The World Series Of Poker (WSOP for short) has been running in Las Vegas for 50 years now. This six-week festival of poker at the Rio Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, is the biggest event on the poker calendar, and since its 50th anniversary, the main event has been incredibly well attended.

8,569 people took the $ 10,000 buy-in. There have only been so many participants once before. In 2006, in the midst of a poker boom, even more, gamblers registered. The tournament was then won by Jamie Gold, who took home $ 12 million. Those who win this year will earn a $ 10 million share of the $ 80,548,600 prize pool. A larger prize pool also means more winners overall. 1,286 players will end up winning something, starting at $ 15,000.

An interesting start

The WSOP got off to a turbulent start, especially on Day 1C (since the field is so large this year, there are three first days and two second days before the field is decimated enough to fit everyone in one room). A California earthquake over the weekend was strong enough to rattle the tables and lights in the Rio and likely knock over a few stacks of chips (which must be especially annoying for the bigger winners). The surprising thing is that an earthquake wasn’t really one of the big topics of the day.

One of the bigger events was that 10-time bracelet winner, poker legend Phil Ivey, was kicked out of the tournament in less than an hour. It’s not exactly a big story. Gone are the days when the same names would dominate events like this. Still, it’s quite a shock when Ivey is defeated so quickly. He joins the likes of Johnny Chan, Gus Hansen, and Phil Helmuth.

Two disqualifications

With so many participants, it is almost predictable that one or the other player will misbehave. Russian pro-Georgii Belianin couldn’t wait. His WSOP adventure lasted a full 10 minutes. What happened? Well, Belianin was reportedly up all night and out in the casino. A little tipsy, he took a seat at his table. At first, he won a hand, but after that, he got into trouble. While one of his neighbors wasn’t at the table, he took some of the unguarded chips (apparently for fun) and thus entertained the rest of the table. Unfortunately, touching another player’s chips is strictly forbidden, and Belianin has been disqualified and escorted from the building by police. At least afterward, he had time to catch up on a bit of the lost sleep.

The second disqualification was even stranger. Lots of people collapse during the WSOP (including Phil Helmuth and Mike Matusow), but few (well, none) go all-in pre-flop, take off their pants and toss their shoes on the table. This is exactly what happened on the first day of the WSOP. The gentleman, whom we leave unnamed at this point, was kicked out of the tournament and subjected to a psychiatric evaluation. Apparently, it didn’t do much because the next evening; he repeated this action at a blackjack table in the Luxor Casino.

After some discussions at the final table, after the dealer made a mistake and the Italian Dario Sammartino, the German won in the end. By the way, online poker is also available on our site!

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