The four Day Ones at the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event drew a combined total of 6,865 players, the third-highest in the tournament’s history. However, the total still came up well short of last year’s 7,319. Many observers attribute the drop to the aftermath of the “Black Friday” indictments this past April.
Out of the 6,865 who entered the four Day Ones, 4,521 are still in contention for the championship bracelet on the two Day Twos. The combined prize pool of US$64.5 million guarantees that eight of this year’s “November Nine” will be instant millionaires. The winner of this year’s Texas Holdem event will take home over US$8.7 million.
Among those still in contention on Day 2A include actor Jason Alexander, basketball star Paul Pierce, poker commentator Phil Gordon, and 2010 “November Nine” member Filippo Candio. Several WSOP bracelet winners are also still alive, including WSOP Europe champions Barry Shulman and Annette Obrestad.
Two WSOP Main Event Champions, Jerry Yang (2008) and Greg Raymer (2005), fell on Day 1A. Another final table member from last year, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, was eliminated on Day 1B. WSOP bracelet winners John Juanda, Jennifer Tilly and Bertrand “ElKy” Grospellier did not survive Day 1D action.
In a move that will please most poker fans, ESPN has announced that it will broadcast same-day coverage of the Main Event starting 14 July. The action will be tape-delayed for thirty minutes and will include hole-card cameras for all post-flop action. The sports network will feature all of the action starting 26 July and running until the “November Nine” on 7 November.