The 42nd annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) Presented by Jack Links Beef Jerky at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino has officially reached the halfway point, eclipsing numerous records along the way and positioning this year’s slate of tournaments to shatter several all-time marks.
Through 30 events, total WSOP participation is up 11.7 percent, with 33,173 entrants lifting the prize pool 8.6 percent over 2010 levels and establishing a new midway milestone of $55,883,060.
Eleven WSOP tournament records have been broken. They are:
- Biggest Heads-Up tournament prize pool in history ($3,040,000) – Event #2
- Largest live Omaha High-Low Split Tournament in history (925 entries) – Event #3
- Largest live Six-Handed tournament in poker history (1,920 entries) – Event #10
- Biggest Deuce-to-Seven tournament prize pool in history ($1,184,400) – Event #16
- Largest live $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start (3,157 entries) – Event #18
- Largest live $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start (3,175 entries) – Event #20
- Largest consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,332 entries) – Event #18 and Event #20
- Largest live Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in poker history (1,071 entries) – Event #22
- Largest Mixed-Game (Eight-Game Mix) in poker history (489 entries) – Event #23
- Largest Seniors poker tournament in history (3,752 entries) – Event #30
- Largest live $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start – Event #30 (breaks record established in Event #20)
These new attendance and prize money records come just one year after the 2010 WSOP enjoyed year-over-year attendance growth of 20 percent and set records for nine of the largest 17 live poker tournaments in history. It is also worth noting that these live tournament records aren’t just WSOP-related. In fact, they are the largest turnouts for any poker tournament worldwide – ever.
“We are humbled once again by the incredible turnout from players all over the world,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “It has been a record-setting summer thus far in 2011 and we are confident it will continue through the duration of the tournament.”
In addition to the official WSOP gold bracelet events, all other poker-related business is experiencing tremendous double-digit growth as well. Year-to-date, 79,166 entries have been recorded.
WSOP side action, which refers to all non-bracelet events — including cash games, single-table-satellites, mega-satellites and daily deepstack tournaments — are up 45 percent year-over-year.
Cash games have attracted non-stop action featuring 96 live poker tables filled to capacity. The cash games offered range from $1-$2 blinds all the way up to high-stakes competition, including No-Limit with blinds at $1,000/$2,000. Pot-Limit Omaha, a game of growing popularity is generating more than 20 tables spread at a time. This makes for arguably the greatest concentration of Pot-Limit Omaha action anywhere in history.
Additionally, the WSOP is spreading more than 150 satellite tournaments daily throughout the 42nd annual event. This segment is up 18 percent over last year. (Note: A satellite tournament is a lower buy-in event whose prize is an entry into a larger buy-in event). Mega-satellites have been particularly strong, regularly awarding dozens of seats per event and helping feed the larger buy-in bracelet events.
Finally, the Rio’s offering of low buy-in, one-day poker tournaments called “Daily Deepstacks” have been the busiest of all events year-over-year. Players participating in the daily 2 pm tournaments with a $235 buy-in are regularly seeing 800-plus player fields and first place prizes in the $30,000-40,000 range. Three Daily Deepstack tournaments are taking place, at 2 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm and all are seeing sharp increases. These tournaments continue through July 16th.
Tournament Director Jack Effel explained, “It is one thing to plan and prepare to accommodate such a large number of people on a daily basis, but it is truly an amazing feeling to see it all unfold in front of your eyes like we have witnessed at the WSOP in 2011. We are grateful for everyone’s patience throughout and want to thank the players who have showed up thus far. We look forward to welcoming still more players who are still yet to make their 2011 WSOP debut.”
On Friday, June 18, the WSOP sat 5,946 players for the various poker tournaments scheduled that day – the largest number of players ever entered on a single day in live poker history.
A total of 408 poker tables are in use at the Rio this summer during the WSOP. Despite the largest concentration of poker tables at one time anywhere in history, on several days demand has outstripped supply due to the unprecedented number of players descending upon the Rio.
Along with all the poker action, some outstanding charitable work is being performed as well. Poker players are rallying behind the “Bad Beat on Cancer” initiative, where one percent of all poker winnings are pledged to the official WSOP charities: the Nevada Cancer Institute and the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
A new Bad Beat on Cancer Seminar Series provides free seminars from well-known poker players, which has already received much attention and rave reviews. The seminars are held during weekend mornings throughout the WSOP. In addition to providing helpful strategic advice to many players and fans of the game, the seminars also help to raise the awareness of the Bad Beat on Cancer initiative. For more information on this, click HERE.
ABOUT THE WSOP
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport’s top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker’s longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970. In 2010, the event attracted 72,966 entrants from 117 different countries to the Rio in Las Vegas and awarded over $187 million in prize money. For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit www.WSOP.com.