The nuttiest part of the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event is over, as thousands of players gathered at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino Saturday through Monday for the tournaments opening starting flights. To break out an overused cliché, “when the dust cleared” Monday and the registrations were tallied, the 2017 WSOP Main Event came in at 7,221 entries, the third largest WSOP Championship Event of all time.
The daily player numbers were as follows: Day 1A – 795 players, Day 1B – 2,164 players, and Day 1C – 4,262 players.
For those unfamiliar with the World Series of Poker (and may I add a hearty welcome!), that registration progression is completely normal. Day 1A always features the fewest number of players, mainly because people anticipate making it to at least Day 2 and would prefer not to have a two-day gap during which they will have to pay for a hotel room, spend more time away from work, etc. Logistically, it’s just easier to one of the other two days. Those who have been playing in other events at the WSOP leading up to the Main Event also may want a little extra rest before the tourney.
The largest Main Event ever was at the height of the poker boom, in 2006, right before the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in the United States. That year, 8,773 paid the $10,000 to play, creating a $12 million first prize (this was before the prize distribution was adjusted to spread the money out a bit more). Jamie Gold famously won that tournament, table-talking his way to the title.
The next largest Main Event was in 2010, when poker was coming out of the post-UIGEA funk. Jonathan Duhamel won that year, triumphing in a field of 7,319. The 2017 WSOP Main Event is the largest since that point.
With the 7,221 entries, the prize pool of the 2017 WSOP Main Event has been set at $67,877,400 (it is not $72,221,000 because 4.2 percent is taken in rake and 1.8 percent is taken out for dealers and tournament staff). First prize will be $8.15 million and, as has been the usual structure recently, nine players at the final table will all be guaranteed at least $1 million. A total of 1,084 players will make the money with a minimum payout of $15,000. Six-figure payouts begin at 72nd place.
On Tuesday, the survivors from Days 1A and 1B will compete in Days 2A and 2B. Though both of these Day 2 flights will be held at the Rio at the same time, the fields will be kept separate. Those who remain from Day 1C will play in Day 2C tomorrow. After that, all players who still have chips will combine in a single field on Thursday’s Day 3 and go from there.
There will be no November Nine this year. Instead, when the final table is determined on July 17th (or perhaps the early morning of July 18th, depending on how long it takes), the tournament will pause for just two days. The final table will begin July 20th and run through July 22nd.