The 54th Annual WSOP Main Event Kicks off at the Horseshoe – Jamie Gold Delivers the “Shuffle Up and Deal”

54 main event kicks off

3 minutes

Last Updated: July 4, 2023

The 54th Annual World Series of Poker, the first-ever at the newly renovated Horseshoe Hotel and Casino, has been setting records since day one and has generally been the largest to date.

With so many of the preliminary events breaking records, and so many amazing stories made over the last few weeks, it is finally time for the Main Event, the most anticipated poker tournament of the whole year.

The 2023 WSOP Main Event is expected by many industry insiders to be the one to finally break the previous record, set in 2006 when Jamie Gold won it all, when a total of 8,773 players made an appearance and created a first-place prize of $12,000,000.

With Day 1A playing out at the Horseshoe and players advancing through the long levels of play, we take a look at what to expect from this year’s Main Event, what the event represents for poker as a whole, and who were the early birds to show up for Day 1A.

The Biggest Show in Poker Kicks Off

Day 1A of the WSOP 2023 Main Event kicked off at noon today, with players making their way to the Horseshoe to play five 120-minute levels of pure poker, no re-entries allowed.

Each player entering the Main Event starts off with a 60,000 chip stack, good for 300 big blinds on level one, and an amazing stack even for those entering the event during the later levels of the day.

As is usually the case, Main Event will feature four starting flights, with Days 1A and B combining for Day 2A and Days 1C and D combining for Day 2B.

As expected, there were quite a few players waiting for the “shuffle up and deal” at their tables at noon, with none other than Main Event champion Jamie Gold delivering a short speech before inviting the dealers to get the action started.

Day 1A numbers are still coming in, but it is already clear that turnout is quite impressive, even though this is typically the least-attended of the four starting flights at the WSOP Main Event.

Big Names Show Up Early

Many professional poker players wait for the later Day 1 flights as they are involved in other action or simply aren’t in town just yet, and the absence of many of the biggest names in the Main Event has been obvious this year too.

However, that’s not to say that you can’t find many familiar faces among the hundreds of players already competing at the tables.

The likes of Doug Polk, Tony Dunst, and Jamie Gold were only a few of the players who were around for the earliest levels of play earlier today.

None other than Shaun Deeb, one of the top tournament players around and the most serious contenders for this year’s POY title also made an appearance and has been battling it out, although his stack went in the wrong direction early in the day.

While registration is still open for Day 1A and we can expect to see many notables join the likes of Joe Cada, Brian Hastings, and Kelly Minkin in their pursuit of a big Day 2 stack, the later Day 1 flights are guaranteed to bring even more star-studded fields.

An Epic Main Event Is Expected

The atmosphere at the Horseshoe has been electric throughout the day as more and more players make their way to the tables in the hopes of running up a stack worthy of a deep run in the most notable tournament of the year.

The speculations about the biggest Main Event ever continue to circle around Las Vegas, and we are now only days away from finding out if the 2006 record will in fact be broken.

Whether enough players show up to break this number or not, it is clear that the 2023 Main Event will be one of the most attended and best organized yet, and that the players who make the final table will be looking at some mind-boggling payouts most of them could never have dreamed off.

Stay tuned for more WSOP Main Event updates and find out just how big the turnout for the Main Event has been in just a few short days.

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