2010 WSOP Main Event: Analyzing The Numbers
July 9, 2021
Fairly or not, many tend to judge the overall health of the poker industry by what happens at the Main Event.  When the numbers are up on poker’s biggest stage, the future of the sport seems unstoppable and everyone involved appears destined for almost Jay-Z type fame; and conversely, when the numbers are down, many of us begin to picture all the casinos shutting their doors and all our favorite players working the drive-in at Mcdonalds.  It may not be the most logical or fair barometer to employ, but it’s the one most tend to use and this year, in this case, we probably shouldn’t complain.

Throughout the four starting days of this year's World Series of Poker Main Event, A total of 7,319 players signed up to take part in the festivities- the second most players in the 41 year history of poker’s most prestigious tournament. 

That number, despite not quite breaking a record, has to by all estimates be seen as quite remarkable, particularly considering we’ve been stuck around the 6,000s since 2007- the first year in recent history the number of entrants went down- and also considering exactly 10 years ago when Chris “Jesus” Ferguson took down the title, organizers were bragging of a huge total field of 512. 

Even post-Moneymaker, when by all accounts things were booming, 2004 "only" had 2,576 entrants, 2005 only 5,619, leaving only 2006 with a higher number than 2010's, a year that benefitted not only with the nation in general viewing poker as the next big thing, but also primarily from a seemingly unstoppable internet poker boom, that had yet to be coldcocked by the now infamous Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which appeared on the landscape a mere two months later.

2006 thanks to that record setting attendance, awarded the eventual champion Jamie Gold $12,000,000 for first, the largest live tournament prize ever given out, and though that record is also unlikely to be beaten anytime soon, the reason may have less to do with the state of the poker economy as it does with a conscious decision by tournament organizers to flatten out the pay structure to more reasonably spread the wealth.  Primarily as a result of that decision, this year’s announced stunning first place prize of $8,944,138 will not surpass Gold’s, or even Peter Eastgate’s in 2008 when he earned $9,152,416- despite that event attracting 475 less players- but it will still easily surpass what Joe Cada won in 2009 by almost $400,000. 

666 players made the money when Eastgate won his prize, and though it may seem unfair to this year’s winner that their prize will be smaller than his, it probably will appear perfectly acceptable to most of the other 747 players, that this year will be able to claim they cashed in the WSOP Main Event- the most players allowed to cash since Gold.

For more information on the different prizepool and payouts throughout the history of the World Series of Poker Main Event visit, or check out one of the web's many excellent tournament tracking sites like
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