49th World Series of Poker recap

23 July 2018

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The 49th Annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas was another record-breaking year. The 78-event, 50-day poker series broke many records including attendance and prizepool records.

Up for the sixth consecutive year, this year’s attendance broke the record for number of total entries at the series. 123,865 entries participated this year (up 2.4%), marking the second consecutive year with more than 120,000 entries, keeping the WSOP far and away poker’s biggest annual live festival.

This WSOP established a host of new records as poker enthusiasts from 104 different nations traveled to Las Vegas to compete in the game’s grandest spectacle, and a record 18,105 players received prize money this year.

The WSOP remained the industry leader in terms of prize money awarded, with this year’s tally amounting to $266,889,193 (up 15.1%) – breaking the record for the most money awarded at a single poker series and it is the first time the WSOP has eclipsed the quarter billion dollar mark in prize money in one WSOP. There were 28 players that earned $1 million or more this year, which is the most ever at one WSOP.

The Main Event in 2018 had 7,874 entries, a 9% increase over last year, creating the largest prize pool of the 2018 WSOP at $74,015,600 and the second-largest first-place prize, which amounted to $8,800,000. The only larger top prize of the series was the $10,000,000 first-place prize of the Event #78: $1 Million Big One for One Drop. The 2018 Main Event was the second largest in the history of the series, only behind the 2006 Main Event, which had 8,773 entries.

“The 2018 World Series of Poker was another big success and it’s thanks to the loyal players that make it out to Las Vegas every summer,” said World Series of Poker Executive Director Ty Stewart. “We love seeing the Main Event grow to numbers no one ever thought was possible in 2018 as well as positive reaction to our new events. The team will be hard at work to make sure this remains the premier poker festival in the world.”

For the sixth time in its history, WSOP generated a total prize pool that topped the $200 million mark.

In the 49-year history of the WSOP, the game’s most prestigious tournament series has now awarded over $2.99 billion -- actually $2,999,643,394 in prize money.

It was another successful year in terms of raising money for charity as well. The two featured charity-linked tournaments, the Little One for ONE DROP (Event #68) and the return of the $1 Million Big One for One Drop (Event #78), plus the 1% for One Drop campaign, where players can donate 1% of their winnings to the cause which support the WSOP’s official charity partner the ONE DROP organization raised a combined $2,790,008. ONE DROP uses donations to directly implement water access projects, where an average of $100 can transform someone’s life forever. The poker community via the World Series of Poker has donated more than $23,166,974 since the partnership began in 2012.

Legions of amateur players competed alongside legendary poker pros, Hollywood A-listers and international sports figures to establish the new milestones. Among the notable non-poker playing names competing during this year’s WSOP included: the most decorated Olympian of all-time Michael Phelps, actor and comedians Brad Garrett and Ray Romano, singer Patrick Bruel, rapper Hoodie Allen and music producer Steve Albini, movie director Nick Cassavetes and actress Jennifer Tilly, NFL defensive star and Super Bowl champion Richard Seymour, Stanley Cup champion Phil Kessel, German soccer player Max Kruse and actor James Woods. Albini won the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event for his first bracelet and $105,629.
The youngest player in this year’s WSOP Main Event was Nicholas Dashineau, from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, who played Day 1C two days after his 21st birthday. He made it to Day 3 of the tournament, but fell just short of reaching the money.

The oldest player to participate in this year’s Main Event was 88-year-old John Olsen of Moss Point, Mississippi, who played Day 1B and survived Day 1, but did not make it through Day 2. Jack Ury, at the young age of 97, still holds the WSOP record as oldest participant. William Wachter remains the oldest to cash. He finished in 524th place for $19,500 in 2015 at the age of 94.

The $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship – commonly referred to as the WSOP Main Event – paid out a record 1,182 places this year, the most places paid in the event’s history. The money was officially reached in Level 16 on Sunday, 8 July around 12:30am.

Here is a quick statistical overview of the 2018 WSOP official gold bracelet events:
  • Does Not Include Online Bracelet Events

  • Official WSOP Gold Bracelet Events: 78
  • Total Entries: 123,865
  • Total Prize Pool: $266,889,193
  • Total Cashers: 18,105
  • Main Event Entries: 7,874
  • Main Event Prize Pool: $74,015,600
  • Largest 1st Place Prize: $10,000,000 (Event #78)
  • Average 1st Place Prize: $655,337
  • Average Field Size: 1,588 entries per event
  • Average Age: 42.27 (Male average: 42.1; Female average: 45.64)
  • Male Participation*: 95.14% (111,837 entries)
  • Female Participation*: 4.86% (5,717 entries)
  • # of Countries Represented*: 104
  • # of U.S. States Represented*: 50 + District of Columbia
  • # of Multiple Gold Bracelet Winners: 3: Shaun Deeb (Events #42 & #74), Joe Cada (Events #3 & #75) and Justin Bonomo (Events #16 & #78)
  • Most Entries by Country:
1) United States (89,533)
2) Canada (5,128)
3) United Kingdom (4,534)
4) France (1,671)
5) Brazil (1,267) ?2 from 2017
6) Germany (1,250)
7) Australia (1,161) ?2
8) Austria (912) ?1
9) Russia (894) ?1
10) China (745)

The 2018 WSOP established new records, which are detailed below:

  • Most Entrants: 123,865

  • Largest total prizepool: $266,889,193

  • Most Cashers: 18,105

  • Largest Starting Flight in Main Event History: Event #65, Flight C: 4,571 entries

  • Largest non-Hold’em field size ever: Event #11, the $365 Pot-Limit Omaha GIANT tournament, attracted 3,250 entries, making it the largest field ever sat to play poker outside of a Hold’em event in live poker history.

  • Largest Seniors Event in WSOP History: A record 5,918 players showed up for this year’s WSOP Seniors Championship, officially Event #32. That was up from the previous record of 5,389 in 2017.

  • Largest Online WSOP Gold Bracelet Ever: A record 2,972 entered this year’s $365 WSOP.com Online No-Limit Hold’em Bracelet Event.

  • Largest $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Field Size in Poker History: Event #42, the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller event drew 230 entries, the most ever at this buy-in level in this form of poker.

  • Most events with $1 million+ 1st Prize: 10 distinct events This year’s ten $1 million+ first place payouts easily surpassed the record of seven events with $1 million+ 1st place payouts set in 2016 and matched last year. (Event #5, Event #7, Event #21, Event #33, Event #42, Event #48, Event #49, Event #65, Event #77 and Event #78). Four of the seven events awarded multiple $1 million payouts. Event #5 (3 players), Event #65 (9 players), Event #77 (2 players) and Event #78 (5 players).

  • Most 4,000+ Field Sizes in One WSOP: A record 9 events had field sizes of 4,000 entries or more, a new record. Event 6 (8,920 entries; 6th largest field size ever); Event 7 (13,070 4th largest field size ever), Event #21 (7,361 entries), Event #32 (5,918 entries, largest seniors event ever), Event #34 (5,700 entries), Event #48 (6,260 entries), Event #62 (8,598 entries, 8th largest field size ever), Event #65 (7,874 entries, 2nd largest Main Event ever), Event #68 (4,732 entries).

  • Most cashes at WSOP without a win: Tony Cousineau of Daytona Beach, Fla., extended his record as the player with the most cashes – 84 – without a win. He cashed six times in 2018.

  • Most cashes in a single WSOP series: Chris Ferguson cashed 18 times at this year’s summer series, a new WSOP record. He reached two final tables and had over $250,000 in tournament earnings. Ferguson cashed six times at the 2017 WSOP Europe and 17 times at last year’s Vegas summer series for a total of 41 WSOP cashes since the start of 2017.

  • All-time Bracelets: Phil Hellmuth extended his record for most career bracelets to 15. Hellmuth won the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em (30-Minute Levels) event #71 for $485,082 and his first bracelet since 2015. This was Hellmuth’s 13th career bracelet victory in Hold’em. His other two bracelets came in Razz.

  • All-time Cashes and Final Tables: 15-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth added to his record as the individual all-time leader in cashes (138) with his eight cashes in 2018.

  • 100 WSOP Cashes: Chris Ferguson and Barry Greenstein collected their 100th career WSOP cashes at this year’s series. Ferguson cashed 18 times to bring his total to 115 cashes (2nd all-time) and Greenstein cashed 12 times to bring his total to 101 cashes (5th all-time).

  • Most Chinese Bracelet winners in a single year: China collected three gold bracelets this year after only having one total in the first 48 years of the series. Yueqi Zhu won Event #35, Longsheng Tan won Event #66 and Guoliang Wei won Event #68.

  • Most unique countries to win a bracelet: Players from 18 different countries won gold bracelets at this summer’s series – the most ever at a single series (last year players from 18 different countries won bracelets when including WSOP Europe). Daniel Ospina and Mike Takayama won the first bracelets ever for their countries - Colombia and the Philippines respectively - and Diogo Veiga won the first gold bracelet for an event outside of Europe for Portugal.

Related Links
Ranked Online Poker Rooms
Nevada Online Gambling
Rio Hotel & Casino Details
World Series of Poker Gaming Vendor Information

Featured Vendors
Betson Imperial Parts & Service
Imagine This
Betson Imperial Parts & Service
Your one stop shop for all your gaming and OEM needs!
Imagine This
Imagine This #1 Source for Player Gifts. Over $50 million in stock ready to ship! Let us serve you!
Shenzhen ZhengYuanTai Technology Co., Ltd.
Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (OIGA) Conference
Shenzhen ZhengYuanTai Technology Co., Ltd.
14 years experienced gaming display manufacturer: open frame, curved, and halo monitors
Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (OIGA) Conference
The biggest little show in Indian gaming! Save the date: August 12-14, 2024 Oklahoma City
Sunkist Graphics, Inc.
Casino Network
Sunkist Graphics, Inc.
Specializing in the creation of best-of-breed gaming graphics - slot glass, sign faces, and more
Casino Network
20+ years experience selling refurbished slot machines, parts & glass for all major brands
Casino Schedule Ease
Slot Machines Unlimited
Casino Schedule Ease
Full Featured & customizable for the complex scheduling needs of table games & other casino depts
Slot Machines Unlimited
Exporter of IGT, Williams, AVP, Trimline, Aristocrat, Konami, Bally, & parts over 20 yrs experience
Players Pal
Texas Slots & Gaming
Players Pal
Revolutionize the way you connect with your casino players with the Players Pal mobile app
Texas Slots & Gaming
Wholesale gaming reimagined. Texas Slots & Gaming is your sustainable gaming partner.
25th Annual TribalNet Conference Sept 16-19, 2024 Westgate Las Vegas
Background checks for the gaming industry with key & non-key packages & fingerprinting solutions
Talisman Group Creators of EZ Baccarat
Rymax Marketing Services, Inc.
Talisman Group Creators of EZ Baccarat
With over 800 tables in 150+ casinos, EZ Baccarat is the number one brand in baccarat.
Rymax Marketing Services, Inc.
Leader in creating award winning player & employee loyalty programs & events proven to increase ROI
Casino City Press
Dable Advisory & Consulting Services
Casino City Press
A leading publisher and distributor of casino and gaming business data and market research reports.
Dable Advisory & Consulting Services
Advisory & consulting services services for Indigenous entrepreneurs, businesses & organizations
Top One Tech Limited
Regulatory Management Counselors, PC
Top One Tech Limited
Global Touch solution partner of choice, 10+ years OEM manufacturing, 100,000+ units application
Regulatory Management Counselors, PC
Over 45 years of experience serving the legal and regulatory needs of casino industry clients

Your Guide to 14,945 Gaming Industry Suppliers