Strolling through the halls at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) on Saturday evening, there were people crowded around every table visible through the doors as you passed the tournament rooms, and many more tables were set up in every possible corner to accommodate more players.
Spectators asked "which event is this one?" to which you reply "the Millionaire Maker." "What about over here? What's this event?" "That's the Millionaire Maker." "And these tables over there?" ... you get the picture. It was all Millionaire Maker.
The $1,500 Event 8 guarantees $1,000,000 to the winner and had just two starting flights, both on Saturday. 7,977 players entered the field, setting a new record for the largest one-day field in WSOP history, and the second largest WSOP field ever, bested only by the 2006 Main Event.
The Millionaire Maker was offered for the first time at the 2013 WSOP and was greatly received. The numbers this year show that this is what poker players like to see: a smaller buy-in with a massive top prize.
The official payouts have not been released yet, but it appears that the eventual winner will be earning over $1.2 million, well over the promise.
The chip leader going into Day 2 is Andrew "BalugaWhale" Seidman who busted Day 1a and reentered in Day 1b. Seidman is a frequent contributor the the PokerNews strategy podcasts. He'll be unbagging more than 137,000 chips when play resumes.
Some of the bigger names who will also be returning for Day 2 on Sunday, among thousands of others, are former WSOP Main Event champion Joe Cada, Mohsin Charania, Jake Cody, George Danzer, Tony Dunst, Tony Gregg, Maria Ho, Dan Kelly, Jamie Kerstetter, Amit Makhija, Scotty Nguyen, Taylor Paur, David Peters, Vanessa Selbst, Mike Sexton, and JC Tran.
Some top Canadians include Greg Mueller, Sorel Mizzi, and Jonathan Duhamel who survived Day 1. As the field thins further we'll be able to provide more details on who remains in this popular event.
As always, follow our live-reporting blog to stay on top of all the action in each event.