WE HAVE A DREAM! 4,521 STILL REMAIN ALIVE

July 10, 2011 - 04:04:48 AM EST  | 

WE HAVE A DREAM! 4,521 STILL REMAIN ALIVE

Note: This report was filed and updated through Day 1's play on Sunday. 

 
MAIN EVENT HEADLINES – DAY ONE
6,865!
 
Pay the Over!  Main Event Draws 6,865 Entrants
 
2011 WSOP Main Event is Third Largest Live Poker Tournament in History
 
2011 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship Begins!
 
This Year’s World Poker Champion Set to Collect $8,771,956
 
A New Record:  2011 WSOP the Largest in History – with 75,672 Total Entries
 
A New Record:  2011 WSOP the Richest in History – with $191,999,010 in Total Prize Money
 
Las Vegas’ Last Gold Bracelet of 2011 at Stake – Seven Events Coming to WSOP Europe in October in Cannes
 
OVERVIEW
 
The gold rush is underway! 
 
The world's richest and most prestigious poker tournament is now going strong at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, in Las Vegas. 
 
The 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship has completed the first step of the very long march toward the game's ultimate achievement.  At present, all four starting flights -- designated as Days 1-A, 1-B, 1-C, and 1-D – have been completed.  The final starting day ended late Sunday night.
 
The official number of entrants for this year’s Main Event Championship is 6,865 players.  This is the third-largest live poker tournament in history.
 
There are many ways to interpret this number, and just about everyone will have an opinion as to the implications of the total number of entries.  But the bottom line is, Main Event attendance surpassed just about everyone’s projections.  No matter what the challenge, no matter what the distractions, no matter what the global economy is like, poker players are drawn to the WSOP like moths to a giant flame.
 
Indeed, for anyone who dares to cling to silly myths about WSOP numbers being down this year, consider these two words:  Think again.  Attendance for all gold bracelet events actually increased by 3.7 percent overall (all events).  That’s a staggering number considering all the talk about the WSOP taking a big hit this year.  Prize money too, set an all-time record.  This year, $191,999,010 in total prize money will be collected by winners – the most ever (Note:  In 2011, the number of gold bracelet events increased from 57 to 58.  However, numbers would have still been record-breaking based on the 57-event figures).  
 
Based on number of entrants, this year’s Main Event is the third largest live poker tournament in history.  Only the 2006 and 2010 championships were bigger.  Multiple starting days were required.  Day 1-A began last Thursday and was completed with 560 players surviving out of 897 starters.  Day 1-B was completed on Friday, with 616 players surviving out of 978 starters.  Day 1-C was completed on Saturday, with 1,471 players surviving from a considerably larger starting field of 2,181 starters.  Day 1-D ended on Sunday, with 1,874 players surviving from the largest tournament field of all – which had 2,809 starters (Note: This figure is an estimate at press time).
 
There are 4,521 players who are still alive in the Main Event, entering Day Two.  The exact figure will be released the following morning).
 
On Sunday, the largest group of poker players ever to start the Main Event on a single day jam packed the Rio, which was the fourth and final shot for all poker players to enter this year's world poker championship.  Thousands of poker players attended this year's championship, from more than 100 different nations.
 
With the cumulative Day Ones now in the books, several well-known poker players have been eliminated. 
 
DAY 1-A:  From Day 1-A, among those who fell off the victory train included -- Jerry Yang (2007 Main Event champion), Tom Schneider (2006 WSOP "Player of the Year"), Greg "Fossilman" Raymer (2004 Main Event champion), and many others.  But the biggest news of the day was the elimination of Doyle Brunson (1976 and 1977 Main Event champion).  He was knocked out late in the afternoon, leaving some to wonder if the WSOP may have seen the last of the great poker legend.
 
Conversely, several Day 1-A players made news for quite a different reason -- they're still alive in the world championship.  Some of the more well-known poker players who will return for Day Two are -- Annette Obrestad (2008 WSOP Europe Main Event champion), Mickey Appleman (four-time gold bracelet winner), Johnny Chan (1987 and 1988 Main Event champion), and many others.The long list of survivors was not limited to big-name poker pros.  Poker enthusiast and actor Jason Alexander (formally George on "Seinfeld") will also come back for Day Two.
 
DAY 1-B:  Day 1-B continued with many more noteworthy bust outs.  One of the more surprising early eliminated was that of Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi, who was never able to establish any momentum from the instant he sat down at the feature table.  Some of the others who were bounced out on Day 1-B were Eric Froehlich, Rep Porter, Justin Smith, Nicolas Levi, Melissa Hayden, Tuan Le, Andre Akkari and a few hundred of the other less-fortunate.
 
Conversely, several well-known players survived Day 1-B.  Some of these players included -- Ben Lamb (who is enjoying a breakout series), Patrik Antonius, John Racener, Sam Stein, Justin Bonomo, Jean-Robert Bellande, Chris Viox, Maxim Lykov, David "Devilfish" Ulliott, David Bakes Baker, Erick Lindgren, Eugene Katchalov, David Sklansky, David Hiu, Ted Lawson, Roland de Wolfe, Allen Cunningham and many others.
 
DAY 1-C:  Among those who busted out on Day 1-C were 2003 WSOP champion Chris Moneymaker, who suffered another disappointing WSOP after going relatively deep last year.  Actor-comedian Ray Romano didn't last long, either.  However, his counterpart Brad Garrett enjoyed a respectable day and survived with a healthy stack of chips.  Other players eliminated from the third flight included -- David Singer, Jason Young, Steve Billirakis, Fabrice Soulier, David Benyamine, Robert Mizrachi, Karina Jett, Hoyt Corkins and several hundred of the other less-fortunate.
 
Conversely, several notable players survived.  Defending world champion Jonathan Duhamel made the cut, although he will need a better performance on the second day to make any kind of run.  Some of the other more well-known poker players who will return for Day Two are --Ted Forrest, Humberto Brenes, J.P. Kelly, Gavin Smith, Phil Gordon, Marcel Luske, Joe Cada, Mike Caro, Daniel Negreanu, Scotty Nguyen, Dan Harrington, Bobby Baldwin and many others.
 
DAY 1-D:  The more notable players eliminated on Day 1-D were Alexander Kravchenko, Antonio Esfandiari, David Williams, Michael Binger, John Juanda, Dan Heimiller, Jennifer Tilly, Frank Kassela, Steve Zolotow, Ivan Demidov and Tom Dwan.
 
Some of the notable Day 1-D survivors included – Freddy Deeb, Matt Matros, David “Dragon” Pham, Phil Laak, Alexandre Gomes, J.C. Tran, Robert Varkonyi, Men “the Master” Nguyen, Thor Hansen, Joe Hachem, Max Pescatori, Jennifer Harman, Kathy Liebert, Barry Greenstein and others.
 
The current overall chip leader is former gold bracelet winner Fred Berger, from Las Vegas, NV.  Berger is originally from the Baton Rouge, LA area.  He has been playing at the WSOP for the past 15 years.  He won last year’s WSOP Circuit championship at Harrah’s New Orleans.      
 
The Day 1-A survivors (from Thursday) will combine with the Day 1-C survivors (from Saturday), who then return for Day 2-A to be played Monday, July 11th.  The restart will be at noon.
 
Day 1-B survivors (from Friday) will combine with the 1-D survivors (from Sunday), who then return for Day 2-B to be played Tuesday, July 12th.  Just as the previous day, the restart will be at noon.

The Main Event Championship continues through July 19th.  On that date, the final nine survivors are expected to finally be known.  The elite band of super survivors will become this year’s “November Nine,” a term which refers to the nine final players who will compete at the final table for the world championship, to take place in November once again at the Rio.

At the moment, November seems like such a very long way off.  Only a few many be dreaming about what happens if and when the golden road leads to poker magical kingdom of fame and fortune.  For now, most players are determined to play their best poker and try and survive the early stages of what will prove to be a marathon contest of physical and mental endurance in addition to a test of poker skills.

Every meaningful journey begins with an initial first step.  On what is known as Day One, 4,521 poker players from all over the world took their huge leap forward in pursuit of poker's ultimate prize -- a WSOP gold bracelet and immortality as the world champion. 
 
The Main Event Championship will be televised by ESPN.  Live coverage will start July 14th.
 
For comprehensive updates of Event #58, please visit the WSOP.com tournament portal page HERE.
 
THE MAIN EVENT BEGINS
 
Every World Series of Poker always begins with four words that have become synonymous with the opening kickoff or first pitch.  WSOP tournament directors and their designated guests traditionally say “Shuffle Up and Deal” just prior to the start of play.  Since there were four Day Ones this year, four starting ceremonies were performed.
 
The first day (1-A) began with poker legend Doyle Brunson onstage for the traditional “Shuffle Up and Deal” announcement.  Ten-time gold bracelet champion Brunson has been a popular attraction at many WSOPs, ever since he attended the inaugural tournament, held in 1970.  He holds the record for most Main Events played – currently at 38.  Although he’s performed this ritual countless times over the past 42 years, his presence at this year's tournament alongside was quite a special moment for all those who were witnesses.
 
The second starting flight (1-B) began with poker superstar Michael "the Grinder" Mizrachi onstage for the honors.  Mizrachi not only won the 2010 Poker Player’s Championship, netting his first career gold bracelet last year on national television.  He also made it to the 2010 November Nine.  Mizrachi ultimately finished fifth in last year’s Main Event Championship.  Mizrachi took a hallowed position alongside WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel and performed the "Shuffle Up and Deal" announcement for the first time ever to the WSOP Main Event.  Shortly thereafter, cards flew into the air for the second time in two days as the competition to determine the 2011 world poker champion continued.
 
The third starting flight (1-C) began with two beloved celebrity poker players onstage together for the announcement.  Actor-comedians Brad Garrett and Ray Romano stood alongside WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel and former gold bracelet winner Annie Duke, who then turned over the microphone to a chef of the Food Network's "Cupcake Wars," who officially began the tournament.  Only at the WSOP could such an eclectic mix of personalities all take center stage, at one time. 
 
The final starting flight (1-D) included poker player and philanthropist Phil Gordon taking the stage to remind all poker players of the Bad Beat on Cancer initiative.  He then presented Poker Hall of Famer Phil Hellmuth with an award as the player who has pledged the most money this year to the charity.  Performer Holly Madison was then introduced to the crowd and all three performed the “Shuffle Up and Deal” announcement in unison.
 
This is WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel’s sixth consecutive year to oversee tournament operations.  He has supervised more WSOP tournaments and awarded more prize money than any tournament official in poker history.

THE TOURNAMENT NUMBERS

This is the third-largest live poker tournament in history.  Only the 2006 WSOP Main Event (at 8,773 entrants) and the 2010 WSOP Main Event (at 7,319 entrants) were bigger.  Prior to this year, the third largest live tournament was the 2008 WSOP Main Event -- with 6,844 players.
 
Here are the six largest live poker tournaments in history:
 
2006 WSOP Main Event – 8,773 players

2010 WSOP Main Event – 7,319 players

2011 WSOP Main Event – 6,865 players

2008 WSOP Main Event – 6,844 players

2009 WSOP Main Event – 6,494 players

2007 WSOP Main Event – 6,358 players

There are 4,521 players still alive in the Main Event.  Play will continue on Day Two, which is divided into two playing sessions – designated as 2-A and 2-B.
 
TOURNAMENT PLAY
 
All players began this tournament with 30,000 in chips.
 
Tables began ten-handed.  The reason play was ten-handed instead of nine-handed was primarily to be able to accommodate the large number of registrants.  However, by the end of the third level, most tables were down to nine-handed action.
 
This is the third year players were given triple the number of starting chips.  By contrast, all WSOP Main Events played from 1971 through 2005 gave players 10,000 in starting chips.  In years 2006-2008, players began with 20,000 in chips.  

Day Ones played five full levels.  Each level is two hours long.  Days generally began at 12:10 p.m. and ended at 12:50 a.m.

Day One (all flights combined) ended with 4,521 players out of 6,865 starters.  This means 66 percent of starters survived the first day.  Last year, this survival figure was 72 percent but players only played four levels on Day 1.

Fred Berger, from Las Vegas, NV is the overall chip leader at the conclusion of all Day Ones (209,000 in chips).  Other leaders from each of the four starting days were Ben Lamb (188,925 in chips), Kevin Song (163,325 in chips) and Maynard Little (179,450 in chips).  

Next, the Day 1-A survivors (from Thursday) will combine with the Day 1-C survivors (from Saturday), who then return for Day 2-A to be played Monday, July 11th.  The restart will be at noon.  There are 2,031 players in that field.

Day 1-B survivors (from Friday) will combine with the 1-D survivors (from Sunday), who then return for Day 2-B to be played Tuesday, July 12th.  Just as the previous day, the restart will be at noon.  There will be 2,490 players in that field (estimated at press time).

The Main Event continues through July 19th when the final table players will ultimately be determined, otherwise known as the “November Nine.”   

FORMER WORLD CHAMPIONS

There are 35 different players who have won the WSOP Main Event Championship.  Of this number, 27 champions are alive.
 
Of the 27 eligible former world champions, 18 participated in this year’s Main Event.
 
Current Status of Former WSOP Main Event Champions:
 
1975/1976:  Doyle Brunson – Eliminated on Day 1

1978:  Bobby “the Owl” Baldwin – Survived (27,500 in chips) 

1983:  Tom McEvoy – Survived (45,000 in chips)

1986:  Berry Johnston – Survived (28,850 in chips)

1987/1988:  Johnny Chan – Survived (34,000 in chips)

1989:  Phil Hellmuth – Survived (11,800 in chips)

1995:  Dan Harrington – Survived (42,000 in chips)

1996:  Huck Seed – Survived (42,600 in chips)

1998:  Scotty Nguyen  -- Survived (48,325 in chips)

2001:  Carlos Mortensen – Survived (105,025 in chips)

2002:  Robert Varkonyi – Survived (59,525 in chips)

2003:  Chris Moneymaker – Eliminated on Day 1

2004:  Greg “Fossilman” Raymer – Eliminated on Day 1

2005:  Joe Hachem – Survived (45,700 in chips)

2006:  Jamie Gold – Survived (82,000 in chips)

2007:  Jerry Yang – Eliminated on Day 1  

2009:  Joe Cada – Survived (56,225 in chips)

2010:  Jonathan Duhamel – Survived (41,150 in chips)

During the modern era, at the conclusion of Day One, the eventual WSOP champions and their chip positions were as follows:
 
2003 – Chris Moneymaker, 60,475 in chips (ranked 11th)*

2004 – Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, 74,400 in chips (ranked 7th)

2005 – Joe Hachem, 67,350 in chips (not in top 25)

2006 – Jamie Gold, 100,125 in chips (ranked 23rd)

2007 – Jerry Yang, 99,700 in chips (not in top 25)

2008 – Peter Eastgate, 62,325 in chips (not in top 25)

2009 – Joe Cada, 187,225 in chips (ranked 1st)

2010 – Jonathan Duhamel, 53,200 in chips (not in top 25)

CELEBRITIES AND NOTABLE PLAYERS
 
The World Series of Poker has attracted celebrities and notable personalities since its inception.  This year is no exception.
 
Current Status of Poker Hall of Fame members:
 
Doyle Brunson – Eliminated on Day 1

Lyle Berman – Survived (125,575 in chips)

Bobby Baldwin – Survived (27,500 in chips)

Berry Johnston – Survived (28,850 in chips)

T.J. Cloutier – Eliminated on Day 1

Mike Sexton – Survived (49,000 in chips)

Dewey Tomko – Survived (16,000 in chips)

Erik Seidel – Eliminated on Day 1

Dan Harrington – Survived (42,000 in chips)

Current Status of former WSOP “Players of the Year”:
 
2004 -- Daniel Negreanu – Survived (41,175 in chips)

2005 -- Allen Cunningham – Survived (21,000 in chips)

2006 -- Jeff Madsen – Survived (73,725 in chips)

2007 -- Tom Schneider – Eliminated on Day 1

2008 -- Erick Lindgren – Survived (3,700 in chips)

2009 -- Jeffrey Lisandro – Pending Report

2010 -- Frank Kassela – Eliminated on Day 1

Current Status of Non-Poker Celebrities:
 
Ray Romano (actor and comedian) – Eliminated on Day 1

Brad Garrett (actor and comedian) – Survived (59,775 in chips)

Rene Angelil (music manager – Celine Dion’s husband) – Survived (18,300 in chips)

Shane Warne (cricketer) – Eliminated on Day 1

Jason Alexander (actor and comedian) – Survived (63,150 in chips)

Teddy Sherington (UK football star) – Survived

Nelly (singer-performer) – Eliminated on Day 1

Shannon Elizabeth (actress) – Survived (19,000 in chips)

Paul Pierce (NBA’s Boston Celtics) – Survived (63,000 in chips)

Shawn Marion (NBA’s Dallas Mavericks) – Pending Report

Jennifer Tilly (actress and former gold bracelet winner) – Eliminated on Day 1

Patrick Bruel (French singer and actor and former gold bracelet winner) – Survived (24,700 in chips)

Wendeen Eolis, from New York, NY played on Day One and survived (20,700 in chips).  Eolis was the first woman ever to cash in the WSOP Main Event, which occurred in 1986.  She has played in a least one WSOP event in every year since then.
 
Howard “Tahoe” Andrew, from Walnut Creek, CA played on Day One and survived (33,000 in chips).  Two-time gold bracelet winner Andrew first attended the WSOP in 1974.  He has played in the WSOP in every year since then and holds the current streak for consecutive appearances.
 
DAY ONE ODDS AND ENDS
 
Based on WSOP figures during the modern era (2003 to present), the Day One chip leader has a slightly less than even chance of cashing in the Main Event. 

Only a few Day One chip leaders ended up winning the Main Event.  The last this happened was in 2009, when Joe Cada was the chip leader after Day 1-C.  He went on to win the world championship.  Records from the earliest years were not documented, so there is little way of knowing statistics for all years.

This is the 58th and final event on the 2011 WSOP schedule which is played in Las Vegas.  Seven more gold bracelet events will take place in Cannes, France, to be held in October 7th through 20th as part of the 5th Annual World Series of Poker Europe.   

This marks the seventh consecutive year the WSOP has been held at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino.  Prior to 2005, the WSOP was held at Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas.  As a testament to the expansion of the WSOP since Caesars Entertainment assumed ownership and control of the world most prestigious poker event, more than twice the money has been awarded to winners within the Rio during the past six years than during the entire proceeding 35-year period at the Horseshoe.

The most dominant Day One Main Event performance in history was by three-time WSOP gold bracelet winner John Bonetti, who passed away four years ago.  Bonetti finished the first day of the 1993 Main Event with 500,000 in chips (the figure is an estimate, since there was no Internet coverage, nor accurate records available from that year).  Since there were 231 players registered, he had a staggering 22 percent of the total chips in play.  Bonetti went on to finish third that year, as Jim Bechtel won the championship.
 
The total number of entrants in the WSOP Main Event (all 42 years combined) is 57,657.
 
Over the past five years, the average attendance for the WSOP Main Event has been 6,776 entrants.  Hence, this year’s figure was slightly ahead of the average.
 
ODDS AND ENDS
 
This tournament attracted 6,865 entries.
 
Female players – 242, representing 3.5% of the field.
 
Average age of players – 37.17 years
 
This is the 950th gold bracelet tournament event in World Series of Poker history.  This figure includes every official WSOP event ever played, including tournaments during the early years when there were no actual gold bracelets awarded.  It also includes the 16 gold bracelets awarded to date at WSOP Europe (2007-2010).  Moreover for the first time ever, one gold bracelet was awarded for this year’s winner of the WSOP Circuit National Championship.
 
Shortly after cards flew into the air for the first time on Day 1-A, players began busting out.  Within a half hour, nearly a dozen players had already been eliminated.
 
WSOP --   FOR THE AGES
 
The youngest player to enter the 2011 WSOP Main Event Championship was Logan Deen, from Cocoa, FL.  He turned 21 on the day he took his seat in the Main Event.  This means he now holds a record than can only be tied, but never broken (unless age restriction laws are changed in the future).  He was cheered on Day 1-C by his family, who call themselves the “Deen Team.”  He remains alive entering Day Two.
 
The oldest player to enter the 2011 WSOP Main Event Championship was Ellen “Gram” Deeb, from Troy, NY.  She became the oldest female participant in Main Event history at the age of 91.  Mrs. Deeb was introduced to the huge crowd, which gave her one of the day’s biggest ovations.  After she stood to wave to the crowd, she grabbed the mircophone from a tournament official and snapped, “I just have one thing to say!  You are all playing for second!”  The crowd went wild.  Unfortunately, Mrs. Deeb was eliminated on Day One.  The WSOP looks forward to welcoming her again in 2012.
 
A Special Note:  Jack Ury was the oldest player ever to participate in a WSOP tournament.  Last year, he played in the Main Event at the age of 97.  Sadly, Mr. Ury passed away before the start of this year’s tournament.  The entire WSOP staff sends the Ury Family our best wishes and gratitude for leaving us with so many special memories of Mr. Ury.
 
WSOP MAIN EVENT ALL-TIME RECORDS
 
Most Main Event Wins (Career):

3 – Johnny Moss (*first win was by vote)

3 – Stu Ungar

2 – Doyle Brunson

2 – Johnny Chan

Most Main Event Cashes (Career): 

10 – Berry Johnston

8 – Humberto Brenes

7 – Bobby Baldwin

7 – Doyle Brunson

7 – Jay Heimowitz

7 – Phil Hellmuth

7 – Mike Sexton

6 – John Bonetti

6 – Johnny Moss

6 – Jason Lester

6 – Steve Lott

6 – Chris Bjorin

6 – John Esposito

6 – Johnny Chan

5 – 14 players tied with 5 cashes each

Most Main Event Final Tables (Career): 

5 – Doyle Brunson

5 – Jesse Alto

4 – Johnny Chan

4 – T.J. Cloutier

4 – Dan Harrington

4 – Berry Johnston

4 – Johnny Moss

4 – Stu Ungar

3 – 6 players tied with 3 final tables each

Youngest Winner: 

Joe Cada (2009) -- 21 years, 11 months, 22 days

Oldest Winner: 

Johnny Moss (1974) – 66 years, 11 months, 24 days

Oldest Participant: 

97 years -- Jack Ury (2010)

Most Consecutive Years Played: 

38 – Howard “Tahoe” Andrew (1974 to present)

Most Main Events Played (Career): 

38 – Tie: Doyle Brunson (did not play 1999 through 2001); Howard “Tahoe” Andrew

OVERALL 2011 WSOP STATISTICS 

Through Event #58 (all gold bracelet events), the 2011 WSOP has attracted 75,672 combined total entries.  $191,999,010 in prize money has been awarded. 

Through the conclusion of Event #57, the breakdown of nationality of gold bracelet winners has been:
 
United States (35)

Canada (5)

Ukraine (4)

France (4)

Great Britain (3)

Russia (3)

Brazil (1)

Pakistan (1)

Sweden (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #57, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has been:
 
United States (31)

Canada (5)

Ukraine (4)

France (4)

Great Britain (3)

Russia (3)

Israel (1)

Honduras (1)

Indonesia (1)

Germany (1)

Brazil (1)

Pakistan (1)

Sweden (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #57, the home-states of (American) winners have been:
 
California (7)

New York (6)

Nevada (6)

Texas (3)

Florida (2)

Illinois (2)

Connecticut (2)

New Jersey (1)

Tennessee (1)

Indiana (1)

Maryland (1)

Virginia (1)

Michigan (1)

North Dakota (1)

Washington (1)

Ohio (1)

Through the conclusion of Event #57, the breakdown of professional poker players to semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets has been:
 
Professional Players (44):  Jake Cody, Cheech Barbaro, Eugene Katchalov, Allen Bari, Harrison Wilder, Matt Perrins, Sean Getzwiller, Viacheslav Zhukov, David Diaz, Andrew Badecker, Tyler Bonkowski, Brian Rast (2 wins), John Juanda, Aaron Steury, Darren Woods, Jason Somerville, Bertrand Grospellier, John Monnette, Elie Payan, Mark Radoja, Chris Viox, Dan Idema, Andy Frankenberger, Chris Lee, Sam Stein, Mark Schmid, Jason Mercier, Mikhail Lakhitov, Fabrice Soulier, Mitch Schock, Matt Jarvis, Justin Pechie, Ben Lamb, Rep Porter, Andre Akkari, Joe Ebanks, Lenny Martin, Athanasios Polychronopoulos, Antonin Teisseire, Matt Matros, Marsha Wolak. Maxim Lykov, Nick Binger
 
Semi-Pros (6):  Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii Kovalchuk, Eric Rosawig, Arkadiy Tsinis, Alexander Anter
 
Amateurs (7):  Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays, James Hess, Kirk Caldwell, Ken Griffin, Owais Ahmed, David Singontiko
 
Since tracking first started in 2005, this year’s WSOP has the greatest disparity of professionals winning over semi-pros and amateurs than any year recorded, so far – with 50 out of 57 events being won by pros or semi-pros.
 
Through the conclusion of this tournament, the victories of 12 of the 57 winners (21 percent) marked the first time the new champion had ever cashed at the WSOP.
 
Every WSOP held over the past 11 years has included at least one multiple gold bracelet champion (meaning two or more wins within the same year).  The last year the WSOP was comprised exclusively of single-event winners was back in 1999.  The record for most multiple gold bracelet winners within a single year was in 2009, when five players managed to win two or more titles.  Brian Rast’s victory in two tournaments – Events #15 and #55 -- means the multi-gold bracelet streak will continue for at least another year.
 
The streak of consecutive male WSOP gold bracelet winners is currently at 213 consecutive events.  Aside from the annual Ladies Poker Championship, the last female player to win a WSOP tournament open to both sexes was Vanessa Selbst, in 2008.  The longest “cold” streak for female players occurred between years 1982 and 1996, when 221 consecutive open events passed without a female champion.
 
The highest finish by any female (open events) at this year’s WSOP was accomplished by two players.  Maria Ho finished second ($5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em).  Kim Nguyen also finished as the runner up ($1,500 buy-in Six-Handed Limit Hold’em).
 
The highest finish by any defending champion at this year’s WSOP was by David Baker, who after winning the previous $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball World Championship finished in sixth place in defense of his title.
 
Reigning world poker champions rarely perform well the following year after their victory.  Chris “Jesus” Ferguson was the last world champion to win a gold bracelet the next year, which happened in 2001.  Perhaps it’s due to the increasing size of the fields.  But there’s also great pressure on the champions to do well.  What follows is a list of the only world champions in history to win a gold bracelet after winning the championship during the previous year:
 
Johnny Moss (1975)

Doyle Brunson (1977)

Bobby Baldwin (1979)

Stu Ungar (1981)

Johnny Chan (1988)

Hamid Dastmalchi (1993)

Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (2001)

By contrast, players who make it to the final table of the Main Event Championship (November Nine) one year tend to do quite well in subsequent WSOP years.  Consider that last year, three former Main Event finalists won gold bracelets – Eric Buchman, Tex Barch and Scott Montgomery.  This year, Matt Jarvis won his first gold bracelet one year after making it to the November Nine in 2010.
 
New tournament records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):

Biggest Heads-Up tournament prize pool in history ($3,040,000) – Event #2

Largest live Omaha High-Low Split Tournament in history (925 entries) – Event #3

Largest live Six-Handed tournament in poker history (1,920 entries) – Event #10

Biggest Deuce-to-Seven tournament prize pool in history ($1,184,400) – Event #16

Largest live $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start (3389 entries) – Event #56

Largest live $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start (3175 entries) – Event #20

Largest consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,332 entries) – Event #18 and Event #20

Largest live Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in poker history (1,071 entries) – Event #22

Largest Mixed-Game (Eight-Game Mix) in poker history (489 entries) – Event #23

Largest Seniors tournament in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30

Biggest Seniors No-Limit Hold’em championship prize pool in history ($3,376,800) – Event #30

Largest single-day live tournament start in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30

Largest consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,580 entries) – Event #30/Event #32 (broke Event #18/Event #20 record from earlier in 2011 WSOP)

Largest four-consecutive days field sizes in poker history (2,500+3,752+2,828+3,144 =12,224 entries) -- Events 28, 30, 32, 34, June 16-19, 2011

Largest Mixed Pot-Limit tournament in history (606 entries) – Event #39

Biggest Pot-Limit Omaha prize pool in live poker history ($3,393,400) – Event #42

New player records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):

The 35-year span between Artie Cobb’s first cash in this event (1976) and most recent cash in the same event (2011) represents the longest time span in WSOP history.  He accomplished this in Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split (Event #25).

Phil Hellmuth added to his record as the individual all-time leader in cashes (84) and final table appearances (43).

Howard “Tahoe” Andrew added to his record as the player with the longest consecutive streak of WSOP appearances (entering at least one event), currently at 38 years and counting (1974 to present).

First player in history with three second-place finishes within a single year – Phil Hellmuth

Tony “Top Cat” Cousineau added to his record as the player with the most WSOP cashes, but no wins (49).

RAISING AWARENESS:  BAD BEAT ON CANCER AND THE WSOP
 
Bad Beat on Cancer was created in 2003 by Phil Gordon and Rafe Furst as an easy and fun way for poker players to donate to the Prevent Cancer Foundation.  It all began when Chris Moneymaker pledged 1 percent of his 2003 Main Event winnings and went on to capture the championship, contributing $25,000 when he was awarded the $2.500,000 first- place prize.  By taking the pledge, wearing the patch, and joining ‘Team 1%’, players can feel good supporting a cause that only benefits when they win.  As the official charity of the WSOP, pledges simply indicate to the payouts staff that they are donating 1 percent of their winnings, and the funds are automatically withheld.  A tax receipt is generated and sent to their mailing address.  Several high profile professionals have made ‘life pledges’ of 1 percent of all their winnings -- including Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth Jr., Lee Childs, Paul Wasicka, Andy Bloch, Dennis Phillips, and others.  Since 2003, the initiative has raised over $3,500,000 for cancer prevention research, education, and community outreach programs.  Players can pick up a patch and join Team 1% by stopping by the Bad Beat on Cancer booth, located at the 2011 WSOP opposite the Amazon Room in the concourse.  The Nevada Cancer Institute based in Las Vegas is a benefiting charity from the Bad Beat on Cancer.
 
Note:  Various categories and statistics will be updated with each gold bracelet event as they are completed. 

 
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Nolan Dalla – WSOP.com Senior Writer


About the author: Nolan Dalla's work is found all over WSOP.com, as he is the Senior Writer for poker's longest-running poker series and has contributed to the site since 2005.

He is also the longtime Media Director of the World Series of Poker. He's become the lone link from poker's modern age back to the old days when the WSOP was played at Binion's Horseshoe – where Dalla served as the casino's Director of Public Relations.
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