WSOP 2008 Final Numbers - Records Smashed!

WSOP Final Numbers - Records Smashed!

58,720 Entrants, $180,676,248 in Prize Money and 118 Different Nationalities Combine for Biggest WSOP Ever

LAS VEGAS (July 9, 2008) – It’s official – the 2008 World Series of Poker Presented by Milwaukee’s Best Light is the largest and richest in the event’s 39-year history.

Tournament officials today released final figures for the 55-event, 47-day poker extravaganza held annually each summer at the Rio® All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Both total player entries and payouts reached all-time highs, as did the number of countries and territories represented by the participants.

“The results this year demonstrate the increasing global appeal of our events and the universal recognition that winning a World Series of Poker gold bracelet is poker’s ultimate achievement,” said World Series of Poker Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack.

The records set at the 39th Annual World Series of Poker are:

  • 58,720 player entries (an increase of 4,432 or 8% over last year’s 54,288).
  • $180,676,248 prize pool (an increase of $20,880,030 over last year).
  • 118 different countries/territories entered into an event (an increase of 31)
  • 3,929 entrants in a non-Main Event – largest live tournament field in history
  • Event #2 - $1500 buy-in No Limit Texas Hold’em

The total number of countries and territories represented at this year’s WSOP – 118 – constitutes an amazing rise in global participation. The five-year trend best illustrates the growth, believed to be the largest global increase in any sport:


  • 2008 118 (36% increase y-o-y)
  • 2007 87 (61% increase y-o-y)
  • 2006 54 (32% increase y-o-y)
  • 2005 41 (32% increase y-o-y)
  • 2004 24

Players from every U.S. state and Canadian province have cashed at the 2008 WSOP, and to date more than 57 countries have cashed, with the Main Event payouts still to be determined.

The Main Event, the $10,000 buy-in World Championship of No Limit Texas Hold’em, the crown jewel of the annual global poker calendar, is now underway and will continue until July 14 when the field is whittled down to nine, with a champion then crowned on November 11. The Main Event opened with four starting days (July 3-6) to accommodate the second-largest field in history vying for a $9,119,517 first place prize.

Complete Main Event details are as follows:

  • Net Prize Pool: $64,333,600 (2007: 59,784,954)
  • # of Entries: 6,844 (2007: 6,358)
  • Players Paid: 666
  • 1st Place: $9,119,517 (2007: $8,250,000)
  • 2nd Place: $5,790,024
  • 3rd Place: $4,503,352
  • 4th Place: $3,763,515
  • 5th Place: $3,088,012
  • 6th Place: $2,412,510
  • 7th Place: $1,769,174
  • 8th Place: $1,286,672
  • 9th Place: $900,670
  • 666th Place: $21,230
  • Defending Champ: Jerry Yang

November Nine will be vying for a prize pool of $32,633,446

The most notable innovation at the 2008 World Series of Poker will be a groundbreaking format change for the Main Event. For the first time 39-year WSOP history, the Final Table of the Main Event will be televised in primetime on ESPN the very same day that the WSOP World Champion receives his/her bracelet.

Once the final nine players of the Main Event are set on July 14, action will be suspended for 117 days. The November NineSM players will have an opportunity during that time to secure sponsors and coaches, study their opponents’ play and devise new playing strategies before reconvening at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino on Nov. 9 to compete for the most coveted prize in poker.

The Main Event winner will be determined in the early morning hours of Nov. 11 and, in a telecast first, ESPN will air its November Nine final table coverage that night beginning at 9:00 PM ET.

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.