Welcome back to PokerNews' continuing live coverage of the 2011 World Series of Poker! Thursday saw the start of the greatest tournament on the planet, the WSOP Main Event. We've had 897 and 978 players on the first two starting days to bring the running total up to 1,875.
Last year, an even 2,300 players took part in Day 1c, and that big number might not be out of the realm of possibility today, either. We already have "well over 2,000" players registered according to Tournament Director Jack Effel, though we can't get him to peg down a specific number. Either way, all indications are that we'll be less than 2,000 players from reaching the 6,000 mark by the end of the day today.
At the end Day 1b last night, Ben Lamb was the man bagging up the big stack after he'd worked his starting 30,000 chips up to an impressive 188,925 by night's end. That still trails Day 1a chip leader Fred Berger's monstrous 209,600 chips, and Lamb -- already a bracelet winner this year -- will have to settle for, at best, second place heading into Day 2.
"Benba", as he's more commonly known, is putting on quite the show here in the summer of 2011. He's notched four big cashes already, including three final tables. He finished 8th in the big $50,000 Poker Players' Championship, and he managed to get heads-up before falling in second place in the $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event. In between them? A bracelet. Pot-Limit Omaha again. Lamb took down the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship, and he's padded his pockets by more $1.3 million in the last four weeks. Because of his efforts, Lamb finds himself in second place behind Phil Hellmuth in the Player of the Year race, and a deep run here in the Main could push him over the top.
We're still a couple days away from that Day 2, though, and Day 1c is set to kick off shortly at 12:00 PM PT from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The convention center abuzz with Main Event shenanigans, and you should stay tuned to PokerNews for all the live updates, videos and photos you can handle.
In the meantime, check out the July 9th daily update from the lovely Lynn Gilmartin: