Total WSOP Prize Pools Surpass the $1 Billion Mark!

Sellout Fields Push Total Registration to New Level

LAS VEGAS (July 7, 2009) – Despite a sluggish global economy, poker enthusiasts from 115 nations and territories descended on Las Vegas this summer to break a number of event records at the 40th annual World Series of Poker®, including the mark for most total player entries.

The 60,875 entries in this year’s 57 tournaments eclipsed the previous record of 58,720 entries established in 2008. The strong showing helped propel the total WSOP prize pool past $1 billion since the tournament’s inception in 1970. The total 2009 prize pool surpassed $174 million and, for only the second time in WSOP history, every member of the Main Event final table will win $1 million or more.

"Our results have exceeded every expectation," said WSOP President and Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack. "The enormous global demand for high-stakes poker and our coveted gold bracelet have been on display at the Rio for the past five weeks, and we’re looking forward to continuing on with the Main Event and setting this year's November Nine."
In addition, the 2009 WSOP established new records for:

Most million-dollar tournaments: Thirty-nine of 57 events in this year’s WSOP boasted a prize pool of $1 million or more.

Most sell-outs: Ten of 57 events at this year’s WSOP sold out. Additionally, the final of four start dates for the Main Event sold out. The 2009 Main Event hosted 6,494 players; several hundred prospective players who attempted to register after capacity was reached on the final start date likely would have pushed the total north of 7,000.

Largest non-Main Event field: Event 4, the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em "stimulus special," attracted 6,012 players, surpassing the 3,929 players who participated in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event on May 31, 2008.

Largest Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split prize: Event 37 was the richest Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split prize pool in poker history at $1,541,600. It eclipsed last year’s previous record by more than $300,000. This was only the second million-dollar prize pool ever for any Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split tournament.

Largest Seniors event: The turnout of 2,707 participants this year shattered the previous record of 2,218, set last year. The 2009 figure represents a 22 percent increase over 2008. Records also were broken for largest prize pool ($2,463,700) and biggest cash prize ever paid in a seniors’ poker event ($437,358).

Largest Omaha High-Low Split event: The field of 918 players represented a significant increase over the previous record of 833 players set at the 2008 WSOP.

Largest 2-7 Lowball event: Last year's event attracted 238 entries. Entries increased by 8 percent to 258 players in 2009. Event 55 was the largest Limit Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw Lowball tournament in poker history.

Largest Pot-Limit Omaha event: The $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha event (Event 5) attracted 809 entrants, the largest in poker history.

Most gold bracelet wins in a single year: Jeffrey Lisandro tied the mark for most wins in a single year with three. He is the fifth player to accomplish this feat.

Most consecutive years to cash at WSOP: Berry Johnston’s in-the-money finish in a gold bracelet event this year gives the 1986 World Champion cashes for 27 straight years, the most in history.

Youngest final table in history: The $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout (Event 41) was the youngest final table composition in WSOP history, with player ages ranging from 21 to 24.

Oldest player to participate: Jack Ury, 96 years old.