2008 WSOP Day 39: Main Event tops 2007

The final Day 1 of the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event concluded on Sunday, which means tournament officials were finally able to release the tally of players for this year’s USD 10,000 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship.

Day 1d turned out to be the biggest Day 1 of the Main Event this year, drawing in 2,461 players. That brings the total number of players in the 2008 Main Event to 6,844. While that still doesn’t meet the record-breaking field of 2006, it’s up nearly 500 players from 6,358 in 2007.

The prize pool has also increased accordingly. Those players who made it through their Day 1’s are looking at a USD 64,333,600 prize pool, with the winner earning more than USD 9 million this year.

There were 1,652 players who survived Day 1d on Sunday, and among them were former World Champions Phil Hellmuth, Carlos Mortensen, Johnny Chan and the current reigning champ Jerry Yang.

Unfortunately, former Main Event winners Chris „Jesus“ Ferguson and Noel Furlong didn’t meet with that same success in Day 1d and are out.

There were plenty of other familiar pros who survived the day, including David Oppenheim, Gus Hansen, Cliff Josephy, Antonio Esfandiari, Brandon Cantu, Nam Le, Steve Billirakis, Jean-Robert Bellande, Jennifer Harman, Phil Gordon, Hevad Khan, Allen Cunningham, Men Nguyen, Scott Clements, Van Nguyen, Shannon Elizabeth, Nick Binger, Eric Mizrachi and Johan Storakers.

A full complement of celebrities took to the felt on Sunday as well. Actress-turned-poker-pro Jennifer Tilly was there, but only made it through about five hours of play. UFC fighters Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin were also on hand, and Chuck Liddell even ended up playing at an ESPN feature table before busting out early in the day.

Griffin, freshly bruised from his title-fight win the night before, survived a few hours of play but also busted during Day 1d. Griffin was KO‘d after taking a big hit from Johnny Chan, who took some chips off the UFC champion with a pair of kings.

Then, on a hand soon after, Griffin moved all-in on a flop of Q [key:card_hearts] J [key:card_hearts] 3 [key:card_clubs] and got a call from Vincent Curry. Griffin showed K [key:card_spades] 9 [key:card_diamonds] to Curry’s Q [key:card_diamonds] 8 [key:card_spades]. The turn and river blanked and Griffin was out.

There are plenty of other casualties from Day 1d as well. Take a look and see if your favorite player is in or out in the 2008 WSOP Live Tournaments section.

The Main Event won’t be back in play today. The players from Day 1a and Day 1b will return to play Day 2a on Tuesday.

While the Main Event is taking a break today, the final event of the 2008 WSOP will kick off. Event 55, the USD 500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em event will get under way at noon.

Last year the Casino Employee event was the second event of the WSOP. It drew in more than USD 1,000 entrants, with Frederick Narciso taking the top spot for a USD 104,701 win.