WSOP Main Event Attracts 523 Players On First Of Six Flights; Doyle Brunson Among Top Chip Stacks

By Craig Klinski
June 29, 2022
2021 wsop bracelet

2021 wsop bracelet

The World Series of Poker Main Event is officially underway after staging its first flight on Thursday and another flight on Friday. Doyle Brunson is among the players buying in during the first day. Meanwhile, Eric Zhang takes down the $500 Salute to Warriors event.

Check out the latest on these events and what lies ahead for Friday and the rest of the weekend in the latest WSOP update.

2021 WSOP Main Event kicks off

The 2021 WSOP Main Event is officially underway with 523 players entering the event in the first of six flights. The first day is typically a lighter participation day and on Thursday, 523 players bought it for the first flight, with 348 of those making the cut to Day 2 on November 10th.

An accomplished player, Italy’s Mustapha Kanit is at the top of the chip count standings after the first flight, which played five 2-hour levels. He’s joined by Alex Livingston and Billy Baxter, who are the two biggest names in the top 10. Players outside of the top 10, but with healthy chip stacks are Adrian Mateos, Perry Friedman and Doyle Brunson, who finished the day 41st in chips in his first WSOP Main Event appearance since 2013.

The players that survived Day 1a will next play on November 10th, when all the survivors from the first three flights will meet. For Friday’s action, Day 1b got underway at 11 AM PT for five more 2-hour levels.

Eric Zhang wins $500 Salute to Warriors

After three days of play and 1,738 entries, Eric Zhang has finished on top of the $500 Salute to Warriors event, where he takes home his first WSOP bracelet in addition to a $102,465 first place prize. In his path to victory, Zhang beat Guy Hadas heads-up, who won $63,344 for his runner-up spot.

Zhang is relatively new to poker, having only really played seriously in the last couple of years. His win on Thursday night was his first recorded live tournament cash, according to the Hendon Mob.

“I always loved poker but I only started playing a couple of years ago, mainly cash games, not really tournaments. But the WSOP is always a very special occasion and I took some time off work because I really wanted to come here. This is the very one event I planned of playing. It’s an affordable event, plus a great cause, and I’m going on poker vacation to Morocco and Europe right after.

Ongoing action

Mini Main Event down to final five

Although the WSOP Main Event got a lot of the attention on Thursday, a smaller “Main” event, the Mini Main No Limit Hold’em event finished its second day of play with just five players remaining.

It’s Greece’s Georgios Sotiropoulos, who goes into Friday’s third and final day with an impressive chip lead. He’s followed by Jordan Meltzer, Wataru Miyashita, James Patterson and James Rubinski, who round out the top five and are all guaranteed six-figure prizes. First place is set to receive the gold bracelet and a $432,575 first place.

Danny Chang leads $10k Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better Championship

Danny Chang is the chip leader after Day 2 of Event #66, the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better Championship. Just 12 players remain from the 194 entries that joined the tournament.

2nd in chips is Matthew Woodward, who is followed by some notable names that include Josh Arieh, Anatolii Zyrin, Adam Owen and Jeff Gross. Play will pick up at 2 PM PT on Friday as players play for guaranteed prizes of at least $25,950 per player, five six-figure scores and the first-place prize of $484,791.

Upcoming events

With no new events on the schedule, the WSOP Main Event continues to get the lion’s share of the attention. The second flight, Day 1b got underway at 11 AM PT, where five 2-hour levels will be played.

Watch the WSOP

Tonight, PokerGo will feature WSOP live streaming coverage of the final five of the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, where Eli Elezra will try to hold on to the lead and take down one of the WSOP’s most prestigious events. Poker fans can tune in by subscribing to PokerGo for $14.99 per month or $99 for a year. When subscribing, you will also get access to hours of the WSOP Main Event each day.

Sights and sounds from the WSOP

Daniel Negreanu reports from the first day of the WSOP Main Event in his latest vlog, where he tries to figure out when to join the tournament.

YouTube video

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