Another Record-Breaking WSOP Main Event

Since the lockdown was lifted, World Series of Poker Main Event attendance has been growing exponentially year after year, but this year is different. The record was broken this year with 10,112 entries.

In the 2021 Main Event, we saw 6,650 entries, but just one year later, there was a significant jump of 30 percent to 8,663 entries, which was just 110 entries short of the previous record that was set in 2006 when Jamie Gold won the event. But the story doesn’t end there; in 2023, we got a new record when the entries number hit 10,043. That time, we got a jump of 16 percent compared to the record-breaking year before. This year, we got another record, but this time, it was a close one since there were only 69 entries more compared to last year. So, there is a question of whether the trend is slowing down.

We can also see a consistent growth of Main Event’s prize pool looking back to 2000’s WSOP Main Event, where the prize pool was $5,120,000 compared to ten years later when in 2010, WSOP Main Event had a prize pool of $68,799,059, which is 13 times more. Fourteen years later, in 2024, we have the WSOP Main Event with a prize pool of $94,041,60.

The biggest increase in prize pool size happened in 2004 when it jumped from $7,802,700 to $24,224,400 in just one year, and the entries went from 839 to 2,576. In 2005, the prize pool more than doubled, and from then on, we saw more rational growth without shocking jumps.

Why Did the Numbers Jump So Much in 2004?

In 2003, there was a player who qualified for the WSOP Main event through a $86 online satellite on PokerStars. The player was an unknown accountant from Atlanta, who played his first WSOP Main Event and won it for $2,500,000, becoming a poker superstar overnight. The player’s name is Chris Moneymaker, who is, to this day, considered the main reason for the poker boom in 2004. The boom is called the “Moneymaker Effect.”

Two Players got Eliminated From The Main Event in the First Hand

The Main Event entry fee is $10,000 per player, but sometimes, even the price can’t stop crazy hands from happening. Nothing was different this year, and few players got into risky situations early in the tournament.

In Day 1a, one player lost his whole stack in his first hand when he ran into quads holding a full house, and another player also lost everything in his first hand when he flopped a set and was outdrawn by his opponent, who had a straight. The player who lost to quads is a famous Twitch streamer named “Dramatic Degen,” and he gave a detailed hand explanation to PokerNews.

Famous social media personality Dan Bilzerian, also didn’t last much longer than other guys when he busted from the main event in two hands. Bilzerian got caught bluffing with T8o when he triple barreled into Derek Reid, who check-called three streets with pocket aces. “I had aces and I just didn’t think he had it, so I called. He was bluffing with ten-eight,” said Reid.

In the other hand, Bilzerian squeezed against Jonathan Dwek, who opened with AJ and got called by BTN. Dwek called and was against Q5. “I raised with ace-jack, the button called, and he [Bilzerian] shoved all in for around 4,000 with queen-five from the big blind. I called and hit a flush,” said Dwek.

Who is Playing in the Main Event This year?

As the most popular and prestigious poker event in the world, all the high-profile players are looking to add a Main Event trophy next to their name. And when we talk about high profile players, one of the first names that comes to mind must be Phil Hellmuth.

Phil has a tradition of arriving at the Main Event dressed in different themes. This year, Phil was wearing a black karate gi, and the theme song from “Karate Kid” was playing in the background.

In previous years, Phil came dressed as Julius Caesar, Darth Vader, and others.

Daniel Negreanu is also one of the biggest names in poker. He plays in the Main Event, and if you didn’t know, he makes vlogs every day of the WSOP.

Daniel Negreanu also ended his 11-year drought and won $50,000 Poker Players Championship for his seventh WSOP bracelet and $1,178,703 on top.

Day 3 of WSOP Main Event Chip Count

RankWinnerChip Count
1Anthony Marsico1,085,000
2Christopher Vincent772,000
3Alex Livingston750,500
4Manuel Machado680,500
5Raul Manzanares680,000
6Tyler Hatchel679,000
7Jangkyu Lee665,500
8Karo Nuri646,500
9 Donovan Dean634,500
10Luis Vazquez620,500

WSOP Main Event winners

YearEntrantsWinnerFirst place prizeRunner-up
20146,683 Martin Jacobson$10,000,000 Felix Stephensen
20156,420 Joe McKeehen$7,683,346 Joshua Beckley
20166,737 Qui Nguyen$8,005,310 Gordon Vayo
20177,221 Scott Blumstein$8,150,000 Dan Ott
20187,874 John Cynn$8,800,000 Tony Miles
20198,569 Hossein Ensan$10,000,000 Dario Sammartino
20201,379 Damian Salas$2,550,969 Joseph Hebert
20216,650 Koray Aldemir$8,000,000 George Holmes
20228,663 Espen Jørstad$10,000,000 Adrian Attenborough
202310,043 Daniel Weinman$12,100,000 Steven Jones

* Images and video courtesy of WSOP and PokerNews

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