WSOP TODAY: July 6; Cards are in the air for 2012 Main Event

Highlights from day 41 of the 2012 WSOP (July 6)

The cards are in the air for the first day one flight of the 2012 WSOP Main Event, officially listed as Event #61. After Ellen “Gram” Deeb issued the order to shuffle up and deal, players took their seats for the $10,600 buy-in No Limit Hold’em World Championship.

Among players sighted in the early going were 2005 champ Joe Hachem, last year’s winner Pius Heinz (pictured left), Jackie Glazier, Greg Mueller, Andy Black, Bill Baxter, David Williams, Hoyt Corkins, Mike Matusow, Steve Gross, Barry Shulman and Everyone Loves Raymond’s Ray Romano.

For players who’ve elected to skip Day 1A, there is always Day 1B on Sunday, or Day 1C on Monday. There is no Day 1D this year though. With more than 475 tables, there is enough room to accommodate everyone with just three starting days, then two Day 2s, followed by Days 3-7 where the field will be together under one roof before the final table is decided on July 16.

• The WSOP National Championship is a mix of the WSOP’s most successful poker players. In order to qualify for a seat, players must have earned their way in one of two ways.

The first route to seat was by playing during the 2011-2012 WSOP Circuit, which included 17 tour stops. There were many ways to qualify by achieving various performance thresholds in the Circuit.

The other way to gain a seat was to be ranked among the top-100 players in the “WSOP Player of the Year” race. However, the later route into the finals required entrants to post a $10,000 entry fee.

With $1 million dollars added to the prize pool via the WSOP Circuit and the lure of ESPN coverage, the next few days should be an exciting conclusion of what has been a record-setting year on the Circuit (overall attendance was up nearly 40 per cent). Brian Rast led the field of 157 after day one, with Bertrand ElkY Grospellier close behind.

• Event #59, a $1000 No-Limit Hold’em event, drew an almost unthinkable 4620 entrants, with 51 still standing after day two. Canadian Alex Cordery is the chip leader as the field eyes a first prize of more than $650,000.

A field of 101 players signed up for Event #60, the $10,000 No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Championship, with 10 back for the final day. Ashton Griffin leads with 638,000 ahead of Nick Schulman (558,000), George Danzer (379,000), John Juanda (363,000), Ben Parker (333,000), Mike Wattel (276,000), Ali Eslami (193,000), Larry Wright (152,000), Bob Bright (145,000) and Andy Bloch (58,000).

• Additional reporting, Nolan Dalla,

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