is now second in chips with 187k, behind the Day 1 tournament leader Eric Tracey.
Ivey has a 10th place finish in the 2003 Main Event, and a 7th place in the 2009 event. In 2009 he was all in pre-flop with A-K, but fell victim to Darvin Moon’s A-Q when the flop brought a queen.
Despite the early success, this year Ivey is not letting the excitement get to him:
Although many former champions have already fallen— Greg Raymer and Jerry Yang among them— Phil Hellmuth remains in enough chips to place him in the middle of the pack.
He is joined there by former Main Event winners Jonathan Duhamel, Joe Hachem and Scotty Nguyen.
The most notable absentee is two-time winner Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson. At the age of 80, and with ten bracelets to his name, he will be much missed by other players hoping to meet the “Godfather of Poker.”
Sitting in 32nd position, and on his last chance to win a bracelet in this year’s series, is Daniel Negreanu. He has finished runner up twice this series, in Event #13: $10k No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball and in the Big One for One Drop, where he earned $8.8 million.
3,300 players will go forward to Day 2. 693 of them will make a profit when the money bubble bursts, and the November Nine who will return to play the final table on November 10, will earn a minimum of $730k each.