World Series of Poker Main Event Attendance Record in Sight — Update: Record Broken


Inside the chaotic halls of the Paris and Horseshoe casinos yesterday, more than 3,000 players threw $10,000 into the pot for a chance at World Series of Poker Main Event glory — and possibly be part of the biggest field in Main Event history.

Jamie Gold

Jamie Gold kicked off the 2023 Main Event, which should break the record set ion 2006, the year he won. (Image: WSOP)

The final of four “Day 1s” of the Main Event begins today, and although the numbers aren’t yet official, the record of 8,773 Main Event entrants set in 2006 is within sight. Momentum is on the WSOP’s side as it was nearly broke last year, but came 111 players short.

Big numbers no matter

After three days, about 5,237 players have registered (with so many players, it will take the WSOP a bit to settle on the exact figure). But using their numbers, that’s 1,584 more after three days than in 2022. It breaks down like this:

  • Day 1A: 1,039
  • Day 1B: 1,118
  • Day 1C: 3,080

If that trend continues through Saturday, VP of WSOP Jack Effel and WSOP’s Executive Director Ty Stewart will have their headlines.

It will still require 3,537 entrants today, tomorrow and Saturday in order to get to 8,774.

The WSOP made the schedule anticipating that today will be a huge day in terms of entrants.

Day 2ABC for the players who survived through the first five levels and found a bag in the first three flights begins tomorrow. The players in Day 1D who make it through today will play Saturday.

Players who have yet entered can register late for the Main Event on both Day 2s.

Sunday will be the first day all the remaining players will be in the building at the same time. Five levels of play are scheduled for all the days, and the final nine should be revealed late Friday, July 14.

Those players get a day off before sitting down to play for the $10 million top prize on Sunday, when they play down to four. The winner will be determined Monday, July 17.

Jamie Gold in house

Jamie Gold, the blueberry-eating winner of the biggest Main Event in history, was given the honor to kick-off this year’s contest with the traditional “shuffle up and deal!”

He played on the first day and made it through with 163,500, good for 59th in his flight.

Gold built a huge chip stack in Day 4 the year he won, and bullied and badgered his way to the victory, often talking players into doing exactly what he wanted them to do.

That year is considered a sort of high watermark for the WSOP and tournament poker as the game was experiencing a world-wide explosion that seeped into pop-culture and put the term “all-in” in our collective consciousness.

The ball that Chris Money helped start in 2003 keeps rolling.

Main Event attendence 2006-2022

  • 2006 — 8,773
  • 2007 — 6,358
  • 2008 — 6,844
  • 2009 — 6,494
  • 2010 — 7,319
  • 2011 — 6,865
  • 2012 — 6,598
  • 2013 — 6,352
  • 2014 — 6,683
  • 2015 — 6,420
  • 2016 — 6,737
  • 2017 — 7,221
  • 2018 — 7,874
  • 2019 — 8,569
  • 2020 — 674*
  • 2021 — 6,650
  • 2022 — 8,663
  • 2023 — ????

*Series was cancelled, tourney was online until final table

The WSOP, particular Effel and Stewart, deserve credit for the increased numbers this year. They helped implement a Main Event satellite weekend at Caesars properties across the country in May, and secured a promise from their global online partner GGPoker to send 500 players to the Main Event.

Tips, corrections, or kudos:

Written by
Bob Pajich
Bob Pajich is a poker news reporter, creative writer, and poker player who never met suited connectors he didn't like. Tips, corrections, complaints and kudos should go to

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