The World Series of Poker has officially tallied the number of 2011 Main Event entrants at 6,865, the third largest field in the tournament’s 42-year history. That’s down from 2010’s figure of 7,319, but well above the expectations of many who felt the Black Friday indictments (and the subsequent dearth of online satellites) would put a serious crimp on this year’s numbers. Total number of participants throughout all 58 events at the 2011 WSOP was 75,672, a new record.
The top 693 ‘Main Eventrants’ will finish in the money, with first place paying $8,711,856, just a few hundred grand off 2010 champ Jonathan Duhamel’s $8.94m payday. Members of 2011’s November Nine will earn at least $700k, with the top eight ensured $1m+. In case you were curious, 693rd earns $19,359.
Day 1C saw 2,181 players take their seats, of which 1,480 survived, including Duhamel. Day 1C’s total was more than 1A and 1B’s combined total of 1,875, and Day 1D saw 2,809 players buy-in. All of which suggests that a lot of poker players are serious procrastinators.
Phil Hellmuth made his traditional grand entrance on Day 1C, although the tone was a little understated compared to previous years (especially the Roman emperor on a litter schtick). This year, the Poker Brat showed up as an ESPN announcer, complete with blazer and microphone, a nod to his side-gig as commentator for the network. Makes us wonder if someone will try to get Phil off his game by using the ultimate Ron Burgundy insult: “You have bad hair.”