Joe Hachem Announces the 2014 WSOP Main Event Shuffle Up And Deal

The biggest and most prestigious poker tournament in the world has just started in Las Vegas. It is a milestone year for the World Series since it has been 10 years since the event moved from Binions Horseshoe to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

Joe Hachem was given the privilege of opening the 2014 WSOP Main Event and performed the “shuffle up and deal” to get the event underway. The 2005 WSOP Main Event champions’ win was significant in that is was the first WSOP main event that was held at the Rio following the Harrah’s purchase, which is now Caesars. This is what Hachem had to say to the players and fans that surrounded him after kicking things off in the Amazon Room. “The reality is to me that personally it’s been an honor and a privilege to be world champ of WSOP and represent the game.”

Once the play of the $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament began, quite remarkably two recent former WSOP champions in Greg Merson and Ryan Riess found themselves seated at the ESPN feature table along with high roller enthusiast and businessman Bill Perkins.

The 2012 and 2013 WSOP Main Event champs weren’t the only former champions in action on the felt when the play got underway on the first day. Johnny Chan and Tom McEvoy also were also seen in action. It was disappointing for many after news came to light on Twitter that Doyle Brunson would not be playing in the Main Event this year.

There were several other big names spotted at the tables on the opening flight, including Phil Laak, Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, 2012 WSOP One Drop winner Antonio Esfandiari, and Annette Obrestad. Matusow was of course all over social media after copping a one round penalty in the $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low tournament he was grinding earlier at the WSOP for excessive celebration.

Defending champion Ryan Riess managed to chip up over the course of Day 1A and ended the day with more than double his initial starting stack. As he alluded to on Twitter: “Bagged 70,225 after Day 1 of the greatest tournament on the planet #MainEvent.” Unfortunately for Merson, things didn’t go as well for him today at the feature table. He lost a big pot nearing the end of the day to finish the first day’s play with a bit more than 7,000 in chips.

Due to the enormity of the Main Event, play will actually be spread over three starting flights, then all the remaining players from flights Day 1A and Day 1B will return to the felt at the Rio for Day 2’s action on Tuesday and on Wednesday for players from the Day 1C starting flight.

Considering the record number of entrants for the debut of the Monster Stack WSOP event, it is expected that the Main Event will be sure to also get a huge turnout. According to WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart who was interviewed by; “Given the amount of satellites already completed and scheduled for the next two days, attaining last year’s number is a reasonable expectation.

The World Series of Poker has stuck with the November Nine concept, so play will stop once the final table has been decided, and the players will return back to the felt on November 10 with all players competing for a first place prize of at least $10 million. For hardcore poker fans at home, unfortunately WSOP main event coverage begins on Day 4 of the event this year.