There have been a lot of questions surrounding the 2021 World Series of Poker, particularly regarding attendance for the $10,000 Main Event. With travel restrictions in place for those wanting to come to the United States, various COVID-19 safety protocols in place, and the fact that we are still in a global pandemic, it was anybody’s guess how many people would buy into the prestigious tournament. Through the first three starting flights, things weren’t looking all that good, but with the Day 1D numbers in and two flights remaining, Main Event attendance could end up to be fairly solid. Yes, I just went out on a massive limb with that controversial statement.

Through the first three starting flights, fewer than 2,000 people in total showed up to play. That’s not good if you extrapolate that out for three more flights. But traditionally, the first two or three starting flights of the Main Event are the least popular, so there was hope. Most players don’t want to play an early flight and then have to wait around, take more time off of work, and pay for more hotel nights if they make it to Day 2.

Sunday’s Day 1D kept with the pattern. With 2,550 entries, it had more players than Days 1A-1C combined, bringing the Main Event’s total to 4,518.

The next two days should be interesting. Days 1E and 1F were added just a couple weeks ago after the US government eased some pandemic travel restrictions. Today is the day that the travel ban on 33 countries, including most of Europe, is lifting, meaning that international players can more easily make it to the WSOP. So while there might be an influx of international players these next couple days, you just never know. Was it too late for players to make plans? Will the fact that Days 1E and 1F are Monday and Tuesday, rather than the weekend, hurt anything?

It’s a longshot (probably, I would think) for these next two days to get enough entries to allow the Main Event to eclipse 2019’s mark of 8,569, the second-largest Main Event of all time. But it could easily get at least into the 6,000’s, which would put it in the range of most of the Main Events during the decade after the UIGEA passed in 2006. And considering the pandemic, that’s not so bad.

Despite there being many more chips in play on Sunday than on previous days, nobody was able to collect enough on Day 1D to take the lead from Aleksandr Shevlyakov. The Day 1D chip leader was Colorado’s Adedapo Ajayi, who bagged up 340,900 chips, good for fourth overall. California’s Zachary Grech was the only other player on Sunday to finish above 300,000.

Notable names toward the top of the Day 1D leaderboard include Dan Shak and David “Bakes” Baker. Former champs Greg “Fossilman” Raymer and Joe McKeehen were eliminated.

2021 $10,000 World Series of Poker Main Event – Day 1D Chip Leaders

  1. Adedapo Ajayi – 340,900
  2. Zachary Grech – 318,400
  3. Ugur Secilmis – 260,000
  4. Wooram Cho – 252,100
  5. David “Bakes” Baker – 247,300
  6. Steven Cartwright – 247,200
  7. Derek Chang – 229,600
  8. Dan Shak – 229,200
  9. Corel Theuma – 227,000
  10. Timothy Mina – 226,300

2021 $10,000 World Series of Poker Main Event – Overall Day 1 Chip Leaders

  1. Aleksandr Shevlyakov, 392,600
  2. Mustapha Kanit, 363,500
  3. Rittie Chuaprasert, 345,700
  4. Adedapo Ajayi – 340,900
  5. Zachary Grech – 318,400
  6. David Fong, 298,500
  7. Steve Foutty, 287,000
  8. Matthew Traylor, 279,500
  9. Maxime Canevet, 277,500
  10. Fabian Quoss, 273,800

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