World Series of Poker Las Vegas Main Event Breaks Records for Buy-ins and Prize Pool

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The World Series of Poker, or WSOP, has attracted a record number of buy-ins for its main event tournament, set to take place at the Horseshoe in Las Vegas (pictured) over the coming months.

The $10,000 No-Limit Hold ‘Em World championship saw a record-breaking 10,043 applications before the time of closing.

The WSOP’s main event will be held at the Horseshoe, just off the Las Vegas Strip, where players will battle it out over weeks of play for a share of the $93.4 million prize pool.

That breaks the previous record field set in 2006, which was 8,700 contestants and an $82 million pool. That gathering saw Jamie Gold walk away from the table as the winner with a $12 million prize.

This year marks the 54th iteration of the poker world’s Main Event, held in the middle of a stacked WSOP calendar in Las Vegas.

 “It’s particularly special to make history in our first year at the new Horseshoe Las Vegas,” said WSOP SVP and Executive Director Ty Stewart.

“Today is a huge testament to the passion of the entire poker community, which rallies around this event every year.”  

Related: The best online poker sites in Nevada, rated and reviewed

$12 Million Dollar Winner

At a $10,000 buy-in, the tournament is no joke just to enter. The nine players out of 10,000 who make it to the top table will be guaranteed at least $900,000.

The final player from that considerable field that outlasts all the others will pocket a cool $12.1 million. If a tournament newbie took the top prize (unlikely), it would put them instantly into The Hendon Mob’s top 100 list of all-time poker earners, at 88th.

Only the top 1,500 players at the Main Event will cash out, however, so the field will be ultra-competitive. Those who do make it that far will get a minimum of a $15,000 cash prize.

However, even those rounds will be at least a few weeks off. The Main Event will cap off a series of 95 separate tournaments that have been played out at the WSOP this year.

Colossal Day in Poker History

Events across the table at the Horseshoe included a marriage proposal, and a 17th WSOP tournament win for 58-year old legend Phil Hellmuth.

The WSOP’s return to the Horseshoe in Las Vegas was much anticipated, and has clearly had an impact on the popularity of the event.

The WSOP debuted back in 1970 at Binion’s Horseshoe, as the casino was then known, as the invention of casino magnate Benny Binion.

That remained the tournament’s home until 2004, when Harrah’s Entertainment, now Caesars Entertainment, acquired the WSOP brand.

It then moved the tournament to its own Rio Hotel and Casino, slightly off the Las Vegas strip.

Over the years, Caesars has focused less on maintaining and upgrading the Rio, leading to criticism from poker fans at the state of the venue.

It then decided to move the WSOP back to its original home in the Horseshoe for 2023. It’s a decision which has proved fortuitous, given the uptick in interest for this year’s event.

Caesars actually intends to sell the Rio by the end of the year, having already sold operating rights to Dreamscape Companies, who plan to fully renovate the property.

Meanwhile, the WSOP, and interest in poker more generally, is going from strength to strength.

“This is a colossal day, not only in the history of the WSOP, but for poker itself,” said Stewart. “We’re hoping this record is short-lived and we’ll be ready for another monster turnout next summer.”

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