There was a decidedly different vibe in the Wynn Ballroom at the start of Day 1B of the $10,400 WPT World Championship on Wednesday. The day before, the room had a more quiet, even stressful feel. However, today, qualifiers who won their way (many of them on ClubWPT) into a dream scenario – the shot at a life-changing score – filled the room early and the air was filled with table talk. The excitement of starting down the road to a $40,000,000 guarantee was starting to boil over.
It should be no surprise that when there are qualifiers in the player pool, there are also bound to be sharks. And for the second day in a row, the stars showed up early to see if they could better position themselves to capture a World Poker Tour title and a share of what is certain to be a massive seven-figure first-place score.
Several WPT Champions Club members were back in action, including some who were firing for the second day in a row. Erik Seidel, Ben Palmer, Craig Varnell, Jack Hardcastle, Scott Eskenazi, were joined by a pair of former WPT Players of the Year Joe Serock and Matt Salsberg.
2022 WPT Choctaw champ Chance Kornuth was also in the field early, however, it was an early exit for the superstar as he hit the rail when his combo draw ran into Nick Jamison’s set of sixes.
Current WPT Player of the Year points leader, Bin Weng, was also back in action early as were super high rollers Christoph Vogelsang and Stephen Chidwick. A scan of the room saw six-time WSOP bracelet winner Jeremy Ausmus sitting across from content creator and podcaster Caitlin Comeskey. At a nearby table was 2022 GPI Female Player of the Year Cherish Andrews.
There were more than 500 players in the room by the middle of level 2 is a big step: $10 million in the prize pool, only $30 million to go. The line to register was robust but moving swiftly as more tough competition could be spotted in every corner of the room including 2021 Wynn Millions champion Andrew Moreno, Eric Baldwin, Lara Eisenberg, Landon Tice, Brock Wilson, Michael Rocco, John Morgan, Toby Lewis and WPT commentator Tony Dunst.
2022 WPT Ladies champion Lina Niu was in her seat early and WPT Anchor Lynn Gilmartin showed up not too long after to a flurry of cameras rushing to capture her entrance.
There’s so much star power in the room, and the day’s just getting started. Registration for Day 1B is open through the dinner and both big names and qualifiers are expected to keep pushing the prize pool north to its $40,000,000 destination.
For all the day’s updates and photos check out the WPT Live Updates.