Record number 50 and over begin play in three-day poker championship at Rio

The World Series of Poker set a record Friday for the largest ever one-day starting field in a poker event.

When the numbers were counted for the Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Championship, 4,128 players age 50 and over paid the $1,000 buy-in to compete in the three-day event at the Rio.

It was the largest starting field in the 43-year history of the World Series of Poker. Players packed tables in the Rio's Amazon, Pavilion and Brasilia convention rooms.

"This event showcases the beauty of poker, that it's truly a game for life," said World Series of Poker Executive Director Ty Stewart. "It was the most electric atmosphere we've had yet. Today's record field bodes well for the rest of the summer."

The total prize pool for the event is more than $3.7 million. The winner will receive $603,713.

The field in the seniors event broke the record set in last year's seniors event, which drew 3,752 players.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.