by Joseph Smith Sr.
Now that the 2014 World Series of Poker has completed all but 2 days of play we can look back at the the Big Poker Show and be amazed at how far the game has come. People in my age group that follow poker can recall with pride the pleasant memories of the WSOPs of bygone years.
The tall, thin man from Amarillo, Texas that not only won the $10,000 championship of poker (Main Event wasn't coined yet) but got himself an invite to the Johnny Carson Show. The nation watched in awe as this poker player entertained us with tales about those people that would play a card game that required a $10,000 buy-in. We were shocked they could find enough people to fill a single table and in 1972 the $10K championship event seated 8 players. Amarillo Slim did win and left with $80,000 because it was “winner take all.” Second place paid the same as last place – nothing!
It was the first time many of us young hometown poker players had ever heard the terms “freeze out,” or “Texas Hold'em.” We played real poker games that were generally limited to Draw Poker or Stud Poker and occasionally we even played Lo-ball depending on how much we had to drink that particular Thursday night. We also knew an indisputable fact, If you play poker with someone nicknamed after a city or state you would lose. This was the era of Texas Dolly, Amarillo Slim, Tree Top, Puggy and The Kid.
Now we move ahead forty-five years to the 2014 WSOP Main Event and realize there were 6,683 players with a $10,000 buy-in playing in same event. And for complete Shock and Awe, 42 players paid a $1 million buy-in to play in the 2014 WSOP Event #57, The Big One for One Drop.
2014 WSOP Statistical Overview
Official WSOP Gold Bracelet Events: 65
Total Entries: 82,360
Total Prize Pool: $225,584,873
Total Cashers: 8,730
Main Event Entries: 6,683
Main Event Prize Pool: $62,820,200
Largest 1st Place Prize: $15,306,668
Average 1st Place Prize: $792,507
Average Age: 38.93
Average Age of Casher: 37.66 (excludes Main Event)
Average Age of Final Tablist: 35.32 (excludes Main Event)
Male Participation: 94.72% (78,009 entries)
Female Participation: 5.28% (4,351 entries)
# of Countries Represented: 107
# of U.S. States Represented: 50
# of Canadian Provinces Represented: 10, plus Yukon Territories
The above stats of the 2014 WSOP Gold Bracelet Events are provided courtesy of: Seth Palansky, Vice President, Corporate Communications - Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE)/World Series of Poker