The 41st annual World Series of Poker has set a new overall attendance record, with 63,706 entrants through the first 55 events of the international poker extravaganza. With two tournaments remaining, including the renowned Main Event, this year’s WSOP also generated a prize pool in excess of $100 million for sixth consecutive year.
   The new attendance milestone eclipsed the previous record of 60,875 entries, which was established last year for 57 individual gold bracelet tournaments.  In 2009 through 55 events, the WSOP attracted 52,880 entrants. Thus, this year’s mark is a year-over-year increase of 20 percent.  
   The WSOP has increased attendance every year since Harrah’s took ownership in 2004.  This is the seventh consecutive year participation has increased.
   Incredibly, the new attendance mark was set despite the weak performance of numerous global currencies and strong international attention on the FIFA World Cup.
   “We’re thrilled that poker enthusiasts from every corner of the globe have reinforced the World Series of Poker’s standing as one of the most popular competitive events anywhere,” said World Series of Poker Vice President Ty Stewart. “This year’s overall turnout continues to show the players’ passion for playing on poker’s biggest stage despite the continued sluggish economy.”
Among the highlights of the 41st annual World Series of Poker through Event 55:
•    Three of the Top 10 largest events in live poker history have been held at the 2010 WSOP; seven of the largest 15 tournaments also have been held this year
•    Largest event, Event #3 ($1,000 No-Limit Hold’em): 4,345 players
•    Smallest event, Event #19 ($10,000 Deuce to Seven No-Limit Championship): 101 players
•    Largest event prize pool, Event #2 ($50,000 Poker Players Championship): $5,568,000
•    Largest first place prize, Event #2 ($50,000 Poker Players Championship): $1,559,046
•    Average event participation: 1128 (vs. 2009 average of 961)
•    Total prize money thus far: $113,948,265 (vs. $107,260,976)
•    Youngest winner: Steven Kelly, 21, who won Event #39 ($1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout)
•    Oldest winner: Harold Angle, 78, who won the largest-ever Seniors tournament (3,142 players)

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport's top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker's longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970.  In 2009, the event attracted 60,875 entrants from 115 different countries to the Rio in Las Vegas and awarded over $174 million in prize money.  The creation of the new delayed Main Event final table more than doubled ratings on ESPN year-over-year.  In December, 2008 the WSOP was named the 7th most admired sports brand in North America by the Turnkey Team Brand Index trailing only the more established NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR and PGA Tour among sports properties.  In addition, the WSOP has formed groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent in 2007 of the World Series of Poker Europe. For more information on the World Series of Poker, please visit www.WSOP.com.