WSOP Main Event Kicks Off with $10M Guarantee

Posted on July 9th, 2014 by Alana Markoff
Main Event, World Series of Poker, WSOP 2014, Doyle Brunson

The legendary Doyle Brunson says he will not be participating in this year’s WSOP Main Event, but thousands of others are in at the Rio in Las Vegas. (Image: bigstory.ap.org)

The World Series of Poker has felt red hot for weeks now, but in reality, it’s all been leading up to one event. The $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event started on Saturday with the first of three Day 1 flights, kicking off the most exciting poker tournament of the year.

This year’s tournament includes a guaranteed first prize of $10 million, which ensures that whoever wins this tournament will be receiving one of the largest prizes in poker history. Players will compete over seven days of action lasting through July 14, with the final table coming back in November to determine the year’s grand champion.

Last year’s Main Event featured a field of 6,352 entrants. Through the first two days of Day 1 flights, it isn’t yet clear whether or not the 2014 tournament will exceed that number.

At least one notable name has said that he won’t be taking part this year: 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Doyle Brunson has said that he won’t be competing, citing his age and the long hours of play in a tweet he sent out on Saturday. Brunson won the Main Event in both 1976 and 1977.

Colman Wins Big One for One Drop

Even the Main Event can’t generate the kinds of prizes that are seen in the Big One for One Drop, however. As we mentioned earlier this week, this year’s $1 million buy-in charity tournament attracted a field of 42 players, raising more than $4.6 million for the One Drop charity. The biggest winner, though, was 23-year-old poker pro Daniel Colman, who made more than $15.3 million and won his first bracelet after defeating Daniel Negreanu in heads-up play.

The win brought Colman’s lifetime earnings to more than $18 million, while Negreanu’s second-place finish saw him climb back to first place on the all-time tournament winnings list. But after the tournament, there was much more talk about the champion’s demeanor than the incredible amounts of prize money they won.

Colman chose not to participate in most of the traditional post-tournament activities winners usually engage in, declining interviews and only taking a few pictures with his bracelet and winnings. Colman would later state in an online forums post that he didn’t want to promote poker, which he saw as “a very dark game.”

“I don’t owe poker a single thing,” Colman wrote. “I’ve been fortunate enough to benefit financially from this game, but I have played it long enough to see the ugly side of this world.”

Little One for One Drop Also Successful

For those who didn’t have a spare $1 million lying around, the WSOP also offered a $1,111 buy-in Little One for One Drop. A total of 4,496 players participated, with $111 from each entry going to One Drop. A total of nearly $500,000 was raised for the organization.

After five days of play, the tournament was eventually won by Ukraine’s Igor Dubinsky, who took down $637,539 and earned his first WSOP bracelet.

“I am very excited to win,” Dubinsky said through a translator. “I am especially glad to win because this is a charity event…I want to thank the organizers of this event and the charity for making it all possible, plus all my friends who are here.”

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