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World Series of Poker update through 66 events

1 July 2019

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Sometimes it feels like the Rio Convention Center is mistaken for the new Raiders Stadium being built down the street here in Las Vegas, because people keep pouring in by the thousands. We knew the 50th Annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) was going to be big, but it has reached historic levels.

Record Participation: This is the 50th running of the WSOP, with more players than ever before coming to participate. Through 66 events, the WSOP has already shattered the attendance record, as 147,334 entrants have played in WSOP gold bracelet events. That is already 19% above last year’s record of 123,865 – and there are still 24 events remaining. In fact, this year’s participation exceeds the first 36 years of the WSOP combined.

(2019: 66 events, totaling 147,334 entries vs. 1970-2005: 602 events, totaling 125,628 entries)

Through 66 events (of 90) at this year’s WSOP at the Rio, here is where some of the key metrics stand:
  • 147,334 entries – 33% above last year’s pace through 66 events (110,814). (All-time record)
  • $153,035,865 in prize money awarded – More than any WSOP between 1970-2005
  • 22,325 places paid – Breaks record of 18,105 established last year
  • 44 – $1 million+ prize pools
  • 22 – $2 million+ prize pools
  • 7 – $5 million+ prize pools
  • 2 – $10 million+ prize pools
  • 9 – Events with 5,000 or more entrants (Event 3, 9, 19, 32, 34, 50, 59, 61 & 64) – New record
  • 4 – Events reaching Top 10 field sizes all-time (Event 3 (1st); Event 61 (4th), Event 64 (7th) & Event 19 (10th)
  • 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 (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)
  • 51 – # of different countries who have captured a WSOP Gold Bracelet, with South Korea being the latest
More Millionaires: With the attendance record falling, it is no surprise more millionaires are being made. Events 45, 50, 52 and 58 each created millionaires out of the winners, with Event 45 making two millionaires. That puts the WSOP at eight million-dollar individual prizes thus far, and we haven’t even started the Main Event.

Under the Radar: Canadian Benjamin Underwood a 28-year-old from Brantford, Ontario, is having a very impressive summer. He’s cashed five times, made three final tables and has a third, fourth and fifth place finish under his belt. He’s spent $4,200 to buy into those five events and won $383,263, for a tidy 91 times return on his money. What really stands out is the sheer number of players he is outlasting. The number of entries in the events he has played is: 28,371, 8,809, 6,150, 3,759 and 2,808. That is 49,892 entrants. He’s outlasted 47,013 in all.

Seoul Survivor: We have our first female WSOP champion of the summer, as South Korea’s Jiyoung Kim captured her very first WSOP gold bracelet, as well as her country’s first. South Korea becomes the 51st different country to capture a WSOP gold bracelet, while Kim, a coffee shop owner, makes her first WSOP cash a memorable one as she wins $167,308 along with the title. Kim won the Ladies Championship, Event 47, besting a field of 968 – the largest Ladies event at the WSOP in eight years.

Main Event Mania: The granddaddy of all poker tournaments, the WSOP Main Event begins Wednesday, with starting flights Wednesday (July 3), Thursday (July 4) and Friday (July 5) all beginning at 12 noon. This is the richest tournament in the world, with an expected prize pool nearing $70 million up for grabs. New wrinkles this year include more starting chips for players – now 60,000, the introduction of the Big Blind Ante format, and late registration open until the start of Day 2 play. This means players now have until July 7 at 11am to enter this year’s WSOP Main Event. The entire event runs from July 3-16, with ESPN, ESPN2 and PokerGO providing daily coverage of the most anticipated poker tournament of the year. Break schedules for the event have been tweaked to accommodate filming and ensure East Coast prime time coverage, so players are encouraged to review the structure sheet for the plan each day.

Salute to Warriors: A new event open to everyone, is tomorrow’s $500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament, dubbed Salute to Warriors. The event is designed with military service members in mind, with $40 of each entry being donated to the United Service Organizations (USO) and other veteran organizations. The WSOP and Caesars Entertainment offer plenty of discounts for military members and during the July 4 holiday is no exception. Those with Military ID or Salute card will find extra discounts at the Rio, including 20% off All American Bar & Grille, Voodoo Steak, Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho, all casino bars, all Rio retail locations and Chippendales. There’s even 30% off Fight Dome and WOW, with 50% off Penn & Teller’s July 2 or 3 show. Restrictions do apply. Must show Salute Card or Military I.D. to receive discount(s).

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