WSOP 2011 Attendance Figures Up On 2010

Post-Black Friday, players and analysts alike were predicting a sharp fall off in entries for the 2011 WSOP in Las Vegas.
Amongst the reasons cited for a sudden decline in attendance figures was the fact that in the past around 60% of players came to the WSOP via online poker rooms. Therefore, in addition to the main US facing poker sites now being closed, there are still many US players still with their bankrolls frozen online and thus potentially short on funds to enter the series.
With all that said, however, WSOP 2011 seems to be defying all the odds so far with attendance numbers in the first week actually showing a slight increase over last year.
Out of the nine events already started or completed, only three have experienced a drop in numbers. These include the $1,5k Seven Card Stud with 357 entrants (down 51), $1k No-Limit Hold’em with 4,168 entrants (down 167) and the $10k Pot-Limit Hold’em Championship with 249 starters (down 19).
However, across the board entries are actually showing a 1.8% increase over the 2010 WSOP figures, with player numbers rising from 8,227 to their current 8,374 players.
These figures are made all the more impressive considering 2010 set a new WSOP attendance record with a massive 72,966 players attracted to 57 events to create a total prize-pool of $187.1 million.
Despite there being another six weeks to go, at this early stage the indications are thus that the 2011 WSOP will be bigger than ever. Therefore, the one man who seems to have been right on the button ahead of the facts is the WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart, who stated in May:
“I believe this is the year when everyone will see just how big poker has become all around the world. This is the year where people will see what a juggernaut this World Series of Poker has become. It is a testament to the fact that the WSOP is more than a poker event, it’s an experience. It’s an annual pilgrimage; it’s a chance to run with the bulls.”

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