Posted on: July 7, 2023, 12:54h.
Last updated on: July 7, 2023, 01:12h.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP), the 54th running of the months-long tournament series, has set a new entry record for the Main Event.
Organizers of the 2023 WSOP announced Thursday that the Main Event, officially the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship, eclipsed the previous record for the number of entries. The former record of 8,773 buy-ins set in 2006 when Jamie Gold prevailed for the $12 million first-place prize was eclipsed Thursday afternoon.
Good afternoon players. I wanted to inform you that a few minutes ago, we officially set the mark of 8,774 players,” Ty Stewart, senior vice president and executive director of the World Series of Poker, told Main Event players. “This is the biggest Main Event of all-time, and the richest live poker tournament of all-time.”
Calling it a “historic day for poker,” Stewart later said in a statement that he hopes the record is short-lived.
“This is a colossal day not only in the history of the WSOP, but for poker itself,” Stewart said. “We’re hoping this record is short-lived and we’ll be ready for another monster turnout next summer.”
The biggest tournament in poker history – The 2023 WSOP Main Event! pic.twitter.com/ofbAjPAMuZ
— WSOP – World Series of Poker (@WSOP) July 7, 2023
Horseshoe a Ringer So Far
The 54th edition of the WSOP marked the return of the iconic tournament to the Horseshoe. Benny Binion founded the World Series of Poker in 1970 and the annual no-limit showdown was held at his Binion’s Horseshoe Casino in downtown Las Vegas until 2004.
Harrah’s Entertainment, today Caesars Entertainment, acquired the WSOP in 2004 and relocated the tournament series to the company’s off-Strip Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. Following widespread criticism of the Rio’s deteriorating conditions and its security, paired with Caesars renaming Bally’s Las Vegas the Horseshoe following its sale of the Bally’s brand last year, Caesars decided to relocate the WSOP to the Horseshoe for 2023.
The tournament’s return to the Horseshoe brand has so far been a roaring success. As of Friday afternoon, the WSOP Main Event has counted more than 9,300 entries for the $10K Main Event.
“It’s particularly special to make history in our first year at the new Horseshoe Las Vegas. I think today is a huge testament to the passion of the entire poker community who rallies around this event every year,” Stewart added.
Poker is Back
It was only a decade or so ago when some in the gaming community wondered whether poker, especially No-Limit Texas hold’em, was losing popularity. The game’s boom was sparked in 2003 when Chris Moneymaker, an accountant by day who gained entry into the $10K Main Event by qualifying online, beat 838 other entries to claim the $2.5 million first-place prize.
Dubbed the “Moneymaker effect,” the WSOP Main Event saw its field increase rapidly to more than 2,500 entries the following year and to more than 5,600 entries for the 2005 tournament. The field ballooned to 8,773 entries in 2006.
Entries for the 2007 Main Event dropped below 6,400. The field eclipsed 7,000 entries just once between 2007 through 2016.
2017 sparked yet another poker boom, as the field totaled 7,221. The Main Event topped 8,500 entries in 2019 before the pandemic.
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