This year’s World Series of Poker Main Event is the second largest of all time, and nearly everyone who makes it to the final table will go home a millionaire.
Organizers announced late Friday evening that 8,663 players competed in the mother of all poker tournaments. Only the 2006 version of the Main Event, which saw 8,773 play for the coveted gold bracelet, drew more contestants.
The prize pool for the no-limit Texas hold ‘em tournament with a $10,000 is nearly $80.8 million. That, too, was second only behind $82.5 million in the 2006 Main Event.
Last year’s Main Event, which took place in November, drew 6,650 players and distributed $62 million in prizes. WSOP organizers required COVID-19 vaccinations from all contestants during last year’s event. Koray Aldemir took home the bracelet and the $8 million top prize.
The winner of the 2022 Main Event will take home $10 million. It’s the first time since 2019 and the fourth time overall that the top prize has reached at least that amount. Jamie Gold earned $12 million for his win in 2006.
Flights Come Together on Saturday
Friday was the sixth day of competition in the Main Event and the second day for those in the D flight of the tournament.
When play resumes at 11 am PT Saturday, the 3,019 players who made it through one of the four flights will all come together for the first time. The leader entering the weekend is Gavin Munroe of Montgomery, Ala., who has 1,061,500 in chips. He’s also the only one with a seven-figure chip count.
Cash prizes, which start at $15,000, will go to the final 1,300 players remaining in the tournament. WSOP officials expect to hit that threshold during play on Sunday.
Play will continue through next week until the field is whittled down to nine on Wednesday. After a day off on Thursday, the final table will start on Friday. The champion is expected to be crowned on Saturday, July 16.
Those who make the final table will be rewarded handsomely. The ninth-place finisher will get $850,675. Everyone else at the final table will get more than $1 million. The fourth-place contestant will get $3 million, and third place will get $4 million. The runner-up walks away with $6 million.
Vince Vaughn Crashes Main Event
On Wednesday, actor Vince Vaughn kicked off the first day of play in the D flight by showing off the bracelet that the Main Event winner will receive. Decked out in Roman garb, the Swingers and Wedding Crashers star paraded around the tables at both the Bally’s Event Center and Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.
The custom bracelet is made from 500 grams of 10 karat yellow and white gold. It features more than 2,750 gems, including rubies, black diamonds, and while diamonds.
This is the Main Event and a World Champion needs an incredible trophy, not just some lousy ring,” said Vaughn, who serves as this year’s WSOP master of ceremonies.
The Las Vegas Strip is the site for the WSOP for the first time in its 53-year history.
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