WSOP Main Event Inside Data: Fields Growing, Women Underrepresented, California Dreamin’

July 6th, 2018 by Jon Sofen

Numbers can be misleading, but they do not lie. The 2018 WSOP Main Event proved at least two things: Thousands still dream of becoming a poker world champion, but women remain few and far between at the $10,000 tables during poker’s most important annual event.

2018 WSOP Main Event

The 2018 WSOP Main Event was the second largest in history, but women were underrepresented again. (Image: CardsChat News)

Poker on the Rise

With 7,874 entries, this year’s Main Event was the second largest in the tournament’s 49-year history, behind only the 8,773 players (won by Jamie Gold) in 2006, right in the heart of the poker boom era.

Perhaps equally impressive, Day 1C on Wednesday had 4,571 entries, making it the largest starting flight in Main Event history. And to think many were concerned poker players would shy away from playing on the 4th of July and predicted poker’s world championship event would see a significant decline in attendance as a result.

WSOP big wigs seem to know what they’re doing.

WSOP entry totals

CardsChat News Data

Detailed stats prior to 2008 are unavailable but we can make a few conclusions from the above graph, all of which are positive.

First, poker’s only annual tournament televised live on cable is as popular as ever, a great sign for the future of the game.

Since 2015, there has been an increase from the previous year in Main Event participation. Immediately following the April 2011 Black Friday scandal that forced all the major poker sites out of the US, the game’s popularity dropped, and it showed with declining attendance three straight years in the Main Event.

But as you can tell from the graph, the Black Friday hangover appears to be over and the world’s most prestigious poker tournament is thriving again.

John Olsen, from Mississippi, at age 88, was the oldest entry in the 2018 WSOP Main Event. Olsen successfully bagged chips on Day 1B. The youngest player in the field, Nicholas Dashineau from Pennsylvania, turned 21 on July 1. He also advanced to Day Two.

WSOP Main Event starting day field sizes

Day 1C in 2018 set a record for the biggest single starting flight for a WSOP main event. (Data: CardsChat News)

Women Still MIA

Poker is unquestionably thriving among men, but women remain underrepresented in poker rooms all around the world and at the Main Event.

Last year, just 272 of the 7,221 entries were female (3.7 percent), a troubling stat for those who advocate women in poker. There wasn’t much improvement this year, with only 3.8 percent (301 of 7,874) of the field being women.

There is, however, one small positive stat in this area to share. Only one female age 21-25 ponied up $10,000 to compete in the 2017 Main Event. This year, that demographic increased to five, which could be a positive sign for the future of women in poker.

California Invades Nevada

The Main Event attracts an international field, but 73 percent of those who registered in 2018 reside in America. With 415 entries (5.2 percent), Canada was the second most represented country in poker’s championship event.

Of the 5,758 Americans in the field, there was at least five residents in each of the 50 states plus Washington DC. Only five folks from West Virginia traveled out west for the Main Event, the lowest representation from any state.

Unsurprisingly, California had more participants than any other state or country (1,009), meaning there’s a 12.8 percent chance the 2018 world champion will hail from the Golden State.

Top 5 Most Represented States in 2018 Main Event Field

1 California (1,009)
2 Nevada (626)
3 Florida (519)
4 New York (456)
5 Texas (350)

8 Responses to “WSOP Main Event Inside Data: Fields Growing, Women Underrepresented, California Dreamin’”

  1. Andrew Popov says:

    As permissions and licensing for online games appear in some states, off-line content of tournaments will increase. The more people constantly have the opportunity to play poker online – the more they want to come and take part in a live game. Moreover, poker rooms often hold satellites and have the opportunity to win BI for participation.

  2. cocojambo says:

    The women should participate more in these events.They are big oportunities to win big amount of money.

  3. DeN4iK310882 says:

    What I like about poker is that it is accessible to everyone and millions of people play it. It’s amazing that women rarely play at such expensive tournaments. I often play with girls in poker, they are very good at it.

  4. ruppelkaren says:

    This news is very interesting. the wsop main event is very accessible for everyone. Hopefully, poker will continue to advance for women, and that poker will return live as it was before with face-to-face tournaments.

  5. acidburnfx says:

    Good news! This shows that there was a significant increase in the participation of women live. Gradually, the game becomes more accessible, this is only a matter of time.

  6. akmost says:

    I love numbers and graphs.Hopefully more and more women are participating.To be honest I believe that women have an advantage over us because they know how to read better the body language.So at least at the early stages where the field is consisting with many type of players a good female player has a tremendous advantage!
    Poker is a mental game which means that can be played by both genders. Let’s see what future brings!

  7. Spaceman says:

    While it may seem that the number grows, the truth is that women are still underrepresented in poker. If they really wanted to have more woman, they could easily lower the buyin for women. The truth is they dont care to have more women, and most women perceive poker as a man’s bussiness.

  8. MrHachiman says:

    I think that women have great potential in live poker, their average emotional intelligence should be higher than that of men. While we still maintain an advantage in online poker. They should play more this type of events

Leave a Comment

Other Articles Of Interest