Poker’s marquee event is underway, with a record number of entrants competing for “the richest trophy in all of sports” and a piece of live poker’s largest-ever prize pool.
The World Series of Poker announced that 10,043 players entered the WSOP Main Event, leading to a $93.4 million prize pool. The previous records of 8,773 players and an $82.5 million prize pool were set in 2006.
The 2023 edition of the prestigious tournament — taking place at the Horseshoe Las Vegas — will see the winner take home $12.1 million, with the first player eliminated from the nine-person Final Table winning $900,000. The tournament will pay out 1,507 players — 15 percent of the total entrants (only 10 percent took home prize money in 2006).
“This is an all-time summer for the WSOP,” said WSOP senior vice president and executive director Ty Stewart. “10,000 players is historic for the industry, and this year’s champion will be remembered as the one to conquer the richest event in poker history, well, at least until 2024.”
WSOP builds on the strong momentum from 2022, when 8,663 players entered to win a share of $80.8 million — then the second-highest number of all time.
Aside from the record cash, this year’s champion will also capture the WSOP Main Event gold bracelet — the self-proclaimed “richest trophy in all of sports.”
The 2023 hardware is adorned with 500 grams of 10-karat yellow gold, 2,352 various precious gemstones, 42 carats of round genuine diamonds, 425 black and red stones, and a removable golden poker chip in the center. Celebrity chef Guy Fieri unveiled the bracelet just before the Main Event’s start.
“I heard this year’s WSOP Main Event is shattering records, so I had to come to check it out for myself,” said Fieri. “The WSOP Main Event bracelet is out-of-bounds.”
After six days of the Main Event, only 49 players remain, with 23-year-old Joshua Payne in the lead with a chip stack of 47,950,000.