Wed, Jul 26, 11:25am by Jonathan Zaun
For the first time in the 48-year history of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), more than 120,000 tournament entries were tallied – shattering a record established just last year.
Per a press release issued by WSOP.com’s number-crunchers, a total of 120,995 separate buy-ins – ranging in price point from USD$365 to USD$111,111 – were posted by poker players throughout the 74-event schedule.
That handily beat the mark of 107,833 set during the 2016 WSOP summer, with attendance rising by 12.2 percent overall.
Players representing 111 nations traveled to the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, with the United States providing the bulk of entries at 94,087. Next on the list was Canada (4,951), followed by the United Kingdom (4,310), and France (1,546).
WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart celebrated the event’s status as a truly global destination:
“On behalf of the entire WSOP team, our heartfelt thank you to poker players from around the globe who showed up in droves to be part of the biggest World Series of Poker yet.”
“It was another terrific year of huge prize pools and memorable moments. We will catch our breath and then get to work on 2018 planning.”
As for Australia, the country’s 1,223 entries put it fifth on the global attendance list – an increase of three spots over last year. At the 2016 WSOP, Aussies put up only 955 entries after making poker’s annual pilgrimage.
One of Australia’s top performers this time around was James Obst, a longtime professional hailing from Adelaide who has amassed USD$2,667,638 in live tournament earnings to date.
Of that impressive career haul, Obst brought home just over 20 percent via his stellar 2017 WSOP campaign – earning USD$543,617 over his 10 cashes on the summer.
In search of his first career gold bracelet, Obst endured a painful runner-up finish to American pro Jesse Martin in Event #7: USD$2,500 Limit Mixed Triple Draw Lowball.
He continued grinding, however, and by the time Event #26: USD$10,000 Razz World Championship concluded Obst had broken through to claim his first WSOP victory.
Another Aussie to bring home the gold was Heidi May, a native of Hobart who had USD$103,348 in live tournament earnings to her credit before the big win. May took down top honors in Event #70: USD$1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship, overcoming a field of 718 runners to bag the USD$135,098 first-prize payout.
Throughout the six weeks of nonstop tournament action, a pair of accomplished pros managed to win not one but two gold bracelets.
David Bach of the U.S. won Event #11: USD$1,500 Dealer’s Choice Six-Handed for USD$119,399, and less than two weeks later he captured the crown in Event #30: USD$10,000 H.O.R.S.E. World Championship to add another USD$383,208 to his bankroll.
Nipun Java of India turned the trick twice too.
First, Java played alongside his countryman Aditya Sushant to win Event #10: USD$1,000 Tag-Team No-Limit Hold’em, with the pair pocketing USD$75,319 apiece. Java then closed his series out in style, winning Event #71: $1,000 WSOP.com Online No-Limit Hold’em Championship for USD$237,688.
All told, the 2017 WSOP dispensed an astounding USD$231,010,874 in payouts to 16,814 ‘cashers’, with the average winner’s take coming to USD$528,736.
The WSOP’s flagship tournament, the USD$10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event, drew 7,221 unique entries – marking a 7.2 percent increase from last year’s attendance of 6,737. The only WSOP Main Events to attract more players were the 2006 and 2010 editions, which brought 8,773 and 7,319 hopefuls into the fold, respectively.
This year’s numbers generated a massive prize pool of USD$67,877,700, which was obviously the largest of any event on this year’s schedule. American pro Scott Blumstein – playing in his first WSOP tournament of any kind – won poker’s World Championship to claim the lion’s share of USD$8,150,000.
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