Big Day for Brits as Crowds Clash on WSOP Main Event Day 1A

The first starting flight of the 2017 WSOP Main Event drew a crowd today and British poker players topped the leaderboard for most of it.

795 players bought in. That’s more than the 764 who played Day 1A last year and it’s the biggest number this flight has seen since 2013.

First it was old schooler Barny Boatman jumping out to an early lead as the first player to break the 100k mark with Sam Grafton eventually overtaking him to finish the night among the very biggest stacks.

Boatman cold three-bet with 5-7 from the big blind early in the day and turned the nut straight against Iraj Parvizi. He doubled up in that hand and continued to beat up his table to surge to almost 140,000.

Denmark Comes Out On Top

Also representing the United Kingdom today and managing to advance to Day 2 were Patrick Leonard, Matthew Ashton, Steven Warburton, Mark Teltscher and former November Niner James Akenhead.

By the time the final hand of Day 1A was finished, however, Danish pro Morten Mortensen had scooped the outright lead. Mortensen turned the nut straight in a huge 100k pot and had his opponent’s pocket kings, an overpair to the board, drawing dead.

Mortensen finished with 279,000, the biggest stack reported by the World Series of Poker.

Click here to see our running 2017 WSOP Main Event photo blog.

Here’s a look at the unofficial top 10, courtesy of

Morten Mortensen – 279,000
Sam Grafton – 240,000
Griffin Abel – 226,000
Jonathan Little – 210,300
David Eldridge – 207,000
Frank Crivello – 192,000
Harald Sammer – 187,300
Ronnie Brown – 181,100
Ryan Hall – 180,000
Nick Schwarmann – 176,600

More Poker Pros, One Superbowl Winner Advance

Also running up stacks on Day 1A were Anatoly Filatov, Jennifer Shahade, Maxim Lykov, Sam Chartier, Josh Arieh, Jon Turner, Billy Baxter, Doug Polk and Phil Laak.

Three-time Superbowl champion Richard Seymour started the day on the ESPN feature table and finished the night with around double the 50k starting stack.

WSOP Main event3

Defending champ Qui Nguyen advanced to Day 2.

Mike Matusow caught a tough table, up against fellow four-time WSOP bracelet winner Tom Schneider and former national spelling bee champion turned top poker pro Pratyush Buddiga.

All three of them made it through to Day 2.

Last year’s champ Qui Nguyen returned to defend his title and made it through the day.

Another former world champion, Jerry Yang, also played. 2007, the year Jerry Yang won the Main  Event, was the last year before the introduction of the November Nine final table.

This year the WSOP dispensed with the delay but Yang won’t be reprising his role at the final table. He busted during the final level of the night

Also making an early exit was World Poker Tour Tournament Director Matt Savage who sold 80 individual one per cent pieces of his Main Event action.

Two more Day 1 flights remain so check back tomorrow for continuing coverage of the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event.