39th Annual World Series of Poker* Breaks Several Key Records

39th Annual World Series of Poker* Breaks Several Key Records

New Milestones Set as Main Event Registration Continues

LAS VEGAS – July 5, 2008 – The 39th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) presented by Milwaukee’s Best Light, drawing on its unprecedented international appeal, has proved largely impervious to the challenging economic conditions plaguing the broader U.S. economy. With registration for the WSOP’s most popular event remaining open for another 24 hours, the poker extravaganza that began May 30 at the Rio® All-Suite Hotel and Casino and continues through July 14, already has established a wide variety of new milestones:

  • Most total registrants. Final numbers are not yet available, but the 55 events at this year’s WSOP already have generated more player registrations than the previous record (54,288 in 2007)
  • Largest total prize pool. While registration in the $10,000 No-Limit Texas Hold’em World Championship – commonly referred to as the Main Event – remains open, the total prize pool for the 2008 WSOP already exceeds the previous record of $159,796,918 set in 2007.
  • Most countries/territories represented. Not including Main Event participants, players from 104 different countries/territories have competed in 2008 WSOP events – more than in the 2006 Winter Olympics. A final number of countries will be available following the close of Main Event registration on Sunday, July 6. The previous record number of countries represented at the WSOP was 87, set in 2007.
  • Largest non-Main Event field: 3,929 players each put up $1,500 to compete in the 2008 WSOP’s first no-limit hold’em tournament that began May 31.
  • First Family: The Hinkle brothers, from Kansas City, Mo., became the first-ever set of brothers to win bracelets in the same year. Grant won Event #2 and $831,432; Blair won Event #23 and $507,563. The Hinkles become only the second set of brothers to win bracelets at the WSOP, joining the Pearsons: Puggy (1973) and J.C. (1994).

“This has been an incredible season and we’re not done yet,” said World Series of Poker Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack. “So far, players from 56 countries, every state in the U.S. and every Canadian province have cashed at this year’s WSOP. When all is said and done, we’re going to award more prize money to more players than at any other point in our illustrious 39-year history.”

The 39th annual World Series of Poker began May 30 and runs through July 14 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The Main Event, with four start dates to accommodate the large playing field, began on July 3. The Final Table will be determined on July 14. The nine players who advance to the Final Table will return to the Rio on November 9 to play down to just two players. The final two will then go head-to-head late in the evening of November 10 to determine the champion and winner of poker’s ultimate prize.