It is a new week at the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event. All flights are complete – the three from Day 1 and the three from Day 2 – and now everyone who still has chips will unite into a single field today for Day 3. Everybody under one roof, all playing at the same time. And though the players have likely settled in by now, there will still surely be a buzz throughout the Rio resulting from the sight of the final attendance number: 8,569 players.
We already knew during Days 2A and 2B that this would be the second-largest WSOP Main Event in history. What we didn’t know was how close it was going to get to 2006’s record of 8,773. More than 300 players registered late prior to Day 2C, bringing the total field closer to 2006 than most people thought it would be. The 2,880 survivors after the first two days is more than played in the Main Event every year through 2004.
And now that the total entries are known, the prize pool and prize structure has been determined. An incredible $80,548,600 will be doled out to players during this tournament. The top 1,286 finishers will see a payday, with a minimum payout of $15,000. Everybody at the nine-handed final table is guaranteed at least $1,000,000, with the winner cashing for a cool $10,000,000.
Julian Milliard has the honor of being the chip leader heading into today’s action, bagging 947,900 chips at the end of Day 2. He will be the first to admit that he did not foresee being in that position, as he told WSOP.com that during Day 1, he was down to 4,000 chips at one point from a starting stack of 60,000. He got lucky to triple-up when he sucked out with a dominated hand and still only began Day 2 with 16,000 chips. He hit another lucky hand (A-9 versus Tens) to give himself momentum, and from there, he shot up the leaderboard like a rocket.
Considering how many players are still in the tourney, it is a surprisingly close race at the top. Nipping at Milliard’s heels is Vlastimil Pustina with 930,700 chips, followed by Andrew Brokos with 895,400 and Aleksa Pavicevic with 867,700. Another ten players have over 700,000 chips.
Defending World Series of Poker Main Event champ John Cynn is still alive and looking for a repeat title. He struggled for quite a while during the first two days, but is in good shape going into Day 3 with 248,900 chips. For reference, the average stack at the beginning of Day 3 is about 178,521.
A number of other former champions are still vying for the bracelet. That elite list includes:
Qui Nguyen – 602,400
Jim Bechtel – 251,600
Johnny Chan – 232,500
Scott Blumstein – 229,700
Chris Ferguson – 58,300
Joe Hachem – 57,000
Chris Moneymaker – 56,000
Scotty Nguyen – 17,500
About 1,000 players need to be eliminated for the bubble to burst. It might happen tonight, but it will be tight; expect the tense moment to happen on Day 4.