More money, more people: 2022 had the biggest WSOP ever

Jon Pill
Posted on: July 27, 2022 09:09 PDT

Now that the chairs are stacked, tables folded, and the dust is settling on the I-15 out of Vegas, we can look back at the 2022 World Series of Poker and draw a few conclusions.

The one that stands out most satisfyingly is the fact that the headlines claiming that poker isn't dead continue to be correct. The turnout for the 2021 WSOP seems to have been more than just pent-up demand spending itself. In fact, the WSOP seems to have more or less picked up where it left off in 2019.

If you pretend that 2020 and 2021 never happened (and let's face it, we all wish we could) there's a smoothly rising slope to be drawn through the Main Event attendance numbers from about 2015 to this year. 2022's Main Event ended up being the second biggest in the series's history. If the trend holds, 2023 has an excellent chance of being the biggest.

The biggest game in town

While the 2022 flagship tournament may have fallen just shy of being the largest edition of the Main Event ever, in several other ways the 2022 WSOP did set records for scale.

For a start, when it comes to cash prizes awarded, 2019 used to be the biggest year on record. Players paid $293,183,345 plus rake in 2019. This number was in part due to a steadily increasing number of side events, but reflected a general increase in the game's popularity. 2022 smashed the 2019 record by around $50 million.

The total paid out in prizes at this year's WSOP was $333,362,004. This came largely from an increase in attendance numbers. This year saw the largest number of tournament entries of any WSOP ever.

Before September this year, the 2019 WSOP was also the biggest year on record for the number of entries buying into tournaments with 187,298 entries. This year saw 198,429 entries bought and paid for.

Big numbers

The number of events seems to have roughly stabilized now.

There were 88 live bracelet events this year, with an additional 13 online bracelets for players on WSOP NV and WSOP NJ. Earlier in the year sixteen other bracelets were awarded on the Pennsylvania and Michigan editions of the WSOP app.

Some other key — but not necessarily records setting — statistics sourced from Pokerfuse include the fact that the average tournament prize pool was around $3.5 million, with the vast majority (71 of 88) of live events have $1 million or more in the prize pool. 25 players became pre-tax millionaires from their WSOP cashes this year.

Here's hoping that the 2023 WSOP see's a whole new set of records smash the old.

Featured image source: PokerGO