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Poker Leaderboard: WSOP Main Event Fields

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Oct 20, 2021


Year Entries Champion Prize Pool Top Payout
2006 8,773 Jamie Gold $82,512,162 $12,000,000
2019 8,569 Hossein Ensan $80,548,600 $10,000,000
2018 7,874 John Cynn $74,015,600 $8,800,000
2010 7,319 Jonathan Duhamel $68,798,600 $8,944,310
2017 7,221 Scott Blumstein $67,877,400 $8,150,000
2011 6,865 Pius Heinz $64,531,000 $8,715,638
2008 6,844 Peter Eastgate $64,333,600 $9,152,416
2016 6,737 Qui Nguyen $63,327,800 $8,005,310
2014 6,683 Martin Jacobson $62,820,200 $10,000,000

The World Series of Poker no-limit hold’em main event has surpassed 8,000 entries just twice in its 51-year history. The first time came in 2006, when 8,773 players put up the five-figure buy-in to set the record for the largest field in main event history. As a result of the massive turnout, Jamie Gold earned the record top prize of $12 million, which remained the largest payout ever awarded in a poker tournament until the $1 million buy-in Big One For One Drop paid out over $18 million to Antonio Esfandiari in 2012. That record has since been broken a few additional times.

The second-largest turnout for the WSOP main event came 13 years after Gold’s victory, and was coincidentally the last time the main event was held entirely live. The 2019 WSOP main event drew 8,569 entries, with Iranian-German Hossein Ensan securing the third eight-figure payout in the history of the world championship, following in the footsteps of Gold and 2014 winner Martin Jacobson.

The 2014 main event featured a guaranteed top payout of $10 million, which is why Jacobson received a larger first-place prize than some champions who overcame larger fields to win their main event bracelet.

John Cynn defeated the third-largest field in main event history, topping 7,874 entries in the 2018 running to earn $8,800,000. Cynn also finished 11th in the 2016 main event, which sits in ninth place on this leaderboard with 6,737 entries.

The main event has averaged more than 7,000 players from 2006 through 2019. While the online-live hybrid version held in 2020 drew a much lower turnout than in previous years with just 1,379 entries between the domestic and international online events, numbers are expected to bounce back this year with the series back in Las Vegas. Only time will tell just how many players pony up the $10,000 buy-in in 2021.