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2023 WSOP Main Event Day 1B: Neck-and-Neck-and-Neck-and-Neck at the Top

2023 WSOP Chips
2023 WSOP Chips

Two starting flights down, two to go. The 2023 World Series of Poker Main Event is halfway through its four Day 1s and it is still Day 1A’s Yehuda Dayan who enjoys the chip lead, advancing to Day 2A with 389,900 chips.

Nobody from Day 1B eclipsed the 300,000-chip mark, but several ended the night close and the top of the Day 1B leaderboard is extremely tight. Leading the pack is Jean-Pierre Van Der Spuy with 287,000 chips, nearly tied with Julien Martini (286,000), Yuze Ding (284,500), and Gar Cheung (281,500). Another tree players have over 260,000.

Martini was the beneficiary of an odd hand late in Level 3 that won him a healthy chunk of chips. According to’s coverage, the board read 8-5♠-5♣-3♠-3 and there were about 25,000 chips in the pot. Heads-up on the river, Paul Serrate checked to Martini, who moved all-in, covering his opponent.

With 53,000 remaining, Serrate told Martini he only had Ace-high and was pondering a call. After a few minutes, he did finally commit his chips with A♠-T♠, playing the two pair on the board with his Ace kicker. Martini showed 8♣-8 for a flopped full house. Serrate really did risk his Main Event tournament life with Ace-high.

The Main Event looks well on its way to breaking the 2006 Main Event record of 8,773 players, as tournament officials anticipated. After two starting flights, 2,158 people have put up the $10,000 buy-in – 1,040 from Day 1A and 1,118 from Day 1B. 1,621 have made it through to Day 2.

Of course, that still leaves nearly 6,700 entries to break the record, but these next two flights should dwarf the first two. The later flights are always bigger in the Main Event, primarily because most players prefer less of a break between Day 1 and 2 (if they make it, naturally). The shorter layoff means fewer hotel nights for those traveling and fewer days off of work for non-pros.

Late registration is also available on Day 2; there were 454 late entries last year.

There is one player, though, who apparently has a different reason for preferring Day 1D. On Wednesday, Daniel Negreanu tweeted that a “superstar top player” told him that they like Day 1D because the enormous field will likely mean ten-handed tables instead of the usual nine-handed. Now, pros don’t usually like ten-handed tables, but in this case, the pro theorizes that the huge field means that the extra seat will likely be filled by a bad player. Bad players at the table means good news for the pro.

Won’t say who, but it’s a superstar top player who said to me today they would rather play 1D because it’s likely 10 handed and they have a better chance of the seat being filled by a bad player

This thought has never crossed my mind but it might actually be genius

— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) July 5, 2023

Same as the first two flights, Day 1C begins at noon PT and will have five 120-minute levels.

2023 WSOP Main Event – Day 1B Chip Leaders

  1. Jean-Pierre Van Der Spuy – 287,000
  2. Julien Martini – 286,000
  3. Yuze Ding – 284,500
  4. Gar Cheung – 281,500
  5. Andrew Graham – 277,700
  6. Scott Numoto – 268,200
  7. Patrik Antonius – 263,500
  8. Jevon Lam – 243,000
  9. Robert Lofaso – 233,500
  10. Anatoly Filatov – 231,000

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