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WSOP 2023 Is Upon Us – Here Are 15 Cool Facts About The Legendary Poker Festival

Gary McLellan
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The WSOP attracts thousands of poker players from across the world including many celebrities. Millions of people tune in and watch the cards being dealt for the main event every summer. How much do you know about the WSOP? Let’s look at some interesting facts you probably didn’t know.

    1. Young Players Dominating – The average age of the last fifteen Main Event Champions is 29, showcasing the talent and success of relatively young poker players in the tournament.
    2. Invented the Mystery Bounty – The World Series of Poker (WSOP) brand holds the distinction of inventing the ever-growing Mystery Bounty format. The inaugural Mystery Bounty event was initially planned for the WSOP 2020 live series. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the series got canceled, preventing the format from being tested. Subsequently, Wynn adopted the concept a year later and organized its own version.
    3. Booming Business – In 2022, WSOP accumulated an impressive sum of nearly $33 million through staff and tournament fees, underscoring the financial significance of the event.
    4. Largest Prize Pool – With a staggering prize money pool exceeding $300 million, the WSOP stands as one of the most lucrative sports betting events globally, attracting top poker talent from around the world.
    5. International Sport – Players from 68 different countries have achieved victory in the WSOP, with the United States leading with 1486 wins.
    6. First Woman to Cash – Wendeen H. Eolis from New York holds the distinction of being the first woman to cash in the WSOP Main Event, accomplishing this feat in 1986 and repeating it in 1993. The WSOP 2022 Main Event witnessed the participation of 375 women, accounting for 4.32% of the total field.
    7. Youngest Player -Annette Obrestad holds the record as the youngest person to win a WSOP bracelet. She achieved this milestone at the 2007 World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE).
    8. PokerStars Collaboration – In 2008, PokerStars played a pivotal role in qualifying over 2,000 players to participate in the WSOP Main Event. This remarkable achievement accounted for approximately 30% of the total field for the 2008 Main Event, demonstrating the influence and impact of online poker platforms.
    9. Satellite Success – While Chris Moneymaker is widely recognized for his role in sparking the online poker boom by winning his 2003 Main Event seat in an $86 buy-in satellite on PokerStars, it was actually Tom McEvoy who became the first player to win the Main Event after earning his entry through a satellite in 1993. McEvoy’s victory paved the way for future satellite success stories.
    10. Launch of Online Bracelets – The WSOP introduced its first-ever online bracelet event in 2015. The event attracted an impressive 905 entrants, resulting in a substantial prize pool of $859,750. In 2018, Matthew Mendez, a Florida native residing in New Jersey, achieved a significant milestone by winning a $565 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) online bracelet. Mendez’s victory marked the first time a player won a gold bracelet outside of Nevada, highlighting the global reach and impact of online WSOP events.
    11. 298 Bracelets Rewarded – To date, a total of 298 bracelets have been awarded through WSOP.com and GGPoker platforms. This year, WSOP.com plans to award at least 34 bracelets to players in the US, while additional bracelets will be given out to international players on the GGPoker platform, further expanding the global reach and inclusivity of the event.
    12. 1971 First WSOP Event – Johnny Moss was the first winner at the very first WSOP format tournament. Only 7 players took part with a $5k buy-in and Moss took home a prize of $30k.
    13. Affordable Buy-Ins – The WSOP has hosted the most affordable bracelet events with a buy-in of just $50. These events took place twice online on the GGPoker platform in 2020 and 2021, attracting impressive participation with 44,576 and 30,810 runners, respectively.
    14. Online Poker Booming – In 2022, online events surpassed live events in terms of bracelet distribution. Out of the 198 gold bracelets awarded that year, 110 were won virtually, while 88 were contested in-person in Las Vegas. This shift highlights the growing prominence and popularity of betting apps in the modern WSOP landscape.
    15. Mom and Son – Farhintaj Bonyadi made history as the first mother of a bracelet winner to win a bracelet herself. In 2018, she emerged victorious in the Super Seniors event, earning $311,451. Her son, Farzad Bonyadi, has won three bracelets.


Gary McLellan

Gary is an editor here at legalsportsbooks.com and an avid sports fan with a plethora of sports betting knowledge. Using his expertise to bring you the latest tips for betting on your favorite teams, sports news, and other sports betting-related content from across the US.