Thursday, July 25, 2013

Post-WSOP Number Crunching (Re: Canada, Women)

As the World Series of Poker Main Event drew to a close, the WSOP published some statistics regarding the 62 events of this year’s series, including various information regarding the demographics of those who participated. The report informs us that there were 79,471 total entries for the 62 events this year, then goes on to share further data regarding the age, nationality, and sex of the players.

The information about entries by country pretty much follows what has been the case for the last several years at the WSOP with the U.S. providing most of the entries (57,040 this time), Canada a distant second (4,118), and the U.K., Russia, and France rounding out the top five.

This year there was extra attention given to the performance of Canadian players thanks to the fact that 10 of the bracelet winners (out of the 61 preliminary events) were identified as being from Canada. That was a huge jump from the three bracelets Canada won in 2012. Indeed, since players from Canada managed to claim four bracelets during the first week of the Series, people were paying extra attention the results of Canadians throughout the Series. Some even made some seriously bad puns about the phenomenon.

Looking strictly at percentages, 71.8% of the entrants were from the U.S. while 5.2% were from Canada. Players from the U.S. won about 65.5% of the bracelets this summer, which comes close to matching the participation percentage. Meanwhile Canadians won 16.4% of the prelims, which is more than three times the participation percentage.

As Canadians kept collecting bracelets this summer, I remember hearing a few people speculate about whether or these winners were actually Canadian or if they just happened to be American players in Canada who had moved north of the border in order to be able to play online. Such has absolutely been the case with regard to recent WCOOP and SCOOP results at PokerStars, something I mentioned last fall when noticing how Canada was performing especially well in last year’s WCOOP.

Leafing through the 10 winners’ bios, though, shows that with these particular players none appears to fall into the category of the exiled American online player.

Event No. 3 winner Charles Sylvestre was born in Montreal and still lives there. Event No. 6 champ Benny Chen is from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island where he manages a restaurant. Michael Malm, winner of Event No. 8, is a marketing specialist from Coquilam, Ontario.

Levi Berger, who won Event No. 11, is originally from Ottawa although is a citizen of both the U.S. and Canada. It sounds like he definitely played a lot online (in the U.S.) prior to Black Friday, though I don’t believe the 22-year-old moved back to Canada afterwards in order to continue to play.

Mark Radoja, winner of Event No. 16, is from Guelph, Ontario, the site of a thriving poker scene and also where Gavin Smith grew up. Calen McNeil, who won Event No. 20, like Chen is a restaurant owner in Victoria (in fact he owns three there). Event No. 28 winner Jason Duval is a 23-year-old student who was born in Quebec where he currently goes to school at Laval University.

Justin Oliver won Event No. 38. He’s a 37-year-old jeweler who was born in Toronto and still lives there. Dan Idema, Event No. 39 winner and brother of Two Plus Two Pokercast co-host Adam Schwartz, is from Vancouver. And Kristen Bicknell, who won the Ladies event (Event No. 51), was born in St. Catharines, Ontario and still resides there.

Speaking of women who played at the WSOP, the report also notes stats regarding their participation this summer, sharing how of the total entries 75,447 (94.94%) were men and 4,024 (5.06%) were women. Of course it should be noted that 954 of those entries by women came in the Ladies event, so after doing a little additional subtracting and dividing, the participation of women in open events this summer was right at 3.9% (3,070 out of 78,517 entries).

There were 298 women in the Main Event this year, which represented 4.69% of the total field of 6,352. That’s a big jump from last year, when 211 of the 6,598 entries were women (almost 3.2%). Women notably won two open events this year, both large-field no-limit hold’em events with Dana Castaneda winning Event No. 54 ($1,000 NLHE) and Loni Harwood winning Event No. 60 ($1,500 NLHE).

The WSOP also reports how men earned 7,462 of the cashes at the 2013 WSOP while women earned 343 of them. I’m not completely sure about these figures since the “total cashers” being listed is 8,454, which is more than the total of men and women cashers. In any case, when comparing those two totals, women have almost 4.4% of the cashes, which would roughly jibe with the overall participation total, although again we should probably consider how women earned all 117 of the cashes in the Ladies event (which I assume is being included here).

All of which is to say, I think the percentage of women cashing in events when compared to the percentage of women who participated isn’t really all that out of whack. Even the percentage of women bracelet winners in all of the preliminary events except the Ladies event (two of 60, or 3.33%) is pretty much in line with the overall participation of women in those events.

On the other hand, the Canadians’ percentage of wins this summer is remarkable when compared to their participation. Dunno what the overall percentage of cashes by Canadians turned out to be, although that would be an interesting stat to see.

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