There are over 550 people signed up for the main event thus far... we will easily hit 700, and 750 seems possible. 800 isn't impossible.
Where in the hell are they coming from?
There are lots of names on the board from online sites... I think PokerStars alone sent something like 38 players from freerolls and cash satellites. Quite a few won their seats at various cardrooms around the country and world.
And supers... oh my god, supers. Yesterday they gave out over 30 seats in three supers (although many winners were repeaters, and just got $10K in lammers instead.) There is an unbelievable amount of dead money in the supers; I really wanted to play tonight, but decided it was unwise in the grand scheme of things. Last night I finished 18th when 12 seats were given out, or I would have scored another $10K. Dammit.
Single-table satellites are hopping, and the last-minute cash buyins are happening like crazy.
I sat next to Matt Savage at dinner tonight, and we worked out what the payouts would be for 700 and 750 players. Wow! Looks like first will be over two mil, and second over a mil.
I've promised to fly Matt to New York for dinner if I take one of the top six places. It won't help me get better rulings, but maybe there's some karma in that somewhere.
I took the day off from playing today... just hung out at the apartment for a while, went shopping, had dinner with a bunch of people including Matt, Russ Rosenblum (6th place finisher last year) and Rob Varkonyi, last year's winner.
I've also gotten lots of last-minute advice from various people on how to play the first day. Some of it is completely contradictory, but that just shows that there are different winning styles.
The excitement is palpable.
I chatted with Nolan Dalla tonight, and he said that ESPN is going to do a seven-part Survivor-like series wherein they focus on a few dozen players throughout the tournament. They have three camera crews fiming full-time, plus fixed cameras over at least one of the tables. It sounds like they're really interested in doing something more in-depth and interesting than what their past coverage has been... look for it in July.
At one level I'm completely wired, but I'm also strangely calm. I don't feel like I'm about to be playing the biggest tournament of my life tomorrow. Maybe that's good... I won't be intimidated.