All six starting flights of the 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event are finally complete, the week-long Day 1 is done. Now it is finally time to get on with the rest of the tournament, as three Day 2 flights are still to come today before the remaining players are unified into one field on Thursday.

Because of the last-minute schedule changes to try to better accommodate players flying in from other countries, the schedule got a bit wonky this week. At the same time that Day 1F was being played on Tuesday, Days 2A, 2B, and 2D were also being contested. One Day 1 and three Day 2s were all going on at the same time. It is like space and time folded in on themselves. We must be at the nexus of the universe.

Today we have Days 2C, 2E, and 2F to finish off that second round of flights.

As mentioned yesterday, depending on the attendance of Day 1F, this year’s WSOP Main Event had a chance to have a fairly solid turnout, despite the pandemic. It didn’t disappoint. The 1,045 players that signed up on Tuesday made Day 1F the second-largest starting flight, a number that wasn’t entirely surprising. There was certainly a huge question mark as to what the day would look like, but that extra day gave international players a better chance to participate and players tend to gravitate toward later flights in order to cut down on the total days they have to be away from home, book hotel rooms, etc.

Because of the fluid situation and the attempts to accommodate people traveling from abroad, the WSOP also allowed late registration – during the first two levels of Day 2 – for the first time in Main Event history. Days 1A, 1B, and 1D saw another 145 players buy in, bringing the overall Main Event total to 6,505.

Assuming late registrations on Wednesday are similar (or at least not shockingly high), the 2021 WSOP Main Event will be the smallest since 2016 – not counting last year – but all in all, something in the 6,500-6,600 range would be pretty good. For the decade from 2007 to 2016, Main Event attendance was in the 6,000’s in every year but one (7,319 in 2010), so considering all the issues because of COVID-19, being in the mid-6,000’s is not bad at all.

As for who emerged from Day 1F, there are two players who finished the flight with more than 300,000 chips in almost a dead heat for the day’s chip lead: Adam Walton with 334,000 chips and Tun Nguyen with 328,200. That slots them at fifth and sixth place, respectively after all Day 1s.

But, of course, three Day 2s also transpired on Tuesday, so we have a bit of an asynchronous leaderboard, so to speak. Leading the way after Days 2A, 2B, and 2D is Canada’s Rameez Shahid with 731,700 chips, the only player with more than 700,000. The rest of the top nine all have in the 600,000’s, while the tenth place player is just a chip or two shy of the 600,000 mark.

Image credit: PokerGO.com

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