In fact, a whopping 4,571 entries on the Fourth of July’s 2018 WSOP Main Event Day 1C made it the largest starting flight in WSOP Main Event history. The 2017 WSOP set the previous starting-flight record of 4,262 on Day 1C last year. The WSOP has run annually in Las Vegas, Nevada since 1970.
The event’s first starting flight is traditionally its smallest and drew 925 entries on July 2 this year. On July 3, the 2018 WSOP Main Event’s Day 1B drew another 2,378 players. However, the huge crowd on July 4 brought the total field up to an outstanding 7,874 players, making the 2018 WSOP Main Event the second-largest in history, behind only the 2006 WSOP Main Event and its 8,773 players.
The 2006 WSOP Main Event remains the largest tournament in the game’s history. The prize pool reached an incredible $82,512,162 and champion Jamie Gold walked away with a $12 million first-place prize.
A $74 million prize pool
The 7,874 players in this year’s Main Event helped create a $74,015,600 prize pool that will go to the top 1,181 finishers.
All nine players to make the official final table will earn a minimum of $1 million. The 2018 WSOP Main Event Champion will collect an $8.8 million first-place prize and the runner-up will have to settle for $5 million.
A minimum cash is worth $15,000.
The WSOP Main Event transitioned away from a format with four starting days to three in 2012. Speculation was all over the map, with many predicting the holiday would create a huge turnout. Others believing traditional picnics and fireworks would keep players away. In the end, those taking the over came out ahead.
A total of 2,453 players (659 + 1,794) survived the first two starting flights to make the event’s second day. They will return to play Day 2A/B July 5. The 3,480 survivors from Day 1C will get the day off and return to play Day 2C July 6. The 2018 WSOP Main Event will play down to a champion on July 14 with no further days off scheduled.
Main Event coverage on ESPN and PokerGO
ESPN and online subscription-based poker content service PokerGO are providing tag team television and live-streaming coverage of the 2018 WSOP Main Event.
ESPN and ESPN2 are trading days, broadcasting live coverage on a 30-minute delay during prime time hours. PokerGO picks up the slack with similar coverage built around the ESPN and ESPN2 broadcasts.
Live updates are also available on the WSOP.com website.
More WSOP action to come
The 2018 WSOP is a bit different from previous years in that the Main Event is not the final event on the schedule. In fact, there are 13 WSOP bracelet events remaining, including the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop beginning July 15.
Through the first 65 events on the 78-event schedule, the 2018 WSOP has seen a total of 109,463 entries with $213,425,143 in prize money won. The 2017 WSOP set records in both categories with 120,995 total entries and $231,010,874 in prize money.