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World Series of Poker -- First Week by the Attendance Numbers

Overall Attendance Growth so Far with a Few Events below Last Year’s Total


Pavilion Room at the RioOne week of tournaments has now taken place at the 2011 World Series of Poker and attendance at most events has increased from 2010. It would appear that more players are looking for live action at the Rio, whether it is in the cash games in the packed Pavilion room, or the bracelet events running daily. Here is a look at the gainers and losers so far from the bracelet events. Read on below to also see how the bracelet winners from the first week of the summer stack up.

Attendance Rises in Six Events

Six of the nine repeat events have experienced year-over-year growth from the 2010 WSOP this summer. The largest gain so far was seen in the $500 casino employee’s event, which experienced 17.9 percent growth over last year. Double-digit growth was also booked by the $1,500 six-handed no-limit hold’em event (14.4 percent growth), $1,500 Omaha eight-or-better event (13.1 percent growth), and the $1,500 deuce-to-seven lowball event (10 percent growth).

The other tournaments that grew the first week were the $5,000 no-limit hold’em event (9.2 percent growth), and the $1,500 limit hold’em event (8 percent growth). There is not a true pattern to be discerned from the attendance numbers so far. Hold’em events have seen both growth and decline, while events with low and high buy-ins have shown growth and decline as well.

The turnout for the $25,000 heads-up no-limit hold’em championship at least met but more likely exceeded expectations given the Black Friday environment. A field of 128 players participated in the first marquee event of the summer. The tournament was capped at 256 players, but with the hefty price tag, attendance was expected to fall from the 256 players who participated in the tournament last year, when it cost just $10,000 for an admission ticket.

Three Events Have Declined

Not every event has shown increased attendance so far and in one case a tournament declined by double-digit figures. That tournament was the $1,500 seven-card stud tournament that fell by 12.5 percent from 2010. The other two tournaments that saw decreased attendance were at the two extremes of the WSOP buy-in spectrum. The $10,000 pot-limit hold’em world championship fell by 7.1 percent, while the first of the low buy-in tournaments ($1,000 no-limit hold’em) targeted at the weekend warrior poker player saw a 3.8 percent decline.

The attendance figures at the 2011 WSOP will continue to be closely watched this summer as a barometer for the poker world post-Black Friday, and you can get a look at those numbers each week here at

2011 WSOP Completed Events Attendance Numbers:

Event No. 1 ($500 casino employees no-limit hold’em) – 850 players 2010 – 721 players (17.9 percent growth)

Event No. 2 ($25,000 heads-up no-limit hold’em championship) – new event 128 players

Event No. 3 ($1,500 Omaha eight-or-better) – 925 players 2010 – 818 players (13.1 percent growth)

Event No. 4 ($5,000 no-limit hold’em) – 865 players 2010 – 792 players (9.2 percent growth)

Event No. 5 ($1,500 seven-card stud) – 357 players 2010 – 408 players (12.5 percent decline)

Event No. 6 ($1,500 limit hold’em) – 675 players 2010 – 625 players (8 percent growth)

Event No. 7 ($10,000 pot-limit hold’em championship) – 249 players 2010 – 268 players (7.1 percent decline)

Event No. 8 ($1,000 no-limit hold’em) – 4,178 players 2010 – 4,345 players (3.8 percent decline)

Event No. 9 ($1,500 deuce-to-seven lowball) – 275 players 2010 – 250 players (10 percent growth)

Event No. 10 ($1,500 six-handed no-limit hold’em) – 1,920 players 2010 – 1,663 players (14.4 percent growth)

2011 WSOP Statistics — Week 1:

NOTE: Official statistics provided by

Through the conclusion of Event #9 (sans Event #8 which is still being played at press time), the 2011 WSOP has attracted 4,424 entries. $13,831,800 in prize money has been awarded to winners, so far.

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the nationality of gold bracelet winners has been:

United States (6)
Great Britain (2)

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the national origin (birth place) of winners has been:

United States (4)
Great Britain (2)
Ukraine (1)
Israel (1)

Through the conclusion of this event, the home-states of winners have been:

California (1)
Illinois (1)
New York (1)
New Jersey (1)
Florida (1)
Nevada (1)

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of professional poker players to semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets is as follows:

Professional Players (6): Jake Cody, Cheech Barbaro, Eugene Katchalov, Allen Bari, Harrison Wilder, Matt Perrins

Semi-Pros (2): Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot

Amateurs (0): None



over 10 years ago

Would ANYBODY like to know why the $500 Casino Employees Event saw in increase over 2010 numbers? Cuz the "geniuses" at Harrah's scheduled the Employees Event over Memorial Day Weekend!! Here's a newsflash for employees WORK major holiday weekends. I was surprised that you managed to get 721 people last year. This year the tournament was scheduled for tuesday May 31st, the DAY AFTER Memorial Day.....VOILA... more people turned out. DUH!!!


over 10 years ago