WSOP Main Event: Holiday Players Put In Work on Day 1B

Day 1B of the WSOP Main Event offered a more focused, even subdued, day of play on the U.S. holiday.

jeff walsh
5 de jul, 2023
Players used the Fourth of July holiday to get to work at the WSOP. (photo credit: Drew Amato)

Fourth of July. Independence Day in the United States. A nationwide holiday celebrated with hot dog eating contests and fireworks. For many, the 4th is a day off work. But for the 1,000+ players who took a seat on Day 1B of the 2023 World Series of Poker Main Event it was a day to get busy pursuing the biggest bracelet of the Series and the kind of independence an eight-figure payday can bring.

As was expected, the crowd of Day 1B mirrored that of Monday’s opening. It was a healthy field, but not one that was bursting at the seams (as is expected over the next two days). And also, like the day before, tournament officials have yet to release that final number for Day 1B. While the field was slightly larger, nearly everyone with an opinion on the matter, is certain that not only will the 2006 runner record fall, it’s going to be crushed.

On Tuesday, there was no elaborate Shuffle Up and Deal with a former champ. Tuesday was about getting down to business and finding a way to survive the first five two-hour levels of the Main Event.

What We Saw on Day 1B

There may have been fireworks going off in the Las Vegas sky, but inside the Horseshoe Events Center, the vibe was much more subdued. The frenetic energy of the opening day was replaced with a much more reserved, more focused atmosphere. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t that Main Event excitement in the air.

Just weeks after making headlines by exiting the $250,000 Super High Roller to be at the birth of his second child, Jason Koon was back at the Horseshoe and “ready to rock and roll” in the Main Event spending a number of hours on the livestreamed feature table.

There were two former Main Event champions in the field, 10-time bracelet winner and two-time Main Event champ johnny chan (who finished the night with 218,000) and 2004 champion Greg ‘Fossilman’ Raymer. Raymer, coming off a number of smaller victories in daily tournaments around Las Vegas, finds himself in the right mindset to try and make history aquí en 2023.

There was plenty of international star power in the room as well. patricio antonio, jeff lisandro, julián martiniy Anatoli Filatov all hovered near the top of the chip counts at one point during the day. Esports legend Lim ‘BoxeR’ Yo-Hwan was followed by a camera crew as he finished the night with one of the biggest stacks in the room.

Who Are The Day 1B Chip Leaders?

1. Jean-Pierre van der Spuy – 287,000 – South Africa’s Jean-Pierre van der Spuy has yet to record a live cash, but he may be well on his way after bagging the big stack on Day 1B. Van der Spuy does have an online resume and on it are five international WSOP cashes for a total of roughly $12,000.

2. julián martini – 286,000 – Four-time WSOP bracelet winner and runner-up in the original PokerStars Players Championship, France’s Martini is an experienced world-class professional poker player with a lengthy resume and expertise in all the games. This year he’s racked up more than $100,000 in cashes at the series, including a final table in the $10,000 Limit 2-7 Championship for $75,341. He has a lifetime total of $5.8 million in earnings.

3. Yuze Ding – 284,500 – After sitting most of the day with Martini, he now sits just below him on the chip counts. Hailing from Senegal, Ding only has a single online WSOP cash on his resume from earlier this week.

4. Gar Chueng – 281,500 – New York’s Chueng only has three lifetime WSOP results, all from this year. His latest, a 104th place finish in the $1,000 Mini Main Event for $4,414, is also his largest recorded cash to date.

5. Andrew Graham – 277,700 – Andrew Graham has live poker results dating back more than a decade but it looks as if this is a return to the WSOP for the Westford, MA resident. His last WSOP live result came back in 2019, when he put together a deep-ish run in the Main Event, picking up $34,845 for 398th place. Although he doesn’t have a bracelet, he very well could have if thing went more his way in 2018 when he finished in third place in a very tough WSOP $5,000 NLHE Six Max event for $254,684. To date, Graham has more than $620,000 in career earnings.

Quién sigue adelante, quién no

Plenty of pros took the opportunity to get down to work on the U.S. holiday. Names including the aforementioned  Patrik Antonius (263,500), online phenom Ramiro Petrone (226,000), vlogger Gary Blackwood (191,000), Cole Ferraro (179,000), Chris Brewer (173,200), and WPT Champ Andy Frankenberger (145,500) all finished with top-100 stacks for the day.

Among the more than 800 joining them in moving on to Day 2 were the likes of Dietrich Fast (133,500), ‘The Gunslinger’ David Bach (106,200), 2023 WPT World Championship winner Eliot Hudon (105,000), Isaac Haxton (100,700), Scott Seiver (96,700), and Greg Mueller (94,000).

At the same time, the dream of winning the 2023 Main Event came to an abrupt end for a number of notables including Steve ‘Cuz’ Buckner, Johan ‘YoH ViraL’ Guilbert, Jackie Burkhart, Michael Trivett, Ben Mintz, Conor Beresford, Galen Hall, and Andy Black.