2023 WSOP Week One: Attendance Records Being Broken Already

2023 wsop week 1

3 minutes

Last Updated: June 5, 2023

The first week of the 2023 World Series of Poker is officially in the books. Things are just warming up in Las Vegas, but we are already seeing signs of things to come, with the first few events posting some very promising numbers.

So far, seven players have had a chance to adorn their wrists with brand-new bracelets, including one bracelet won in the first WSOP online event. We should have a couple of more winners by the time Sunday action concludes.

It’s still early days, so the biggest story so far was Ronnie Day’s triumph in the Tournament of Champions. Of course, there is also the story of one Doug Polk, who made it all the way to the last round of the HU championship, but fell at the last hurdle.

First Bracelet for Ronnie Day

The 2023 WSOP Tournament of Champions was a four-day affair that wasn’t open to the general public. This was a $1,000,000 freeroll accepting only last year’s WSOP bracelet and ring winners.

You’d be wrong to think this was a small tournament, though. In the end, 741 players turned out (out of almost 1,000 who won the invitation), and there were no slouches in this lineup.

Ronnie Day earned his participation right last month by winning a WSOP Circuit event in Indiana, and he was able to navigate the tough field all the way to the victory. With that, he took home his very first bracelet alongside the $200,000 first-prize money.

The Record-Breaking Event #1

Every World Series of Poker begins the Casino Employee’s event, and this one was no different. What was different this year, though, was the number of people showing up to play.

The tournament saw 1,015 entries, breaking the record and becoming the largest Event #1 in the Series' history. It is definitely a good signal that the 2023 Main Event could live up to the hype and feature the largest field we’ve ever seen.

As for Event #1, the title in that one went to one Peter Thai, a table games dealer hailing from California. For this triumph, Thai pocketed a very healthy sum of $75,535.

Mystery Millions Becomes the Largest $1,000 Event

The 2023 WSOP Mystery Millions event was always going to be a big one, but it was hard to predict just how big. As it turned out, the tournament ended up with over 18,000 entries, becoming the largest-ever $1,000 live event in WSOP history.

The fact the players came out in such strong numbers came as no surprise, though. The tournament offered huge mystery bounties, including a couple of seven-figure ones. Both of these found their respectful owners last night.

Doug Polk Leading Way in the Heads Up Championship

For the longest time, Doug Polk was considered one of the best and most feared heads-up specialists around.

For the past few years, Polk has turned to other ventures, and grinding heads-up games is certainly not on his daily agenda, but it would appear he still knows his way around the block.

Namely, Polk made it all the way to the last round of the prestigious $25,000 Heads Up championship and was in a great position to claim his fourth WSOP bracelet.

However, it wasn’t meant to be for Doug this time around, as he couldn’t outplay Chanracy Khun, his final opponent.

When the final river card was dealt, it was Khun who walked away victorious, claiming his very first bracelet and $507,200. Polk will have to be content with just over $313,000 he won for his efforts, and will look to add to his bracelet count at some other opportunity.

Hellmuth Looking to Extend the Gap

One player that manages to steal the spotlight in one way or another every WSOP is Phil Hellmuth. The absolute leader in the number of WSOP bracelets won is back in the mix, looking for his number seventeen.

Phil had high hopes for the start of the series and the $10,000 Dealer’s Choice 6-Handed Championship. This was a relatively small field with just 115 entries, but it also included some of the biggest names in the game.

Things didn’t quite pan out the way Hellmuth had hoped, as he was eliminated a couple of hours into Day 2. However, it’s a long summer, and there are many more tournaments left on the docket, so we wouldn’t bet against Phil capturing another bracelet or two before all is said and done!

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