Looming before the start of 42nd Annual World Series of Poker, the aftermath effects of Black Friday were still being felt. Many wondered if there would be a noticeable change in attendance with millions of dollars locked up on several online sites. American players on PokerStars would find their money – but those holding small fortunes on Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker or UB.com would not be so lucky. However, despite the chaos and uncertainty of the future of online poker, the biggest live game tournament on the planet showed few signs of weakness as countless records were broken over the course of 58 events.
Although the attendance numbers in the main event were down slightly from a year before, the overall attendance number of 75,672 entries through 58 events was 3.7 percent higher than last year and stands as the new record to beat. That wasn’t the only record to be broken though – this year’s WSOP also brought the largest prize pool in the history of the organization with $191,999,010. If that wasn’t amazing enough, as it turns out, since the tournament’s inception, it has awarded more than 1.4 billion in prize money! Here’s a sample of some of the other records that were broken this year:
- 46 of the 58 events generated a prize pool worth more than $1 million dollars, up from 44 events from the year prior.
- 3,752 players participated in Event #30, not only the largest Seniors event in WSOP history, beating the record set last year with 3,142, but also the largest single day attendance for an event – ever! The $3,376,800 prize pool represented a 15 percent increase over last year’s totals.
- Event #56 broke the single day attendance record ever for a $1,500 event – which now sits at 3,389 players
- Phil Helmuth continued his record breaking results by increasing the individual all-time leader in cashes record to 84 and final table appearances to 43
- Howard “Tahoe” Andrew extended his record for most consecutive annual WSOPs played to 38
- Artie Cobb set a new record for longest span between event cashes by winning Event#25 7-Card Stud Hi/Low – his first cash in a WSOP event since 1976
- Tony Cousineau extended his record of the most cashes at WSOP without a win to 49
- Event #2 generated the largest Heads-Up tournament prize pool in history at $3,040,000
- Event #3 was the largest Omaha High/Low Split tournament in history, with 925 entries
- Event #10 generated 1,920 entries, making it the largest live 6-Handed tournament in poker history
- Event 18 was the largest live $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start of 3,157 players
- Event 20 was the largest live $1,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start of 3,175
- The largest live Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in poker history happened during Event 22 with 1,071 entries
- 489 entries was enough to make Event #23 the largest live 8-Game Mixed Events in poker history
- Event #39 was the largest Mixed Pot-Limit tournament in history, generating 606 entries
- Event #42 created the largest Pot-Limit Omaha prize pool in live poker history at $3,393,400