The first day of the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event has come to a close, and what a way to kick off the greatest event on the face of the planet. Nearly 1,000 players took to action today, but it was Evan Panesis finishing on top of them all with 190,975 in chips. A couple hundred or so hit the rail before day's end, and official chip counts will be posted once received.
Day 1a is often known as the smallest and least star-studded of the starting days, but there were plenty of big names out in the field nonetheless. Arguably the most important player in the field today was the reigning champion Greg Merson, who delivered the "shuffle up and deal" speech before jumping in his seat for his title defense. Merson went on to finish with 81,650, giving him a very healthy stack moving forward.
Other notables in the field today were Joe Cada, Pius Heinz, Olivier Busquet, Brian Rast, Justin Bonomo, Elio Fox and Ivan Demidov, just to name a few. Heinz, the 2011 WSOP Main Event champion, was eliminated on the day when his opponent had rivered a Broadway straight against his trip sevens.
Things moved along nice and smooth in the event with not too much craziness happening, but then in the last level of the night, an insane five-way all-in pot went down on Table 443 in the Amazon Room that resulted in Mac Sohrabi winning a big main pot, Yurel Eminogla scooping a nice side pot, and the three other players being eliminated. You can read about that hand here. As if that wasn't enough fun in the final level, a three-way all-in clash was won by Brendan Flaherty over in the Orange Section of the room.
The advancing players will reconvene with those that survive from Day 1b for a joint Day 2 on Tuesday at 12 p.m. In the meantime, get some rest and come right back here tomorrow for more coverage from the 2013 WSOP Main Event right here on PokerNews. For now, we'll leave you with Lynn Gilmartin who had an exclusive invitation to the unveiling of the 2013 WSOP Main Event bracelet, valued at a whopping $500,000: