Yesterday was the first first day of the main event of the World Series of Poker. I say first first day because there are 4 first days. This year may have as many as 8800 players, with 2000 players plus 200 alternates going on each of the 4 first days (the 200 alternates replace the first 200 players knocked out). Each day they’ll play down to 800 players, then the 1600 that move on from the first two first days move on to the first second day and play down to 700. Then the 1600 players from the third and fourth first days play on the second second day until there are 700 left. Then there’s a one day break and the 1400 left will come together and play it out for the championship. Confused yet?
First place this year will pay at least $10 million and the top 12 players are guaranteed at least $1 million. By far the richest poker tournament in history. In fact, it may be the richest competition of any kind in history. The best odds I’ve seen on any one player is Phil Ivey at 100-1 odds to win. Even that is insane to bet on given the size of the field.