The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the longest-running live poker tournament series, having first taken place in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1970. The WSOP Main Event is the tournament every poker player dreams about winning, not only because doing so comes with kudos and respect but also a custom gold bracelet and, these days, a life-changing cash prize.
Since the 1976 WSOP, the Main Event champion received a commemorative gold bracelet alongside their winnings. Nowadays, every tournament held during a WSOP awards a coveted gold bracelet, including those taking place at a Las Vegas casino online. The 2023 WSOP awarded 95 such bracelets, but it was the Main Event’s piece of poker jewelry that had everyone dreaming of reeling in.
The Early Days of the WSOP Main Event
Johnny Moss was crowned the champion of the 1970 WSOP, although he did not win a tournament to earn that status. Instead, the best player was decided via a vote. The first WSOP Main Event, as we know it, took place a year later and saw six players pay $5,000 to enter it. Moss came out on top, banking $30,000 and the title of world champion.
By 1982, the WSOP attracted more than 100 entrants as No-Limit Texas Hold’em became increasingly mainstream. The 2000 WSOP Main Event, won by Chris Ferguson, was the first to break through 500 entrants, but something special happened in 2003 that ignited what the poker industry refers to as the Poker Boom.
The aptly named Chris Moneymaker won an $86 satellite online at PokerStars, which awarded him a $10,000 seat to the 2003 WSOP Main Event instead of a traditional cash prize. Moneymaker, an accountant with a love for playing poker, headed to Las Vegas and was one of 839 players to enter the Main Event that year. Amazingly, despite the field packed with professional poker players, Moneymaker came out on top, capturing a gold bracelet and $2,532,041.
Suddenly, online poker sites were awash with players hoping to follow in Moneymaker’s footsteps. The surge in popularity, often called the Moneymaker Effect, resulted in 2,576 players entering the 2004 WSOP Main Event. Some 5,619 players bought into the 2005 Main Event, and the attendance has never dropped below 6,352 since!
The Biggest WSOP Main Events Ever
2023 – 10,043 entrants – $93,399,900 prize pool
This year’s WSOP broke over a dozen attendance records, including the Main Event. Poker industry insiders believed the 2023 WSOP Main Event would become the largest of all time, and they were correct, thanks to 10,043 players exchanging $10,000 for the chance to become poker’s world champion. All those buy-ins resulted in a $93,399,900 prize pool, with $12,100,000 reserved for the eventual winner.
Daniel Weinman of Atlanta, Georgia, will forever be known as the winner of the largest WSOP Main Event in history. Weinman defeated Steven Jones heads-up to claim the $12.1 million top prize, resigning Jones to a $6.5 million consolation prize. All but one of the nine finalists became instant millionaires, which shows why the WSOP Main Event is the number one live poker tournament worldwide.
2006 – 8,773 entrants – $82,512,162 prize pool
Before 2023, the 2006 WSOP Main Event held the record for the most entrants and the largest prize pool. Some 8,773 players bought in and created an $82,512,162 prize pool. Online poker reached its peak popularity and sent hundreds of qualifiers to the Main Event that year.
All nine finalists walked away with at least $1,566,858 for their efforts, with the champion collecting a cool $12 million. Jamie Gold of Malibu, California, was that man. The television producer and talent agent defeated poker pro Paul Wasicka heads-up and became the biggest WSOP Main Event winner, a record that stood for 17 years.
2022 – 8,663 entrants – $80,782,475 prize pool
The 2022 WSOP Main Event came close to beating the record set in 2006 but ultimately fell short by 110 entrants. A field of 8,663 players created an $80,782,475 prize pool with $10,000,000 reserved for the worthy champion.
Norway’s Espen Jorstad was the last player standing. The Norwegian defeated Australia’s Adrian Attenborough heads-up, leaving the Aussie to bank a $6,000,000 runner-up prize. Jorstad not only scooped an eight-figure prize but also got his hands on his second WSOP bracelet of the year, having triumphed in a $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Tag Team event earlier in the series.
2019 – 8,569 entrants – $80,548,600 prize pool
The 2019 WSOP Main Event is the fourth-largest on record, with 8,569 entrants creating an $80,548,600 prize pool. The nine-handed final table of this edition of “The Big Dance” is considered one of the toughest ever assembled, with four of the finalists being seasoned professionals.
Any of the final trio of players would have made a worthy world champion. Canada’s Alex Livingston bowed out in third for $4,000,000 before Hossein Ensan defeated Italian superstar Dario Sammartino heads-up. Sammartino collected $6,000,000, with Ensan padding his bank account with $10,000,000.
Ensan, an Iranian-German semi-professional poker player, aged 55 at the time, became the oldest Main Event champion since Noel Furlong in 1999 and only the second German player to win the WSOP Main Event after Pius Heinz won in 2011.
2018 – 7,874 entrants – $74,015,600 prize pool
John Cynn of Indianapolis, Indiana, navigated his way through 7,873 opponents in the 2018 WSOP Main Event and laid claim to $8,800,000 of the $74,015,600 prize pool. Cynn had come close to becoming poker’s world champion in 2016, but he fell in 11th place. The Indiana native hauled in a $650,000 prize that day, but he never thought he would get a second chance to experience Main Event glory.
Two years later, Cynn entered what is now the fifth-largest WSOP Main Event in history, and a week after the dealers pitched the first cards, Cynn was the only player remaining. Cynn put together another deep run in 2022, finishing 550th from 8,663 runners.
You may also like
Poker Popularity: Amateurs, Professionals, And Superstars, How The Game Attracts Everyone
When I say the word “poker,” or even “casino,” it conjures up many images in peoples’ minds. Depending on the age of the person you ask about these things, and depending on the memories, experiences and overall opinions, the replies can vary wildly. Ask the older generation and you will likely hear wonderful recollections of […]
Årsaker til den enorme populariteten til baccarat live
Det vil komme som en overraskelse for mange mennesker, men baccarat er det mest polariserende spillet i verden blant alle online casinospill. Imidlertid er det fortsatt mange mennesker som ikke vet hvordan de skal spille dette kortspillet. Baccarat har sin opprinnelse i spillsalonger i Italia og Frankrike, men i løpet av de siste tretti årene […]
A Quick Look at the Top Two Poker Films of All Time
Do you hope to learn the finer points of poker? Have you ever wished to play like the professionals? If so, there is nothing wrong with a bit of extra inspiration. While watching a few WSOP hands is always wise, why not also step outside of the box into the world of cinema? There are […]
5 Types of Poker You Should Get Familiar With this Year
Poker is one of the most popular casino games with more than 90 million people playing it worldwide. The card game is available both at land-based casinos as well as online casinos. Though Texas Hold ‘Em is currently the most prevalent type of poker, there are numerous other variations of this beautiful game. If you […]
A Brief History of Online poker
The internet has changed the way we live. Communications are far easier, and it’s incredible how quickly our day changes for the worse when the internet goes down. The accessibility of the internet has also changed the way we play games, especially poker.
What Gives Online Poker Its Longevity
The modern landscape of online casino games is one of the broadest and well-known forms of interactive entertainment the world has ever known. Poker makes up an appreciable part of that equation, with its myriad forms each finding their niche with amateur and professional players both. Yet, as many forms of digital entertainment come and […]
Everyone Plays Poker
The whole family is gathered in the car, looking forward to visiting Grandma. The best waffles in the world awaits, but not today. To everyone’s surprise the doors are locked. Grandma is playing poker. Although people still use the classic card of decks when meeting family and friends, poker online has become extremely popular. There […]
World Series of Poker App
Poker is a card game that has fascinated players for several decades. With the World Series of Poker app you have the opportunity to try one of the toughest and most existing card games for yourself, directly from your smartphone. Take part in exiting tournaments and enjoy a bonus galore with this popular poker app.
If you are looking to set yourself up for a chance to become the next Jake Schindler, then it’s about time you started small, just like he did. Head on to a promising online platform and get yourself signed up. A good point to start would be to look for legal casinos in Denmark and […]
If you are looking for someone to emulate in the poker world, then Scott Seiver is your go-to. He started small and right now he is in the big leagues of professional poker players in the world. Head on to a promising online platform and get yourself signed up. The Danish Mr. Green review is a good point to […]
Sam Greenwood Net Worth
Sam Greenwood has made huge winnings and losses in the World of poker. He plays at both online platforms and at live tournaments. What is Sam Greenwood net worth? Read to learn more.
Johnny Moss: The Poker Legend
Who was the poker legend, Johnny Moss? What is Johnny Moss net worth? Learn about Moss' achievements, winnings, losses and poker strategy.
Lily Kiletto: Personal Life, Winnings, Losses, and Net Worth
Lily Kiletto is not a new face in the poker community. She stepped into the game in 2011 and has made a couple of winnings. What is Lily Kiletto net worth? Read to find out more.
Phil Gordon Net Worth
Who is the well-known poker player, Phil Gordon (Tiltboy)? What is his net worth? Learn about Gordon's net worth, accomplishments, failures and strategy.
Tony G Poker: Personal Life, Winnings, Losses, and Net Worth
Who is Tony G Poker? How has he fared in the poker world? What is Tony G Poker net worth? This blog highlights all you need to know about the poker pro.
Daniel Colman Net Worth
Who is Daniel Colman? How long has he been in the poker world? What is Daniel Colman net worth? All these questions and many others will be answered.
Erik Seidel Net Worth
Have you heard of the famous poker player, Erik Seidel? Are you interested in knowing about his poker escapades, especially Erik Seidel net worth?
Chris Moneymaker Net Worth
Chris Moneymaker is a famous pokey player. Do you have an idea of Christ Moneymaker net worth in poker industry? Read on to learn more about this exceptional player.
Reckful Net Worth
Who is Reckful? Is he really popular? What is Reckful net worth? All these questions will be answered here. Read on to find more about this young celebrity.
Matt Kirk net worth
Well, is it true that Matt Kirk net worth is $600 million USD? Where did he get all that money from? Could it be from poker games or other businesses?
Bill Perkins net worth
Apart from his net worth, we will also look at his background, his business enterprises, and poker games. We will highlight his winnings and losses.
Phil Ivey Net Worth
Phil Ivey is one of the top poker players in the industry and he has earned a name among elite players. Over the years, Phil Ivey net worth has grown immensely and he has been able to create a niche for himself among his contemporary.
Jason Koon net worth
Jason Koon’s success in the world of poker is traceable to his strong background in online poker. He is very famous for playing regularly at the biggest high roller.
Jason Mercier Net Worth
Jason Mercier is no doubt one of the most successful professional poker players alive. A look-alike of Ryan Gosling, Mercier is a likable and gifted poker player who has made an amazing impact in the world of poker.
Gus Hansen Net Worth
Popularly known as “The Great Dane” Gus Hansen is another professional poker player worth knowing and learning from.
Justin Bonomo Net Worth
Justin Bonomo, also known as ZeeJustin among his online poker fans, is an exceptional poker player. He is best known for his exploits and winning at the World Series of Poker of 2018 during the Big One for One Drop event.
David Peters net worth
David Peters has no doubt made a name for himself in the poker community. The young high stakes tournament professional player from Toledo, Ohio has won at many tables.
Phil Galford net worth
Who is Phil Galfond? If you are a poker fan, you definitely would have heard this name come up in poker news every now and then. Galfond is one of the top poker professionals who have earned their place in the world of poker elite across the world.
Daniel Negreanu Net Worth
Have you ever wondered what Daniel Negreanu net worth really is? You don’t have to ponder on it further. Here, you will read everything you want to know about this poker player extraordinaire.
Dan Bilzerian Net Worth
The name, Dan Bilzerian, always create a buzz anywhere it is mentioned. He is not only a poker pro but also an Instagram celebrity. He has been dubbed a playboy by many and he is living up to the name to the fullest.
Tom Dwan Net Worth
When you hear ‘Durrrr’, only one name comes to mind and that is Tom Dwan. Dwan is a famous American poker pro and he has been on the poker scene for a long time now.
Doug Polk Net Worth
There is no way you will talk about popular poker pro that you will not mention Doug Polk. He is known for his skills and confidence at the poker tables.