Adam Owen enjoyed every single minute of Day 1B of the 2019 WSOP Main Event. (WPT photo)

The march towards a record-breaking World Series of Poker Main Event field continued on Thursday, with 1,914 players playing Day 1B to push the total field to 3,250 with Day 1C yet to come. That pace is actually slightly behind 2018 when 3,303 players sat during the opening two flights. WSOP officials are expecting a massive Day 1C and registration is open until the start of Day 2C, giving plenty of opportunity for the record of 8,773 to fall.

Adam Owen Climbs to Top of Chip Counts

Adam Owen finished with 351,800 at the end of Day 1B, which landed him squarely atop the biggest counts from Thursday, but behind Day 1A big stack Bryan Camponello. Gary Blackwood and Asi Moshe rounded out the top three with 330,200 each.

With a bag full of chips, Owen is looking to make plans for his off day Friday.

Allen Kessler Makes Quads

Allen Kessler has never cashed in the WSOP Main Event, but that might change this year. Kessler finished Day 1B with 301,8000 chips thanks in part to flopping quads against a flopped full house. Brazilian Andre Akkari was kind enough to document the moment for the entire poker world to see.

Kevin Roster Headed to Day 2

Kevin Roster knows this is likely his last chance to play the WSOP Main Event. Suffering from sarcoma, Roster has played a steady schedule of events this summer with the goal of raising awareness for the disease that will take his life before the year is over. Greg Merson heard his story and offered to put him in the Main Event and the former New Jersey poker player is making the most of it.

Roster finished Day 1 with 153,300 to end up just outside of the top 100 stacks.

A handful of Main Event Champs Advance to Day 2A

Having made their way through a massive Main Event field once before, five former Main Event champions survived their opening day of play on Thursday. The biggest stack belongs to Ryan Riess with 89,300. Greg Raymer (73,100), Joe Hachem (61,000), Chris Ferguson (36,100), and Greg Merson (25,000) also advanced to Day 2.

Yuri Dzivielevski Leads Former #1s

Yuri Dzivielevski, who rose to the #1 spot on the PocketFives Rankings in 2015, won his first WSOP bracelet this summer and now he appears ready to conquer the Main Event. The Brazilian finished Day 1B with 221,900 for the 14th biggest stack overall. He wasn’t the only former #1 player who managed to bag and tag on Thursday.

Taylor Paur finished with 139,000, just ahead of Ari Engel and his 128,000. Paul Volpe, who has cashed in the Main Event four times in his career, survived with a 70,300 stack.

Joao Simao was not as fortunate and busted on Day 1B.

Pennsylvania Contingent Grows on Day 1B

After 17 players from Pennsylvania made it through Day 1A, more than double that worked their way through 1B. The top Pennsylvania poker player on Thursday was Arthur Schiavo with 149,400. The rest of the top five Keystone State stacks belong to Leon Foong (137,900), David Meschel (137,000), Aaron Overton (128,400), and Kelly Jones (125,700).

Daniel Negreanu Headlines Notable Day 1B Survivors

With 1,417 players making it through the day on Thursday, there was bound to be more than a handful of familiar faces among them. None bigger though than Daniel Negreanu, who spent the entire day playing on the ESPN feature table. The six-time WSOP bracelet winner finished with 71,800.

Olivier Busquet ended the day with 180,300 to sneak into the top 50 stacks.

Maria Ho somehow managed to pull off double duty on Thursday. She bagged up 60,100 despite spending some of her day working the ESPN break desk analysing hands and providing commentary on the day’s events.

Other notables who survived the day include Christoph Vogelsang (172,100), Kenny Hallaert (159,900), Jonathan Little (110,400), Prahlad Friedman (152,400), Brian Yoon (151,500), Darryll Fish (151,400), Eric Baldwin (132,600), Antoine Saout (117,300), Phil Hui (113,600), Mike Watson (109,500), Andre Akkari (103,600), Conor Beresford (101,400), Scott Seiver (89,600), and Arsenii Karmatckii (53,500).

It wasn’t all smiles and bags for some of the game’s best though. Anthony Zinno, Craig Varnell, Cord Garcia, Dan Shak, Max Pescatori, Frank Stepuchin, John Hesp, Valentin Vornicu, Kane Kalas, Mike Sexton, Pierre Neuville, and Sam Grafton were all among the players who busted on Day 1B.

Top 10 Day 1B Chip Counts

  1. Adam Owen – 351,800
  2. Gary Blackwood – 330,200
  3. Asi Moshe – 330,200
  4. Tyler Gaston – 329,200
  5. Allen Kessler – 301,800
  6. Brandon Fraizer – 298,400
  7. Galen Hall – 295,700
  8. Gerald Claunch – 252,900
  9. Gregory Tyer – 236,600
  10. Yue Du – 236,300