Day 1B of the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event is in the books with 2,378 players showing up for the second of the three starting flights. Smain Mamouni held the largest sum of chips of the 1,794 survivors at the end of the night with 311,000, just barely beating Samuel Bernabeu (309,500) and Barbara Rogers (307,000). They are in fourth through sixth place overall; the top three from both Days 1A and 1B are the only players with more than 300,000 chips.
Day 1C is always the largest of the starting flights by far and reports are that this year will be no exception, as the line for registration today seems endless. This year’s Main Event is also well ahead of last year’s entry pace, garnering 344 more players through two starting flights than did the 2017 tournament. The 2017 WSOP Main Event had 7,221 entries, the third largest of all time behind 2006 (8,773, just before the UIGEA passed) and 2010 (7,319, the last Main Event before Black Friday). If the pattern of the first two flights holds, the 2018 Main Event will be the second largest ever.
I Mean…He Had To
None of that matters much to Max Steinberg, who finished fourth in the 2015 WSOP Main Event and earned a bracelet in 2012. On the very first hand of Day 1B – the very first hand – Steinberg was dealt pocket Aces. Now, every poker player wants to look down and see two Aces, but seeing that on the first hand of the WSOP Main Event can be stomach turning. On the one hand, you know you are a big favorite to win pre-flop, but you also know it is going to be hard to get away from it and that you pretty much have to go all-in pre-flop if the situation presents itself.
And, of course, going all-in on the first hand, no matter how big of a favorite you are, means that you could also hit the rail on the first hand. $10,000…poof, in an instant.
According to a tweet from Steinberg, the player under the gun raised to 375 chips (blinds start at 75/150), so Steinberg three-bet it up to 1,200. Both blinds called, either making Steinberg quite happy or very nervous, I’m not sure which way I’d feel. The initial raiser than four-bet all the way to 45,000 chips. Starting stacks are 50,000.
So there it was, the situation had presented itself to Steinberg. I’m sure had the briefest of moments where he thought, “Do I really want to do this right now,” but of course he went all-in and was called by the maniac.
The UTG player had pocket Kings and since I’m writing about this, you know what happened. King on the flop and that was all she wrote for Max Steinberg at the 2018 WSOP Main Event. Out on the first hand. According to the WSOP, this was the first time someone had been eliminated on the first hand since the starting chip stacks were increased to 50,000 (2016). It is also the first time that players were all-in on the first hand since starting stacks have been 50,000.
The final starting flights, Day 1C is just now getting underway at the Rio in Las Vegas.