The final registration for the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event has been counted and first place will pay out a whopping $10 million thanks to a record-setting 8,569 entries.
The 2019 Main Event is officially the second-biggest tournament in WSOP history and trails only the 2006 edition, which attracted 8,772. It’s worth noting, however, that the 2006 Main Event was held prior to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passing in the USA, which heavily restricted the number of players who were able to qualify for the tournament online.
Regardless, the 2019 Main Event achieved several records of its own, including the biggest single starting day in the history of the tournament. Day 1C of the Main Event brought a stunning 4,008 players down to the Rio in Las Vegas.
The overall WSOP, which offered 90 different events including the Main Event, is also on track to be the biggest in terms of participation and prize money distributed.
Over 1,200 Players to Get a Piece of $80m Prize Pool
While everyone is chasing the $10-million first-place prize, there are still a large number of players who are going to walk away with a decent chunk of the tournament’s $80-million prize pool.
The 2019 Main Event will pay out a total of 1,286 spots with a minimum payout worth $15,000.
Interestingly, the 2019 Main Event will pay out more spots than any Main Event in history because the event used to be much more top-heavy and the record-holding 2006 edition only paid out 873 spots.
Meanwhile, every player at the nine-player final table will receive at least $1 million for their efforts in the tournament. The runner-up finisher will receive a very decent $6-million consolation prize.
Here's a complete look at the final-table payouts in the tournament:
The $10 million for first place will actually tie the 2010 Main Event as the second-biggest of all time. The 2010 Main Event, which Sweden’s Martin Jacobson won for $10 million, was particularly top-heavy as organizers liked the idea of a $10-million first-place prize so they reworked the payout structure. That event only paid out 693 players.
Meanwhile, Jamie Gold still holds the record as the biggest Sportsbook ever thanks to the $12 million he officially earned in the 2006 Main Event. That record is unlikely to be broken as the payout structure used to be notoriously more top-heavy. The overall number of entries, however, seems like a record that’s poised to fall.
The Main Event has risen in participation for four straight years and this year’s tournament was up nine percent over last year. In the end it only fell 203 entries short of breaking the all-time record, which was previously thought to be unassailable.
Brokos, Hall Near the Top of the Chip Counts
With all the starting days out of the way, the money bubble is starting to loom.
Day 3 kicks off later today with the remaining 2,880 players scheduled to resume play at noon local time.
Day 3 marks the first time that the entire field will play under one roof. The payouts begin with 1,286 players so they’ll at least get close today but there’s a good chance the money bubble won’t burst until Day 4 thanks to the huge number of entries in the tournament.
Notable poker pros Andrew Brokos (895,400 chips), Galen Hall (705,900) and Anthony Spinella (643,700) find themselves near the top of the chip counts and have a decent shot at making their way into the money.
There is also a large contingent of former Main Event champs still in the midst with Qui Nguyen (602,400), John Cynn (248,900) and Johnny Chan (232,500) in the mix.
One player who won’t get even a sniff of the money is legendary poker pro Phil Ivey, who actually busted in the first few levels of play on Day 1. Ivey famously made the final table of the 2009 Main Event but he’ll have to wait another year to play the world’s richest poker tournament.
Meanwhile, the marathon tournament continues until July 16, when a Sportsbook will finally be crowned. The event is broadcast on poker-streaming service PokerGO and ESPN.
Here’s a look at the top 10 chip counts to start Day 3 of the 2019 Main Event:
|#||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|1||Julian Milliard||United States||947,900||395|
|2||Vlastimil Pustina||Czech Republic||930,700||388|
|3||Andrew Brokos||United States||895,400||373|
|4||Aleksa Pavicevic||United States||867,700||362|
|5||Nai Hu||United States||798,300||333|
|7||Kainalu McCue-Unciano||United States||765,600||319|
|8||Dapeng Mu||United States||762,700||318|