Interesting facts about the WSOP
What began more than 47 years ago with six gamblers, became the largest and longest running annual poker event. In the meantime, more than 1,000 tournaments have been held, hundreds thousands of players have participated and billions of dollars have been turned over. And the crazy thing is, the WSOP is still growing.
Here’s a list of some truly amazing numbers, facts, and stories from the last 47 years of the WSOP, highlighting some of the most outstanding achievements of some unique players.
With 1 tournament all started
Just an event, not buy-in, not even a single poker hand played. That was the entire World Cup in its infancy in 1970. At that time Johnny Moss won this election among six poker players.
A year later, in 1971, real tournaments were held and it turned out that Moss was probably the right player, because he won the first real main event, which at the time cost only $ 5,000 and was played by six players.
Since 1972, the main event has cost 10.000$ and that number has not changed until now. But other things changed. The total number of tournaments increased to 70 bracelet events in 2016 and this year is set with 74 events in Las Vegas and 11 events at the WSOP-Europe in Rozvadov, which means a record of 85 tournaments.
As the number of tournaments increased, so did the number of players. Thousands of players made it into the game in the 1990s, and the poker boom in the 1990s saw over 50,000 players, and over the past two years, the WSOP has received over 100,000 entries a year.
Naturally, the prize money increase massively. In 1971, it was just $ 70,000 and now it’s nearly a quarter of a billion dollars every year.
Events, players and prize money at the WSOP since 1970
10,000$ are not 10,000$
The main event has always cost 10,000$ (apart from the exception in 1971). But 10,000$ was something quite different from 10,000$ in 2018 in the early 1970s.
At that time, you could get far more from this money than you can today. Measured against the US Purchasing Power Index, inflation for 10,000$ since 1972 can be calculated. This amount is equivalent to 57,297 today’s dollars – almost six times!
Without question – 10,000$ is still a lot of money today, but no longer the equivalent of an average annual income. And the fact that the main event never adjusted the amount of the buy-in of inflation is certainly one of the reasons why some professionals now regard the 50,000$ Players Championship as the secret true main event of every WSOP.
Every year in the money since 1988
Let’s look at a few player statistics and look at the most successful players in WSOP history. Of course, with 14 bracelets and 119 cashes, Phil Hellmuth, who set numerous WSOP records, is always there.
But not all records are credited to Hellmuth, for example the most years as a result of the money in a WSOP event. Hellmuth has reached the ranks in at least one WSOP tournament in a total of 27 years and scored every year since 1996, but there are several players who score even better in this statistic.
At the moment, one player hold this record. Mike Sexton cashed each year from 1988 to 2018 – 31 years.
43 Years WSOP
The World Series goes into the 48th edition this year, and not a single player has been in it every year. But some players have been part of the WSOP spectacle for a damn long time.
There’s Doyle Brunson again, of course. He was there in 1970 when Johnny Moss was voted champion and he still lives among us. Doyle is the player with the longest time between his first and last cash: over 41 years or 15,050 days.
In 1972 Brunson cashed for the first time in the curious finale of the main event. At that time, it was still true that the winner receives everything. Brunson, William Pearson and Amarillo Slim were the three of them, although Brunson and Pearson had the most chips, but did not want to win the tournament because they were afraid as a World Champion not to be invited to the lucrative cash games. So they made a deal, handed Amarillo Slim the title and got most of the prize money.
That was Brunson’s first cash and his last was also in the main event. In 2013, the then 79-year-old made it to 409 and so cashed over 41 years after his first cash at the WSOP for probably the last time.
There are two other players who also have 41 years at the WSOP. Bill Baxter and Jay Heimowitz made their first cash in 1975 and both are still active.
WSOP in Numbers
|1983||First Main Event with over $ 1m in prize money|
|1991||First main event with over $ 2m prize money|
|1996||First non-main event with over $ 1m prize money (a $ 2k Limit Hold’em)|
|1997||First main event with over $ 3m prize money|
|2000||First main event with over $ 5m prize money|
|2004||First non-Hold’em tournament with over $ 1m in prize money|
|2005||First main event with over $ 50m prize money|
|963.644||Number of all entries since 1970|
|103.349||Number of all cashes since 1970|
|90.454||Number of all main event entries since 1970|
|40.657||Number of different players who have ever scored at the WSOP|
|22.374||Number of most entries in a tournament, Colossus 2015|
|9.784||Number of all main event cashes since 1970|
|7.498||Number of different players who have ever scored at main event|
|2.483||Number of most entries in a non-Hold’em tournament, $ 565-PLO 2016|
|1||Few Entries in a Tournament (1973, 5-Card-Stud, Bill Boyd)|
|$57.297||Today’s value of $ 10k in 1972|
|$7.104.000||Largest prize pool in a non-hold’em event ($ 50k HORSE 2007)|
|$8.317.612||Sum of all buy-ins since 1970|
|$42.666.672||Larger prize pool for a non-main event ($ 1m One Drop 2012)|
|$82.512.162||Big prize pool of a tournament (Main-Event 2006)|
|$2.626.823.114||Since 1970 played out prize money|
The most successful players
Since 1970, there have been 1,325 WSOP events. He certainly has not played all these tournaments, but Phil Hellmuth still has incredible cashes and an estimated ITM quota of over 20 percent. In addition he has won 14 bracelets and made it to the podium 27 times – each record.
Means: Yes, Phil is still by far the best WSOP player of all time.
We’ve put together a list of all 40,657 players who have scrounged at the WSOP in the last 47 years.
|Player||Country||Cashes||1.||2.||3.||FT (<10th)||ME Cashes|
|Phil Hellmuth Jr||United States||119||14||10||3||58||8|
|Johnny Chan||United States||46||10||5||2||28||8|
|Doyle Brunson||United States||37||10||4||5||26||9|
|Phil Ivey||United States||56||10||4||3||30||5|
|Johnny Moss||United States||26||9||2||1||21||8|
|Erik Seidel||United States||101||8||3||5||41||3|
|Men Nguyen||United States||85||7||6||7||41||4|
|Bill Baxter||United States||34||7||2||1||15||3|
|T.J. Cloutier||United States||65||6||5||4||38||4|
|Ted Forrest||United States||38||6||3||2||19||1|
|Layne Flack||United States||46||6||2||2||20||1|
|Jay Heimowitz||United States||40||6||1||4||22||7|
|Chris Ferguson||United States||74||5||5||1||33||3|
|David Chiu||United States||71||5||4||2||24||4|
|Allen Cunningham||United States||61||5||3||1||19||7|
|Tom McEvoy||United States||46||5||2||6||21||3|
|Scotty Nguyen||United States||52||5||2||2||23||5|
|Gary Berland||United States||11||5||2||2||11||2|
|Jason Mercier||United States||57||5||2||1||20||2|
|Stu Ungar||United States||15||5||2||0||11||4|
|Berry Johnston||United States||68||5||1||6||30||10|
|Daniel Alaei||United States||34||5||0||0||8||4|