As usual, the latest $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event drew a massive field to the Rio Sunday.
By the time registration closed, a grand total of 2,043 had signed up for the budget bracelet event. But as quick as they came into the Pavilion and Brasilia Rooms, the faster the masses dusted off the rather paltry 3,000-chip starting stacks and the field was cut to 215 and in the money just 20 minutes into the day’s last level.
Two players busted on the same hand to split 216th-place money and avoid the heartbreak of the bubble with their piece of an $1,875 score, leaving the rest of the field to chase the healthy $335,659 and World Series of Poker gold bracelet that awaits the winner here.
The post-bubble line up at the payouts cage then got longer and longer as short stacks shoved in the money. By the time the level was finally through, just 168 players remained headed into tomorrow’s Day 2.
Some big names built some big stacks today including the legendary eight-time WSOP bracelet winner Erik Seidel, 2004 WSOP Main Event runner-up David Williams, 2013 WSOP Main Event finalist JC Tran, and 2012 $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em bracelet winner Dominik Nitsche.
Several other recognizable figures also built towers of checks, including 2010 WSOP Main Event finalists Soi Nguyen and Jason Senti, WSOP bracelet winner James Mackey and WPT Player of the Year Mukul Pahuja.
The first two players over the 100,000-chip mark included David D’Alesandro and Simon Lam, the latter of whom got the best of WSOP circuit god Dwyte Pilgrim to snatch the sizable stack he spent most of the day building.
Lam slowed down a little after that, but D’Alesandro did not, busting player after player on the way to a chip-leading 154,400 stack.
Play will resume at 1 p.m. inside the Amazon Room tomorrow with hopes of reaching the final table. Check back with PokerNews Live Updates early and often to follow all the action.