What Do The Numbers Tell Us About WSOP 2021 Looking Back?
- In total, there were slightly about 120,000 entrants in the 88 tournaments at the 2021 WSOP (excludes the 11 online events)
- $500 13,000 entries for the reunion
- $1,500 5,326 entries make the millionaire.
- $400 9,399 entries for Colossus
- Major event: 6,650 participants
- The WSOP 2021 was a big success over all odds.
Since its inception in Las Vegas in 1970, the World Series of Poker has continued uninterrupted for more than 50 years. After that, in 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic wreaked havoc on the planet and the live poker industry alike. The WSOP organizers had to relocate the event online for the first time in more than 50 years.
Fortunately for poker enthusiasts, the World Series of Poker returned to the Rio in 2021, although a few months later than normal. Naturally, there were several issues that the planners had to address in order to get everything in order. Other procedures were implemented to comply with the rules, including the decision that all players would need to have a COVID vaccination.
Everyone was interested in how things would turn out because the WSOP is the biggest and most important poker event. Whether or not the series was a success might have a big influence on live poker tournaments throughout the world in the near future. Now that the series is concluded, we can look at the WSOP data from 2021 to see what they have to say.
Turnout at WSOP 2021 Exceeds Expectations
There was a lot of talk in the neighborhood in the months and weeks before the World Series that this would be one of the least-attended events since 2003. Many anticipated a poor turnout due to a number of circumstances, including the requirement for vaccinations, travel restrictions, and people’s concern for their health. Realistically speaking, the chances weren’t great, but in the hopes of a miracle, the organizers released the schedule of 88 tournaments (plus 11 online events). Event #4 was the first significant competition that could have provided some context for the remainder of the series.
The Reunion, which had a buy-in of only $500, was intended to be a public tournament that would welcome anybody wanting to play live poker again after a protracted absence. The competition attracted little under 13,000 entrants when registration was finished. Since reentries were permitted, they weren’t all individual players, but it was still a wonderful indication that our initial concerns were incorrect. Despite all the difficulties, everyone was ready to resume the event, raffle off some chips, play some poker, and contend for the much sought-after gold bracelets.
A few days later, the $1,500 Millionaire Maker, a wildly popular WSOP tournament, began. In the past, this competition drew sizable numbers, thus it would be intriguing to watch how it would do in 2021. 5,326 submissions were submitted in total, which was fewer than in 2018 and 2019 but still a very respectable amount. Nobody anticipated the fields to be larger than in prior years when there were absolutely no limitations, but with over 5K entrants, it wasn’t a total failure either.
9,399 people entered the $400 Colossus contest. Even if the number of submissions was lower than the 13,000+ it received in 2018 and 2019, the tournament’s ability to draw over 10,000 participants was still a huge success. It’s safe to say that even the WSOP organizers weren’t sure what to anticipate before the series began. They presumably made some predictions, but it was difficult to have any assurance given how quickly things changed and how frequently new laws and regulations were passed in the US and throughout the world.
However, I think they were surprised by the attendance we really saw. The total number of entries for the 2021 WSOP, over all 88 events, was little under 120,000. Not even include internet events, that. There are various ways to interpret these figures, but no matter how you read them, a six-figure turnout is still a positive outcome. The World Series of Poker undertook a significant and dangerous mission and expertly completed it in spite of numerous skeptics and cynics.
Main Event 2021: A Resounding Success
The Main Event is frequently the subject of discussion when discussing the World Series of Poker. Considering that it is the main event that draws so many players to Las Vegas.
We made some very dire forecasts for 2021. Even if lesser events were successful in gaining some traction, many predicted that the Main would draw a very modest audience. After all, the buy-in for this event is a whopping $10,000, making it clearly out of most people’s budget range.
These forecasts were partially accurate when you consider that many live casinos and poker rooms throughout the world were essentially closed the whole year, which meant there would be less people who fit certain categories. The tournament’s final player count of 6,650 was therefore a very welcome surprise, to put it mildly.
2019 saw approximately 8,500 individual players occupy their seats, which was a decrease from the previous several years but still more than the attendance between 2007 and 2016. These competitions all had between 6,000 and 7,000 participants. The final participant count was much beyond estimates, despite the fact that new conditions likely had a negative impact on the recent strong upward trend.
Koray Aldemir, the final victor, earned $8 million for his efforts, which is around $200,000 more than Joe McKeehen did in 2015 and about the same as the winnings of 2016 and 2017.
What Do the WSOP 2021 Results Tell Us?
We may draw a few inferences from the total number of players that traveled to Las Vegas to compete in the World Series of Poker.
Takeaway No. 1: Poker is still a beloved game worldwide.
The truth is that many people found it difficult to decide whether or not to participate in the World Series of Poker. Even the famous Chris Moneymaker, who has never missed the Main Event since winning in 2003, had second thoughts about it.
In the end, he did come up and had a strong run, but it simply goes to show that there were many things to take into account. Nevertheless, tens of thousands of people turned up to play in the greatest poker tournament ever at the Rio. This, in my opinion, demonstrates unequivocally how many individuals still cherish and desire the opportunity to play poker. Live tournaments and cash games are still popular despite the fact that the internet poker world may have grown old with all of its multi-tabling grinders, software aid, and even bots. Live poker has several benefits for players that go beyond just playing cards and making money.
It’s difficult to match the atmosphere at huge poker tournaments. No matter how skilled they are, it’s a thrill unlike any other, especially for real poker enthusiasts. It is strange to assume that only one person will win out of hundreds or even thousands of competitors. However, it was also the primary factor in the game’s initial popularity. In spite of all odds, it is precisely why the 2021 WSOP drew so many participants from around the globe.
Takeaway No. 2: If the payoff is worthwhile, players are prepared to go through some hassle.
No exceptions were made, it was established by WSOP officials, and every participant had to get immunized. It was necessary to produce confirmation of immunization in order to play in the series, and going through the procedure wasn’t the most convenient, especially for those outside of the US.
However, participants accepted and followed these guidelines. Going ahead, this may be a useful lesson for other event organizers and locations. Players are willing to go above and beyond to follow the regulations if the event is valuable. There will inevitably be those who don’t want to deal with the trouble, but that’s life. I believe the WSOP 2021 statistics demonstrate that the majority belong to the first category, thus tournament organizers shouldn’t be too concerned.
Takeaway No. 3: Everyone’s favorite game is still Texas Hold’em.
As predicted, hold’em events drew by far the largest audiences. Pot Limit Omaha statistics appear to be somewhat increasing, which suggests that more players are starting to play the game. However, I don’t think PLO will become the dominant variety for quite a few years, and there’s no assurance that it will ever. It’s difficult to conceive that any game, especially one as thrilling as Pot Limit Omaha, could replace Hold’em given all of its advantages in various areas.
You never know, though. All we can do is wait and see!
Takeaway No. 4: High crowds are drawn to small buy-ins with big guarantees.
Although WSOP 2021 merely verified what we previously knew, this is nothing new. The ideal mix is accessible tournaments with substantial cash awards and the extra appeal of bracelets. Although there is constant discussion on this subject regarding the “devaluation” of the bracelets, I believe that holding a couple of these tournaments each year is both acceptable and necessary. Professionals have more than enough big-buy-in tournaments to play in, but no one wants to give the WSOP or poker in general the air of exclusivity. It is sometimes overlooked that without amateurs, professionals would likely lose their positions quite soon.
Is There Cause for Concern Regarding the Future of the World Series?
After what we saw in 2021, I believe there are no longer any questions regarding the WSOP’s future. Even with all the challenges, the event managed to draw such sizable crowds, proving that things can only get better.
I don’t believe there is anything to be concerned about, barring any unforeseen situations where live poker is just not viable. To keep the series exciting and appealing to new players, the organizers will need to keep coming up with fresh concepts, although they have done an excellent job thus far. The WSOP has undoubtedly grown and expanded beyond any reasonable expectations thanks to the addition of additional events and the ongoing expansion of the program.