Short Stacks: WSOP Expects Record-Breaking Year

4 min read

Today is the day first day of the World Series of Poker, the eight-week poker party that’s experiencing a sort of rebirth with its move from the Rio to Bally’s and Paris on the Las Vegas Strip. 

Phil Ivey
Phil Ivey talks to WSOP vice president Jack Effel while waiting for the start of the $100K High Rollers event on Day 1 of the WSOP (Image: Kevin Mathers)

Ty Stewart, WSOP Executive Director, is optimistic this year’s Series will be so successful and generate so much buzz, that they’ll break the Main Event’s attendance number from 2006. 

“I will be on record that this year I’m taking the over on 8,774. There’s no reason for us not to break the all-time Main Event record. I expect that we will do it. From what we’ve seen in trends around the world, we know there’s pent-up demand,” said Stewart at a press conference last Thursday.

To accomplish this, Caesars hired more than 1,000 dealers, which is the most ever for a WSOP, Stewart said. They’ll work 582 tables spread through the venues: also a record. 

And Stewart has the room to make a run at attendance records. Everything from the square footage of the entire venue to the number of cages is bigger than at the Rio. 

Caesars released a fun video starring announcers Norman Chad and Lon McEachern touring the facility.

Only one person will get into Poker Hall of Fame 

Like the last two years, only one person will be voted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2022.

The Poker Hall of Fame inducted two players per year from 2005-2019, but switched things up in 2020. 

The criteria for entry remain the same (from the WSOP):

  • A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
  • Be a minimum of 40 years old at the time of nomination
  • Played for high stakes
  • Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers
  • Stood the test of time
  • For non-players, contributed to the overall growth and success of the game of poker, with indelible positive and lasting results.

Eli Elezra received last year’s honor, which is voted on by members.

No mask, no vax, no problem

There are no COVID restrictions at this year’s WSOP and, unlike last year, proof of vaccination isn’t required. 

It’s also up to the players and dealers if they want to wear a mask or not while sitting next to a sniffling grinder for 12 hours who just licked the wing sauce off their fingers before raising. 


Lon McEachern has COVID

The c0-announcer of the WSOP took to Twitter to warn anyone who had contact with him over the past few days that he’s on the mend with the rhinovirus that has made mince-meat out of, well, everything for the last two years. 

Jack Binion’s Steak House to open on Strip

As part of its rebrand to the Horseshoe, Bally’s will soon get a Jack Binion’s Steak House. 

Caesar’s has a Jack Binion’s Steaks in most of its Horseshoe’s around the country. Named after the former president of Binions Casino, it’s designed to emulate the classic steakhouse that existed in the original Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Vegas. 

Bally’s poker room won’t be open this WSOP

Bally’s poker room is in the process of being renovated and rebranded into a WSOP-themed room, but because of supply issues, it won’t be open during this year’s WSOP.

The same supply issues have delayed the total rebranding of Bally’s into a Horseshoe until the end of this year. 

Cash games during the WSOP will be spread at Paris. 

Plenty of parking at Paris and Bally’s  

To rent a car, or not to rent a car, that is the question many WSOP players have this year. They should know that while some poker VIPs can use any of the parking spaces that serve Bally’s and Paris for free, most drivers will have to pay.

Parking prices at the WSOP. (Image: WSOP)

Parking is free for Caesars Platinum members or for folks that hold a Caesars credit card.

For those who don’t want to deal with traffic and or pay for parking on the Strip, there are plenty of other ways to get around Vegas.

Land of the $14 hot dog

McEachern called the new home of the WSOP “poker’s new Yankee Stadium” at the press conference, and although he was talking about the opulence of the two venues, he was slightly off. 

Not even the Yankees charge $14 for a hot dog.

The Yankees charge one of the lowest prices for a dog: $3. 

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