The World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event prize pool currently stands at over $74m thanks to a Day 1c record turnout of 4,571 players, which saw the overall field becoming the second largest in the events 18 year history.
The total field at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada stands at 7,874 entrances, with the first-place prize now standing at an impressive $8.8m.
The WSOP organisers put the “larger-than-usual turnouts” down to the events concurrence with the 4 July weekend, a federal holiday in the US.
Only the 2006 WSOP Main Event attracted more participants and offered a larger prize. Jamie Gold beat a field of 8,773 players to take home the main prize of $12m.
However, attendances have been increasing for the past three years now, up from 6,420 in 2015, raising the question that tournament poker participation and popularity could be on the up in the US.
Patrick Antonius, the Finnish pro poker play who has sat on three WSOP Final tables, is one of the attendees, making his first appearance in the tournament for six years.
Frenchman Samuel Touil will be Antonius’ main rival as he currently tops the chip leader board with 352,800, with second place Pete Forsstrom currently on 283,200 chips.