A thrilling day of action on Day 1d of the 2023 World Series of Poker broke poker records as the Main Event welcomed over 4,100 players on the fourth Day 1 flight. That created a total field of around 9,350 at the time of going to press, with that breaking the record of 8,773 set in 2006 when Jamie Gold won the $12 million top prize. It now seems certain that this year’s Main Event will create the biggest top prize of all-time.


The Horseshoe of Heroes


On what was a huge day for poker entering the mainstream, players of all levels flocked to the Horseshoe and Paris casinos in Las Vegas as the gambling capital of the world caught the imagination of millions of fans around the world. A poker boom was last spoken about in 2003 after Chris Moneymaker won the $2.5 million top prize from an $80 online satellite.


Poker has changed immeasurably in that time, but while a ‘second Poker Boom’ has been mooted before, never before has it been hailed by so many.


Poker, and the World Series of Poker in particular, seems huge right now, and with attendances up across this record-breaking WSOP, the ‘Poker Boom’ for this new age of poker seems certain to be happening around us in Sin City. As players battled to survive Day 1D, the announcement was made by WSOP directors that a new record had been made.


By the end of the day, the previous best had been smashed. With registration open for the first two levels of both Day 2ABC and Day 2D, the number could yet reach five figures.


Dirty Diaper On Top


The final Day 1 flight may not have been the end of the registrations in this year’s $10,000-entry Main Event, but it was easily the most important. Players can still enter the World Championship up the end of the first two levels on Day 2, but the bulk of the entries came on the final Day 1 and what a day it was.


After five two-hour levels, the Day 1D – and overall - chip leader in the Main Event was a name familiar to millions who know their recent WSOP Main Event history. Nicholas Rigby became known as playing the ‘Dirty Diaper’ -a.k.a. deuce-three offsuit – back in 2019 on his route to finishing 52nd for six figures.


Today, Rigby piled up 408,000 chips by the close of play and was miles ahead of other top 10 stacks Brittney Stout (375,500), Neel Murthy (323,100), Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen (321,000), and Brandon Mincher (317,000).


Hellmuth Arrives as Showman, Brings the Circus


No-one enters the main stage like Phil Hellmuth and The Poker Brat had an entertaining Day 1D both on and off the felt. Already having achieved his primary aim of the 2023 WSOP – winning a bracelet – Hellmuth entered dressed as the Greatest Showman, leading in not only 17 models holding up numbers representing Hellmuth’s 17 bracelet wins but Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates in the form of a fully-suited Lion in a cage!


Hellmuth calmed down – and changed clothes soon after, but it was a spectacular entrance. He was quickly moved to a feature table including Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom, and both the Swedish phenom and Californian self-proclaimed G.O.A.T. survived in strong chip health, with Hellmuth bagging up 108,500 chips and Blom piling up 104,100.


Cates, however, didn’t survive, crashing out just after returning from the dinner break, having only entered almost four hours into proceedings.


Big Names Make the Grade


Other stars of the felt excelled too, with former world champions Joe Hachem (125,300), Qui Nguyen (121,800), Scotty Nguyen (8,400) and Chris Moneymaker (143,100) all making Day 2. Hossein Ensan was the former Main Event winner who fell on Day 1D, but some really big threats to the title bagged massive stacks, with Chance Kornuth (241,500) chief among them.


Also soaring into the top 20 was Men ‘The Master’ Nguyen (221,000), with Iaron Lightbourne (210,000), Jonathan Pastore (206,400), Sergio Aido (204,400), Ari Engel (203,000) and Steve Watts (189,000) all cruising into the top 100. James Hartigan, legendary PokerStars presenter, bagged up a very healthy 83,900 as he made the next day’s play.


WSOP 2023 Event #76 $10,000 World Championship Main Event Day 1D:






Nicholas Rigby

United States



Brittney Stout

United States



Neel Murphy

United States



Chris Hunichen

United States



Brandon Mincher

United States



Jeffrey Weil

United States



Harish Ananthapadanabha

United States



Masaya Kiryu

United States



Jerome Finck




Will Collins

United States



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PokerGO, WSOP, Phil Hellmuth, Nicholas Rigby, Daniel Cates, 2023 WSOP, WSOP 2023