WSOP 2023 Main Event Shatters Attendance Record
It has been coming for quite a while, and we have been talking about it left and right, but now it’s finally happened.
The 2023 World Series of Poker Main Event has set the record for the largest ever field, with more than 8,800 players already in attendance, and the number still growing!
In fact, the record was hit as early as level 1 on Day 1D of the Main Event, and it is expected that quite a few players, especially pros, will join the action late in the day, helping set the new record even higher.
While it is too early to tell the exact number of entrants in the 2023 WSOP Main Event, what is clear is that this is the largest-ever Main Event and that the poker industry insider hopes and expectations have come to fruition.
With such a massive number of players in contention, this WSOP Main Event should also see those who make the final table pick up the biggest prizes in WSOP history, but we will have to wait a bit longer before those numbers are finally official.
Jamie Gold Gets His Wish
Before today, it was the 2006 WSOP Main Event, famously won by Jamie Gold, that held the record as largest-ever in terms of attendance.
Back then, Gold won $12,000,000 for his first-place finish, and despite thousands of players showing up for WSOP each year since, the record remained intact for 13 years.
It was Jamie Gold who announced the “shuffle up and deal” at the 2023 Main Event, stating that he not only expected, but also hoped that the record set in the year he won it all would be broken.
Jamie’s wish came true, as enough players were registered before the end of level 1 on Day 1D to break the record, leaving plenty of space for further growth.
The 17-year wait is over – we have a new World Series of Poker Main Event entry record!
With 8,830 entries and counting, and registration open until 4:40 p.m. on Saturday, the previous Main Event record of 8,773 will be shattered.
Thanks to all players, dealers, staff, and… pic.twitter.com/ruLAoqqmgv
— WSOP – World Series of Poker (@WSOP) July 6, 2023
The Record is Finally Shattered
It is interesting to note that the 2006 Main Event record was nearly broken last year, the first time it was ever played at the new Paris/Bally’s venue.
That time, a total of 8,663 players ponied up the $10k entry fee, with Norwegian Espen Jorstad coming away with the bracelet and the massive $10,000,000 first place prize.
The 2019 Main Event, the last before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, was also close to breaking the record, with a total of 8,569 entrants, but the time was not right just yet.
Now, finally, the record is broken, and the World Series of Poker is looking ahead with the hopes of breaking more records and making poker bigger than ever in the years to come, with thousands of young new players looking to test themselves in the WSOPs to come.
Today marks a monumental day in the history of the game of poker.♠️ The @WSOP has officially shattered the all-time attendance record of 8,773 entrants for its Main Event and is now recording the largest and richest tournament in live poker history. 🎉 pic.twitter.com/aJCxDkZIki
— Horseshoe Las Vegas (@HorseshoeVegas) July 6, 2023
Is Poker Larger Than Ever?
Several years ago, it seemed that the game of poker was on a bit of a decline, with legal situation of online poker in the US in a bit of a standstill and players around the world seemingly losing some of the passion and interest for the game.
To make matters worse, the Covid-19 pandemic hit just at that time, making live poker nearly obsolete for a period of two years, leaving many to wonder what would happen next.
And yet, it seems that a live poker hiatus was exactly what we needed for it to come back stronger than ever, with 2023 seeing a massive re-emergence of live games and a steady growth of online poker as well.
In cooperation with GGPoker, the largest online poker operator in the world, WSOP was able to transform the Series and give it more force than ever.
Despite concerns about the declining crypto-currency market and other insecurities, more players came out to Las Vegas to play in the WSOP this year than ever before, and this was not only apparent in the Main Event, but in all the preliminary events that came before it.
What’s even more, WSOP was not the only series that saw growth this year, with poker festivals of all buy-in levels around the world seeing record numbers.
The emergence of live-streamed poker games, growing popularity of poker Vloggers, and the increasing availability of online poker in the US, all played a major factor in 2023 being one of the biggest years for poker ever.
While it may be a bit too early to speak of another Poker Boom, it is more than clear that there is still plenty of interest in poker, and that the game is continuing to grow despite all obstacles set before it.
Main Event Brings Out the Big Guns
While the Main Event field is probably one of the most diverse ones you will see in a live poker tournament anywhere, it is also one of the few tournaments that nearly all the pros out there are playing.
Days 1A, B, and C, saw some huge names build up big stacks and finish near the top of the leaderboard, including the likes of Shaun Deeb, Doug Polk, Matt Berkey, and dozens of others.
Plenty of previous Main Event champions, including Joe McKeehen, Johnny Chan, Jamie Gold, Espen Jorstad, Tom McEvoy, and Greg Reymer, have all bagged up stacks for Day 2 as well, while the likes of Phil Hellmuth and Dan Cates decided to wait for Day 1D to make their spectacular appearances.
Plenty of pros have fallen during Day 1 action of the Main Event as well, proving that despite the deep stacks and long levels, even the best in the world can become early victims of the biggest show in the poker world.
As Day 2 action kicks off and the field continues to shrink, it will be interesting to see which pros can make a deep run this year, and who will be the biggest stars of the final stages of the largest WSOP Main Event ever played.