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World Series Of Poker Main Event Ready to Start in Las Vegas

03 Jul 2024
Jonathan Raab 03 Jul 2024
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  • $10,000 Main Event of the WSOP begins today, July 3rd, 2024
  • Will the biggest event in live poker break last year's 10,043 entry attendance record?
  • Daily Updates on PokerWired throughout the Main Event
Horseshoe Hotel and Casino, home of World Series of Poker 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
The Main Event of the 55th Annual World Series of Poker is About to Begin in Las Vegas

The 55th Annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) has been ongoing for five weeks and today is the start of the most anticipated tournament on the 99-bracelet schedule: The $10,000 Championship Main Event.

PokerWired will publish a brief daily report after each day of play in the WSOP, including player numbers, chip counts, stories from the floor and the fortunes of notable players in the field.

Its one of the few pure tournaments left in the world, continuing to be run as a freezeout and with no guarantee, in a poker world that is otherwise obsessed with re-entries and over the top prize pool assurances. 

And despite the lack of what are deemed by most poker event organisers to be essential marketing techniques, the WSOP Main Event continues to be the biggest $10,000 event in the world, by some distance. Last year was a record breaking year for the WSOP Main Event, with 10,043 entries and the biggest ever first prize of $12.1m, won by Daniel Weinman.

Will 2024 be another record breaker for the WSOP Main Event, or was the ceiling hit in 2023? To assess the chances of this year’s Main Event being the biggest ever, let’s take a look at the evidence and see what looks to be on the cards?

Online Qualifier Number Rise Year-On-Year

In 2023, GGPoker sent 761 online qualifiers and online direct players to the Main Event. This time that number is over 1,100, as the site generated over 800 qualifiers and had a late flurry of players buying in online. 

It may be that many of the late direct buy-ins were players who would otherwise have bought in anyway, but were availing themselves of the the qualifier benefits that GG Poker extended to direct buy-in ($1m bonus if winning, avoid waiting in lines, player lounge access and free merchandise).

There is also a question mark over whether the interest level is as great as the qualifier numbers suggest. The vast majority of direct online satellites to the WSOP Main Event on GG Poker suffered from overlays. 

These were not just small insignificant misses, there was over $1.6m in overlays throughout the series, which is the equivalent of over 130 x $12,000 packages being added by GG Poker.

When taking this into account, the online qualifier numbers may not actually have been as successful as they were in 2023.

The verdict on the impact of online qualifier numbers is that while it is a positive indicator, its not a great litmus test for the fortunes of this year’s Main Event.

Turnout So Far at the 2024 WSOP

More tournaments on the 2024 WSOP schedule have had year-on-year increases in attendance than those that have suffered drops, however it is not consistent. It’s never easy to fully compare schedules, as date shifts are the biggest reason for a significant change in attendance from one year to the next.

Overall, participation so far in 2024 looks positive and bodes well for another record breaking Main Event.

Starting Day Indicators

Regardless of how many players enter the first two starting days, the final two starting days will always be bigger and will determine whether it will be a record breaker or not. Nevertheless, the attendance of the first flights should act as a good indicator of the final numbers. 

The main contributor to the record numbers in 2023 was the huge increase in Day 1c participation, which grew from 1,860 players in the 2022 Main Event to 3,080 in 2023. For 2024 to be another record breaker, the Day 1c figure has to at least get close to the 2023 figures.

These are the numbers to keep an eye on, the breakdown of entries per flight in the 2023 WSOP Main Event:

Day 1a: 1,039
Day 1b: 1,118
Day 1c: 3,080
Day 1d: 4,100

2023 WSOP Main Event Total Entries: 10,043

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