Hefty Day 1A Main Event turnout packs Rio Convention Center on Sunday

Haley Hintze
Published by:
Posted on 11/08/2021

After three days of mild turnout for the opening flights of the 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event, attendance surged markedly for Sunday’s 1D opening flight. Action spread throughout all three major poker venues in the Rio Convention Center — the Amazon, Pavilion, and Brasilia Rooms — and an unofficial 2,550 players took seats during the day.

As is typical in the Main Event, with its marathon-like structure, a large majority of those entrants were still around to bag their chips at night’s end. A total of 1,939 players from the 1D flight will return on Tuesday morning for the Day 2ABD resumption of play.

Leading the way among all Day 1D participants was Littleton, Colorado’s Adedapo Ajayi, who bagged 340,900 in chips. That total, nearly six times his staring 60,000 stack, places Ajayi third among returning Day 2ABD players. He’s behind Mustapha Kanit (363,500) and Rittie Chuaprasert (345,700).

With 1,939 players returning from the Day 1D starting flight, 2,893 players will return from the 1A/1B/1D starting flights on Tuesday. An additional 433 survivors from the Day 1C starting flight will take part in Day 2CEF action, which is currently scheduled for Wednesday. Through the first four flights, the Main Event has drawn 3,918 entrants.

These are the top ten unofficial chip counts from Sunday’s Day 1D action:

  1. Adedapo Ajayi (United States) – 340,900
  2. Zachary Grech (United States) – 318,400
  3. Wooram Cho (South Korea) – 252,100
  4. David “Bakes” Baker (United States) – 247,300
  5. Dan Shak (United States) – 229,200
  6. Jill Sodafsky (United States) – 224,500
  7. Alex Goulder (United Kingdom) – 218,500
  8. Taylor Howard (United States) – 214,200
  9. Ivan Galinec (Croatia) – 211,300
  10. Mike Gao (United States) – 210,000

Many notables advance, some bust in Day 1D play

David “Bakes” Baker in fourth and Dan Shak in fifth on the day led many notable players who bagged healthy stacks. Other players of note outside the top ten included Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy (98,600), Anatolii Zyrin (197,200), Yevgeniy Timoshenko (194,800), Nick Petrangelo (180,000), Matt Berkey (179,800), Greg Mueller (176,700), Roland Israelashvili (173,700), FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver (166,300), Jameson Painter (166,300), Ben Keeline (164,400), Ben Yu (160,600), and Steven Snyder (159,300).

The key goal on an opening day of the Main Event, however, remains simply surviving on to Day 2. Numerous prominent pros saw their 2021 Main Event dreams end far sooner than they hoped. Among those exiting in Day 1D action were Eric Baldwin, 2015 champion Joe McKeehen, 2004 champion Greg Raymer, David Williams, Phil Laak, Julien Martini, Ryan Laplante, John Monette, Brandon Shack-Harris, Michael Addamo, Esther Taylor, Daniel Lazrus, Joe Cheong, Jon Pardy, Drew Gonzalez, James Mackey, Joao Vieira, Stephen Buell, David “ODB” Baker, Sylvain Loosli, Nacho Barbero, and Joe Kuether.

Featured image source: Haley Hintze