Main Event might just miss the record
The 2022 World Series of Poker Main Event got underway this week, the first “normal” Main Event since 2019, pre-pandemic. Caesars Entertainment, owner of the WSOP, anticipated a record-breaking field for the most famous poker tournament in the world, but as of Friday morning, even though turnout has indeed been very strong, it looks like it might come up a little short.
The largest Main Event field of all time is 8,773 players, accomplished in 2006. Day 1A and 1B this year were fairly small, but still promising: 900 and 880 runners, respectively. The next two flights, as always happens, were going to be the big ones. Day 1C was the size of the first two starting flights combined: 1,800 players.
tournament organizers adjusted this week’s schedule
Day 1D was expected to be so overwhelmingly huge that tournament organizers adjusted this week’s schedule. Days 2A and 2B were supposed to be on Thursday and Days 2C and 2D were to be held on Friday. Instead, Days 2A, 2B, and 2C were all on Thursday so that Day 2D would be by itself on Friday. And Day 1D was quite large, coming in at 4,481 entrants.
With 148 late entries on Thursday’s Day 2ABC (as the WSOP likes to call it), the total field is up to 8,209. There is still a late entry window today, but it seems like it will be tough for there to be enough people joining on Friday to break the 2006 record. This year’s Main Event could still end up being the second-largest of all time; 2019 holds that spot right now with a field of 8,569.
Phil Hellmuth makes embarrassing entrance
Phil Hellmuth is one of the greatest tournament poker players of all time. He is certainly the most successful World Series of Poker player ever, with 16 bracelets (nobody else has more than ten), 187 cashes, and almost $17m in earnings.
He is also known for his grand entrances to the WSOP Main Event, dressing up in a lavish costumes, often flanked by models, and always arriving late for maximum attention. His most memorable Main Event introduction was not actually an entrance, but a stunt gone wrong in the parking lot, when he accidentally crashed a race car as part of an UltimateBet promo. He emerged relatively unscathed:
As cringeworthy as his entrances always are, this year’s was just sad. He previewed it on Wednesday by tweeting that he would either be dressed as Darth Vader or Superman when he began the tournament on Day 2ABC. Darth Vader it was, but man, one has to have zero shame to wear what he wore.
It looked like an unlicensed costume you would find on Wish, listed as, “Black space villain costume, Dorth Vadar.”
It was a skin-tight “morph” suit that didn’t even have the correct design printed on it. The helmet was fabric and the cape, in addition to being very thin, was draped over one half of Hellmuth’s body, like an evening gown accessory. Just take a look. It’s terrible. He also made his own sound effects as he walked.
Hellmuth busted in 90 minutes, never winning a hand.
Matt Glantz wins $1m bounty prize
Aside from the Main Event, one of the tournaments poker players were really excited about was the $1,000 Million Dollar Bounty No-Limit Hold’em event. It attracted 14,112 entries, spread across four starting flights (players were allowed one re-entry per flight). Beyond the low buy-in, what drew so many players was the jackpot bounty aspect of the tournament.
Bounties ranged from $1,000 to a single $1m prize.
Starting on Day 2, there was a mystery bounty on every player’s head; $300 was taken from each buy-in to fund the bounty pool. And they were truly mystery – the bounties were not even assigned and kept secret. Instead, those who earned bounties by eliminating an opponent pulled a card from a chest to see what they won. Bounties ranged from $1,000 to a single $1m prize.
Early on Tuesday, poker pro Matt Glantz was the lucky player to pull the $1m prize. He readily admitted that he had gotten “super lucky” to even be in the position to stand at the bounty chest, as he had pocket Tens when he eliminated two players who had pocket Jacks and A-K. Glantz finished in 42nd place, earning $20,730 in prize money in addition to the bounties.
As a token of appreciation, Glantz gave Justin Lett, the man who had Jacks in Glantz’s double elimination hand, $5,000.