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2023 WSOP Main Event Day 1A: Yehuda Dayan Is the Early Chip Leader

Yehuda Dayan
Yehuda Dayan

The World Series of Poker Main Event kicked off on Monday as more than 1,000 hopefuls paid the $10,000 to participate in the most famous poker tournament on Earth. Tournament organizers have been confident all year that this one will break the 2006 record of 8,776 entrants. Last year’s Main Event came within 100 of that, so the fact that last year’s Day 1A had 896 players is a good omen for 2023.

Of the 810 players who made it out of Day 1A, Israel’s Yehuda Dayan is the chip leader with 389,900 chips. The only other player with over 300,000 is Japan’s Shota Nakanishi.

Jamie Gold, the champ of that 2006 WSOP Main Event, made the “shuffle up and deal” proclamation and had a good day himself, ending the night in 58th place with 163,500 chips. Three other WSOP Main Event champions played on Day 1A and all made it through: 2009 winner Joe Cada (115,100 chips), 2014 champ Martin Jacobson (154,600), and 2020 victor Damian Salas (56,200).

Other “notables” who survived the opening flight include Doug Polk (fourth in chips with 281,900), Faraz Jaka, James McManus, Shaun Deeb, Dominik Nitsche, and Poker Hall of Famers John Hennigan and Billy Baxter.

As they say, the worst day of the year is when you are eliminated from the WSOP Main Event. It’s never a great feeling, even if you win money, but on Monday, the loneliest player had to be Israel’s Idan The One (yes, that’s his name).

The One was doing pretty well through the first level of his first-ever Main Event, but then Level 2 rolled around, as it tends to do. In the first of two deadly hands, one player raised pre-flop to 600 (big blind was 300), Ruben Correia re-raised to 2,500, and Idan The One four-bet to 6,000. Correia called.

The flop was 4-5-J and both players checked. The turn was the 8, prompting an 8,000-chip bet from Correia and a call from The One. The A on the river caused both players to check, likely because of the flush possibility. Correia revealed pocket Aces and The One had Kings, not a fun way to lose a big pot.

Not long after that, two players limped pre-flop and Correia raised to 1,500. The player on the button called and The One decided to re-raise, which got rid of the two original limpers. Correia four-bet to 16,000, causing the button to fold, and then The One made his stand, re-raising all-in. Correia called and had him covered.

Once again, The One had pocket Kings. And once again, Correia had Aces. The Aces held Idan The One was out of the WSOP Main Event in Level 2 in absolutely nightmarish fashion, losing with Kings twice to the same player with Aces.

Day 1B has just gotten underway as a new batch of players tries to make it through five 120-minute levels.

2023 WSOP Main Event – Day 1A Chip Leaders

  1. Yehuda Dayan – 389,900
  2. Shota Nakanishi – 360,100
  3. Hai-Chi Ho – 297,400
  4. Doug Polk – 281,900
  5. Neville Costa – 275,000
  6. Samuel Gagnon – 271,000
  7. Todd Collins – 250,400
  8. Rick Mechammil – 247,600
  9. Christine Do – 237,300
  10. Anirban Das – 236,900

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