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Top 10 facts and figures from the 2017 WSOP Media Guide

25 May 2017

Buckle up. The 48th World Series of Poker begins on Tuesday at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Played at a dizzying pace, 74 events will take place over a 54-day span, culminating with the crowning of the $10,000 Main Event champion on July 22.



Of course, the WSOP made a big splash last week when it announced a number of changes for this year's tournament, the most notable being that the November Nine format for the Main Event has been eliminated, much to the chagrin of some of us. Instead, the Main Event final table will be played out in July, in front of a semi-live TV audience.

Last week, the intrepid WSOP Media Relations team sent out the 2017 WSOP Media Guide. We scoured through the 88-page document, and while we found hundreds and hundreds of great tidbits, here are 10 of the most compelling to help you prepare for the most significant stretch of the poker calendar.

Enjoy, and we'll see you at the Rio!

Qui Nguyen during the 2016 WSOP.

Qui Nguyen during the 2016 WSOP. (photo by Drew Amato)

10. $1.9 billion
That's the total prize pool for the last 10 WSOPs, a figure that's nearly quadruple the amount of the first 37 years combined ($530 million).

In 2016, the WSOP hosted five of the top 25 tournaments of all time, including the 2nd, 9th, 10th, 13th and 14th largest events in WSOP history. Eight of the top 10 largest WSOP tournaments of all time have been in the past three years.

Overall, in its 47-year history, the WSOP has now awarded $2,499,476,132 in total prize money.

9. 23
That's the number of millionaires the WSOP minted in 2016. And of those 23 players that won at least $1 million, seven topped the $2 million plateau, led by Main Event champion Qui Nguyen ($8,005,310).

If you include earnings from the WSOP Circuit, 487 players have earned $1 million or more in their WSOP careers. The WSOP expects that number to eclipse 500 this year when another 20 or so players cash in for at least $1 million.

8. $333 to $111,111
That's the range of the buy-ins for the bracelet events being offered at this year's WSOP. Yes, that's right, for as little as $333 you can enter and have a chance to become a WSOP bracelet winner. That's the beauty of the WSOP: You don't have to have a huge bankroll to sit down and play.

The lowest buy-in tournament this year is new to the schedule. It's the $333 WSOP.com Online No Limit Hold'em event, beginning June 3 at, of course, 3:33 p.m.

However, if you do happen to have exorbitant funds available, you could take your shot at the highest buy-in event, the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop, beginning 2 June. A portion of each buy-in will be donated directly to the One Drop Foundation. The WSOP has raised over $18 million for the water charity since partnering with it in 2012.

7. 1,321
That's the number of gold bracelets that have been awarded in WSOP history. This figure includes every official WSOP event played, including tournaments during the early years when there were no actual bracelets awarded. It also includes the Gold Bracelets awarded outside of the Las Vegas WSOP.

6. $500,000
Speaking of bracelets, that's the cost of the WSOP Main Event prize, which the media guide claims is the "most expensive trophy in sports."

During the early years, WSOP bracelets were simply a heavy gold chain, worth a couple hundred bucks. Today, most bracelets are worth thousands of dollars and include diamonds and other gemstones, along with 18-karat gold, white gold or yellow gold, depending on the year and particular bracelet. Jostens is the official bracelet supplier of the WSOP.

5. 14
Sticking with the bracelet theme, 14 is the number Phil Hellmuth has won, the most of all time. The Poker Brat's most recent WSOP victory came in the 2015 $10,000 Razz Championship. That was Hellmuth's second career gold bracelet in Razz, with the other 12 coming in Hold’em events. Overall, Hellmuth has $13.6 million in WSOP earnings and 119 cashes, which is also an all-time high.

Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan and Phil Ivey are tied for second on the all-time bracelet list with 10 apiece, followed by Johnny Moss (9) and Erik Siedel (8).

4. 6
That's the record for the number of players to win multiple bracelets at a single WSOP. It happened in 2003 when Hellmuth, Men Nguyen, Layne Flack, Chan, John Juanda and Chris Ferguson all won two apiece.

Only six players have won three bracelets in a single year: Puggy Pearson (1973), Hellmuth (1993), Ted Forrest (1993), Ivey (2002), Jeff Lisandro (2009) and George Danzer (2014).

Phil Hellmuth at the 2016 Little One for One Drop No Limit tournament.

Phil Hellmuth at the 2016 Little One for One Drop No Limit tournament.

3. 74
That's the number of WSOP cashes that Tony Cousineau has in his career without winning a bracelet, which is the current record. The Daytona, Florida native ranks ninth all-time in WSOP cashes and has earned $837,280. He has had his share of close calls, with 11 top 10 finishes. The closest he came to a bracelet is when he finished fourth in the $1,500 Omaha Limit Event in 2001.

Last year, Roland Israelashvili passed Tom McCormick for the No. 2 spot on this infamous list after cashing 13 times, bringing his total to 63 cashes and $1.6 million in earnings with zero bracelets.

2. 22
There are 22 players who have cashed in the $10,000 Main Event six or more times. Leading the way is Berry Johnston with 10. The last time Johnston cashed in the Main Event was in 2007, when he finished 113rd for $58,570.

Cashing in the 2016 Main Event and moving up the list were Johnny Chan (8), Donnacha O'Dea (7) and Aditya Agarwal (6).

1. $0.00
That's the amount of prize money won by Johnny Moss back in 1970 when he beat a field of seven players to win the first World Series of Poker Main Event.

As explained in the media guide, in 1970 Benny Binion decided to "stage a battle of poker giants – dubbed the "World Series of Poker" – to determine who would be worthy of the title World Champion. Some of the best players in the country were assembled, and Johnny Moss came out on top. The decision was democratic in that the champion was decided by popular vote.

Don't feel too bad for Johnny, though. He went on to win nine WSOP bracelets, which to this day ranks him fifth all-time, including two more Main Event triumphs. Overall, Moss ended his career with 27 WSOP cashes worth $837,422.
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Best of Gary Trask
Gary Trask

Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has more than 20 years experience as a writer and editor.

A member of the inaugural Poker Hall of Fame Media Committee, Gary enjoys playing poker and blackjack, but spends most of his time sitting in the comfy confines of the sportsbook when in Las Vegas.

The Boston native is also a former PR pro in the golf-casino-resort industry and a fanatical golfer, allowing his two favorite hobbies - gambling and golf - to collide quite naturally.

Contact Gary at gary@casinocity.com and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

Gary Trask Websites:

twitter.com/#!/casinocityGT
Gary Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has more than 20 years experience as a writer and editor.

A member of the inaugural Poker Hall of Fame Media Committee, Gary enjoys playing poker and blackjack, but spends most of his time sitting in the comfy confines of the sportsbook when in Las Vegas.

The Boston native is also a former PR pro in the golf-casino-resort industry and a fanatical golfer, allowing his two favorite hobbies - gambling and golf - to collide quite naturally.

Contact Gary at gary@casinocity.com and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

Gary Trask Websites:

twitter.com/#!/casinocityGT