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World Series of Poker update through 75 events

8 July 2019

(PRESS RELEASE) -- After the eye-popping numbers throughout the 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP), it was now up to the WSOP Main Event – the granddaddy of all poker tournaments -- to give us the final measuring stick on poker’s health in 2019. Needless to say, poker’s never been better.

The 2019 WSOP Main Event, the 50th edition of the famed poker tournament that annually crowns poker’s world champion has been the cherry on top of the sundae of the 2019 WSOP. 8,569 unique participants each paid the $10,000 entry fee – the second most ever – to create a prize pool in excess of $80 million which will be split up amongst the final 15 percent of the field, with the winner walking away with eight figures -- $10,000,000. This marks the largest field and prize pool since the 2006 WSOP Main Event, and ended up just 204 entries shy.

Through 75 events (of 90) at this year’s WSOP at the Rio, here is where some of the key metrics stand:
  • 168,135 entries – 36% above last year’s pace through 75 events (123,356). (All-time record)
  • $250,231,945 in prize money awarded – More than any WSOP between 1970-2017 and up 6.5% y-o-y
  • 25,236 places paid – Breaks record of 18,105 established last year
  • 52 -- $1 million+ prize pools
  • 25 -- $2 million+ prize pools
  • 8 -- $5 million+ prize pools
  • 3 -- $10 million+ prize pools
  • 1 -- $80 million+ prize pool
  • 11 – Events with 5,000 or more entrants (Event 3, 9, 19, 32, 34, 50, 59, 61, 64, 69 & 73) – 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)
  • 52 -- # of different countries that have captured a WSOP Gold Bracelet in history with El Salvador the latest. In 2019 thus far, 18 different countries have done so.
Main Event Mania: It has been a wild start to this year’s Main Event. An earthquake shook the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino during Friday’s play, when a record 4,877 players were competing in the largest single starting flight in Main Event history (players have the option of starting on one of three days or registering at the start of Day 2. The field combines all remaining players for the first time on Day 3). After a brief pause, and a couple disqualifications for rules violations, players kept pouring in through the late registration period to see the fabled event reach historic numbers. (See yesterday’s separate Main Event documents for specifics on that tournament)

No Soup for You: It took 67 events to be completed, but we have our first double-bracelet winner of the summer. Australia’s Robert Campbell has cashed seven times thus far for a total of $665,508 in earnings to take the lead in the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year race, while also claiming gold twice. Campbell, just like the soup, is running hot. First he won the $1,500 buy-in Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw tournament (Event 33) on June 8 and followed that up by winning the $10,000 buy-in Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better (Event 67). The former stand-up comic from Melbourne is a man of many talents. He was previously the No. 1 ranked Pokemon player. He learned to play poker in 2005, after watching Australia’s Joe Hachem become the first Australian to claim the Main Event crown.

Online Doing Fine: With Nevada the first U.S. state to legalize online poker, the WSOP started to add online events to its gold bracelet schedule in 2015, to give participants the chance to test their skills in the online variant of the game. This year marked the fifth consecutive year of having online events during the Las Vegas festival, with a record nine different events on the schedule. With New Jersey part of the only shared-stated player pool with Nevada, this year’s offering proved to be a big hit with players as well. With one event remaining – Event #88, the $500 Summer Saver No-Limit Hold’em on Sunday, July 14, the online team will wrap up its most successful WSOP yet. The eight events thus far have combined to deliver 10,501 entries while awarding $8,248,410 in prize money.

Lula-Lemon: What a breath of fresh air Reno’s Lula Taylor brought to the WSOP this past week while participating in the Mini Main Event, a $1,000 buy-in version of the Main Event. The new event was a big hit with 5,521 entries, but equally impressive was our runner-up finisher, Ms. Taylor, originally from Abilene, Texas, now residing in Reno who made her WSOP debut a memorable one. A charismatic and self-proclaimed “Happy, go lucky girl,” Taylor plays small-stakes weekly poker events in Reno. She recently hit a $10,000 jackpot at Eldorado Resort Casino in Reno and decided she was going to come to Las Vegas and play at the WSOP, a longtime bucket list item for her. And play she did, running through 5,519 combatants to claim $388,284, a mere 388 times her initial investment. She was a hit with all her tablemates – even as she took their chips – as player after player came away with an enjoyable experience to share about Taylor. Taylor epitomizes what today’s WSOP is. An event everyone can partake in. While some are initially intimidated walking into the Rio and the mass of humanity and poker tables spread throughout, they quickly realize poker is poker, and they, just like anyone else, can compete and succeed just as they do in their poker game back home.

Banner Day: A new banner is hanging in the tournament rooms at the Rio, honoring WSOP founding family member Jack Binion. Binion and poker legend Doyle Brunson were two of the notable attendees of the WSOP First Fifty Honors gala, to commemorate 50 years of the WSOP. Binion becomes the first non-player to have his banner hung. Asked about his thoughts of today’s WSOP, Binion quipped, “I never would have sold it if I knew it (the WSOP) would get this big.”

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