The World Poker Tour knew the $1,100 Prime Championship was going to be enormous. They were so confident that they slapped a $5 million guarantee on it, just one year after the same event carried a hefty $2 million guarantee of its own.
They blew that one out of the water, and they’re going to do the same with this one.
Day 1a saw 1,636 entrants kick things off, with Adam Thaggard bagging 1,700,000 for the chip lead. Flight 1b is still wrapping up now, but we know that 2,198 showed up for the second of four flights. The $5 million guarantee will likely be shattered before cards fly at 11 a.m. tomorrow.
Is $10 million in play?
That’s the gossip in the air. It’s certainly possible to hit an eight-digit prize pool based on the numbers we’re seeing here so far. Doubling the guarantee will make this one of, if not the biggest mid-major tournaments ever held.
“This will be the biggest single poker event we’ve ever held,” said Executive Director of Poker Operations at Wynn Las Vegas Ryan Beauregard.
The facility and staff were prepared after last year’s inaugural festival. They’ve added an extra starting day since last year as well as expanded into multiple ballrooms to facilitate the swelling crowds. For a tournament with this many entrants, players haven’t had to wait long if at all to take their seats.
With the weekend flights expected to be the biggest of them all, we may be looking at a nearly $1 million prize for first place in this one.
Two starting flights left, four bullets in the chamber?
With two starting flights remaining, it’s not too late to grab a piece of this tournament pie. Players are allowed two entries per flight to try to find a bag. Each flight plays to 12.5%, reaching the money each night.
With 40-minute blinds on Day 1 and 60-minute blinds on Day 2, there’s plenty of play for a 40,000 starting stack. If you’re a poker player in Vegas this weekend, it’s hard to argue against taking a shot here.
All photos courtesy WPT