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50th edition of WSOP sets record numbers

16 July 2019

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The world champion of poker will be crowned tonight live on ESPN beginning at 9:00 PM ET when the final three players will vie for $20,000,000. The winner will come from outside the United States for the first time since 2014 and our current chip leader Hossein Ensan can become the oldest champion in this event in 20 years.

Ensan, 55, from Muenster, Germany enters play with nearly two-thirds of the chips in play, amassing 326,800,000 of the 514 million chips on the table. But he will have to get through two tough 32-year-old poker professionals in Canadian Alex Livingston from Halifax, Nova Scotia and Italian Dario Sammartino from Naples, who looks to become the first world champion from Italy. Livingston enters play second in chips with 120,400,000 and Sammartino sits third with 67,600,000. The three square off for the $10,000,000 first place prize in the 50th running of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event.

The WSOP Main Event conclusion will put an exclamation point on what has been a stunning and spectacular 50th edition of poker’s most revered tournament series with every conceivable notable record shattered in 2019. As the final four events wrap up today, here’s the latest from the record-breaking 50th Annual World Series of Poker.

Through 90 events (of 90) at this year’s WSOP at the Rio, here is where the final numbers ended up:
  • 187,298 entries – 51% above last year (123,865). (All-time record)
  • $293,183,345 in prize money awarded – 10% above last year record ($266,889,193) and 26% above 2017, which did not have a $1 million buy-in event like 2018 did (All-time record)
  • 28,017 places paid – 55% above last year (18,105); (All-time record)
  • 62 -- $1 million+ prize pools – all-time record
  • 34 -- $2 million+ prize pools – all-time record
  • 12 -- $5 million+ prize pools – all-time record
  • 3 -- $10 million+ prize pools
  • 1 -- $80 million + prize pool – 2nd largest in history
  • 12 – Events with 5,000 or more entrants (Event 3, 9, 19, 32, 34, 50, 59, 61, 64, 69, 73, 75) – all-time record
  • 4 – Events reaching Top 10 field sizes all-time (Event 3 (1st); Event 61 (4th), Event 64 (7th) & Event 19 (10th)
  • 1 – largest $10,000 buy-in event in 13 years (Event #73, Main Event, 8,569 entries)
  • 1 – Largest $500 buy-in event in history (Event #3, Big 50, 28,371 entries)
  • 1 – Largest $400 buy-in event in history (Event 61, Colossus No-Limit Hold’em, 13,109 entries)
  • 1 – Largest $1,500 buy-in event in history (Event #19, Millionaire Maker, 8,809 entries)
  • 1 – Largest $600 buy-in event in history (Event #9, Deepstack No-Limit Hold’em, 6,150 entries)
  • 1 – Largest $800 buy-in event in history (Event 53, 8-Handed Deepstack No-Limit Hold’em, 3,759 entries)
  • 1 – Largest $888 buy-in event in history (Event 64, Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’em, 10,185 entries)
  • 1 – Largest $1,000 buy-in tournament in history (Event #34, Double Stack, 6,214 entries)
Global Game: Poker has spread to all corners of the earth with the advent of the internet and the mobile revolution giving millions of people access to the game of poker at their fingertips. Throw in platforms like YouTube and Twitch and it has never been easier to learn about the game or play it. Here at the WSOP, we have seen first-hand what this exposure has meant. This year, a record number of countries won gold bracelets at the WSOP – 22 different nations. In August, the WSOP will take a deeper dive into the participants from the 2019 WSOP, but we’re confident more than 100 nations came out to Las Vegas to partake in WSOP Gold Bracelet events in 2019, with 34 bracelets ending up on International players’ wrists. Here’s the list of countries who have won at the WSOP this summer, with the number of victories in parenthesis (4 events remaining):
  • Australia (2)
  • Austria (1)
  • Brazil (2)
  • Canada (3)
  • Denmark (1)
  • El Salvador (1)
  • Finland (1)
  • France (3)
  • Germany (1)
  • Greece (1)
  • Hong Kong (1)
  • India (1)
  • Israel (4)
  • Nigeria (1)
  • Portugal (1)
  • South Korea (2)
  • Spain (1)
  • Sri Lanka (1)
  • Sweden (1)
  • Russia (2)
  • United Kingdom (3)
  • United States (52)
A Chip and a Charity: Poker tournaments have long been a great way to raise money for worthy causes all while having a good time. It has long been a tradition at the WSOP to include charity initiatives throughout the series to help raise awareness and funds. During the 2019 WSOP, nearly $800,000 was raised by the poker community. Here’s how and where the funds are going:
  • Gavin Smith Poker Tournament (May 28) – Raised $35,450 for the children of longtime poker professional Gavin Smith, who passed away earlier this year leaving two children behind. 194 players and friends helped open the 2019 WSOP, an event won by poker pro Matt Stout, who also happens to be behind the Charity Series of Poker. It was Stout’s CSOP that managed the silent auction for the event, which raised $16,050 of the funds, and they also ran a Comedy Night in Smith’s honor that raised an additional $3,040.
  • Salute to Warriors (Event 71) – New to the schedule this year was a $500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament open to all. The July 2 event directed $40 of each buy-in to the USO and other military and veteran organizations. With 1,723 entries, the event raised $68,920 and was won by Susan Faber.
  • Little One for ONE DROP (Event 75) – A stalwart on the WSOP schedule since 2013, the Little One for One Drop, to benefit the One Drop charity, saw a record field this year with 6,246 entries. As such, $693,428 was raised for One Drop, as $111 of each buy-in went to the cause. The WSOP has worked with One Drop since 2012, hosting the Big One and the Little One poker tournaments, and to date, One Drop has raised $23,860,402 via WSOP poker tournaments thanks to the generous donations from the players.
Hall Call: The Poker Hall of Fame announced its Class for 2019, selecting 2003 WSOP Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker and high stakes cash game professional David Oppenheim as the 57th and 58th members of poker’s most exclusive club. It has been quite a year for Moneymaker, as he won three different awards at the WSOP’s First Fifty Honors gala last month and now receives poker’s ultimate honor.

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