WSOP Paradise: Main Event on track to beat $15m guarantee

Adam Hampton
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Posted on: December 11, 2023 12:55 pm EST

With just two of the four live starting flights in the books, the WSOP Paradise Main Event prize pool has already passed the $10 million mark. With Day 1C running today, it’s looking likely that the $15 million guarantee will be in the rearview mirror by the time Day 2 kicks off tomorrow at 3pm.

Grabbing headlines on Day 1B, as ever, was the shy and retiring Phil Hellmuth. The wallflower snuck into the tournament room partway through the afternoon, hoping to blend in to his surroundings at Atlantis by dressing up as its most famous legendary resident: Poseidon.

Phil Hellmuth, dressed as the god Poseidon, enters the WSOP Paradise Main Event
Hellmuth: dodging tridents, baby

Unfortunately his entourage of 17 mermaids (one for each of his WSOP bracelets) somewhat gave the game away. Sometime later his game would be taken away in a more literal sense, again by ladies, when Ori Eshel’s pocket queens sent the self-proclaimed god of the seas to the rail. We fully expect to see Hellmuth return for another shot on Day 1C, and 1D if necessary.

More big names sink like Poseidon

1B saw more big names join Hellmuth in waiting for another shot at the swelling prize pool. Isaac Haxton, Jonathan Little, Shaun Deeb and Martin Kabrhel were some of the notables to fall as 515 entrants played down to 78.

Jeffrey Trudeau finished the day with the biggest stack, bagging up 942,000, good for 94 big blinds. Trudeau’s strong start would have seen him 6th in chips on Day 1A, with players such as Chino Rheem and Mustapha Kanit outstacking him after their own successful Day 1s. Chip counts for the 883 players who qualified via online Day 1s are not currently available.

Game of Gold Olga Iermolcheva
Olga finished higher than any of her Game of Gold contemporaries on Day 1B

Josh Arieh bursts the bubble

Did you have a favorite player in Game of Gold? Fans of Josh Arieh will be sorry to hear he was the unfortunate bubble-boy on Day 1B, busting out in 79th place.

Fellow GoG alums Kevin Martin (227th), Nikita Luther (178th) and Daniel Negreanu (128th) had already hit the rail by then, but David Williams (46th) and Olga Iermolcheva (14th) are still flying the flag. Series winner Maria Ho has qualified for Day 2.

Day 1C has just begun, with Day 1D running as a turbo from 10am tomorrow. Day 2 will begin around 3pm tomorrow with 60-minute levels.

Images courtesy of WSOP/Matthew Berglund and GGPoker/Poker After Dark