Tuesday, July 12, 2011

2011 WSOP, Day 42: 6,865 & Other Numbers

NumbersDay off yesterday. Did succeed in my goal of not entering the Rio, thereby breaking a streak of 20 consecutive days of doing so. Today I’ll start another such streak that will run through next Tuesday, July 19 and the final day of play for the summer (Day 8) when the WSOP Main Event plays down to the final nine.

Yesterday WSOP Communications Director Seth Palansky sent out information regarding the 6,865 players who entered this year’s WSOP Main Event, and so I spent a little bit of time perusing those figures.

On Sunday (Day 1d), I ran into ESPN’s Andrew Feldman and we chatted about the larger-than-expected field. He opined at the time that it was going to be interesting to see what percentage of the field were non-U.S., his implication being (I assumed) that perhaps we might be seeing some effect of Black Friday being revealed in that figure.

The revised total Palansky ultimately sent out was 4,604 U.S. players among the ME participants, just a touch above two-thirds of the field (67.06%). In fact, this figure is almost identical to that of 2010, when 67.9% of the field were Americans. Also, 85 different countries and territories sent players to the WSOP Main Event this year, compared to 92 last year.

How old are the Main Event players this year? This year the average age of the 6,865 participants is 37 years, 2 months. In 2010, the average age was 37 years, 4 months. Again, very close.

And what about the number of women playing in the Main Event? This year saw 242 women participate, representing 3.52% of the field. In 2010, there were 216 women among the 7,319 who played in the Main Event, or 2.95%. A somewhat notable increase, then, although it should be pointed out that last year’s figure was reported as “unofficial” as players weren’t designated by sex.

Finally, this year saw 75,672 total entries in the 58 bracelet events (breaking last year’s record). In 2010, there were 72,966 total entries in the 57 bracelet events (breaking the previous year’s record).

Not a heckuva lot appears to have changed when it comes to the World Series of Poker. Much has remained the same with regard to who came out to play and how many of them there were. In other words, from the WSOP’s perspective, 2011 was pretty much 2010. Minus Phil Ivey, that is.

I mentioned a few weeks back how I’d appeared on a couple of podcasts prior to the Series and was asked about what I thought might happen at the WSOP, particularly in the wake of Black Friday. I said on both that while I thought some events would be down in terms of numbers -- particularly the Main Event -- I also thought the WSOP tended every year to have a kind of momentum of its own and would probably do okay.

One wonders if such will be the case in 2012, particularly if here in the U.S. we have endured an entire year (essentially) without online poker. It is close to impossible to forecast today what will happen at next year’s Series. Indeed, if the recent past is any indicator, it is more likely than not some new calamity (political, legal, economic, etc.) will strike the poker world that will significantly affect our prognostications.

But if I had to venture a guess, I’d say the 2012 WSOP will in all likelihood produce numbers that will be very similar to this year’s. Or, to put it differently, I’d say it is probably more likely that the makeup of the players and the amount of them in 2010 will be similar to what we saw in 2011 than markedly different.

Plus Phil Ivey.

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