2012 WSOP will be one of the largest tournaments of all time

Jul 10, 2012 3:00 AM

Daniel Negreanu, Dan Harrington, Vanessa Selbst, Shaun Deeb and Maria Ho were just a few of the players who grabbed the attention of railbirds at the World Series of Poker’s Main Event at the Rio.

Negreanu finished Day 1B with 140,075 in chips and offered railbirds a great reason to hang around and return to watch his table again on Day 2.

“Anything over 50,000 or 60,000 I would’ve been happy with,” said Negreanu. “140,000 just puts me in a really good position through Day 2. I can still be really aggressive.”

Ho had one of the largest stacks in the tournament and will enter Day 2 on Tuesday with 130,425 in chips. Ho has shared a house with Selbst this Series and until the very last hand, was chip leader in the house. 

On the final hand of the night, Selbst found pocket aces on the button and doubled through her opponent who held pocket kings. She finished the day with a top-five stack of 168,350. 

“It was definitely one of the tougher table draws,” said Selbst. “I hit a couple big hands, but otherwise I didn’t play that many big pots. It was pretty much coasting through.”

Deeb’s stack jumped during the final level and will bring 116,900 in chips into Day 2, along with hopes that a repeat of last year’s bad beat (when A-A lost to A-6) isn’t in his future.

Former Main Event champions Dan Harrington, Peter Eastgate and Jerry Yang survived their Day 1 battle, while Greg Raymer, Carlos Mortensen and Scotty Nguyen could not advance to Day 2. 

One of the biggest eliminations of the day was that of another world champion, Georges St. Pierre.

Day 1C is expected to be huge. With more than 2,300 players registered as of 3 a.m. ET, it’s clear that the 2012 WSOP main event will be one of the largest tournaments of all time and has the potential of topping last year’s turnout of 6,865 players. 

The first of three starting days, known as Day 1A, featured a smaller field of 1,066 players, including former WSOP main event champions Pius Heinz, Phil Hellmuth, Berry Johnston, Jim Bechtel and Joseph Hachem. Only two world champions would survive the day, Heinz and Johnston, and all eyes were on the German defending champ.

Heinz , the 2011 WSOP main event champion ended the day with 39,275 in chips.

Although it was a disappointing main event, Hellmuth had another successful WSOP with six cashes, three final tables and one win. 

Other notable Day 1 eliminations include 2010 WSOP Player of the Year Frank Kassela, Greg Mueller, Matt Glantz, Soi Nguyen and Chris Klodnicki.

William John was the overall chip     leader with over 266,000. Surviving players return for Day 2 on Tuesday.