The field for the 49th annual World Series of Poker’s Main Event exploded on the Fourth of July with 4,571 entries, the largest ever in one sitting.
The flurry of entries on Day 1C — traditionally the largest starting flight for the $10,000 buy-in No-limit Texas Hold ‘em World Championship — brought the final tally to 7,874.
It’s the second-largest Main Event field ever, trailing only the 2006 tournament that featured 8,773 players at the height of the online and TV poker boom.
Jamie Gold won $12 million for first place in 2006. The 2018 champion will earn $8.8 million, and a record 1,182 players will finish in the money from a prize pool of $74 million. The last place paid will earn $15,000.
Final table of nine millionaires
Each player who advances to the final table of nine is guaranteed to win at least $1 million, the ninth place prize. Second place is worth $5 million, third $3.75 million, fourth $2.825 million, fifth $2.15 million, sixth $1.8 million, seventh $1.5 million and eighth $1.25 million.
Main Event demographics
The field is comprised of players from all 50 states and Washington D.C. and 88 countries, with 2,116 players coming from outside the U.S.
There are 7,573 men and 301 women. The average age of the participants is 41.23.
The oldest player is John Olsen, 88, from Moss Point, Mississippi. He played Day 1B and survived.
The youngest player is Nicholas Dashineau, who turned 21 on Sunday, from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. He played Wednesday and survived with 90,700 chips.
Main Event notables
Scott Blumstein, who won the 2017 Main Event, is one of 18 former Main Event champions who entered the 2018 field. The others are Gold, Johnny Chan, Phil Hellmuth, Chris Moneymaker, Greg Merson, Ryan Riess, Qui Nguyen, Joe McKeehen, Chris Ferguson, Robert Varkonyi, Scotty Nguyen, Dan Harrington, Greg Raymer, Jerry Yang, Joe Cada, Jonathan Duhamel and Martin Jacobson.
Several celebrities also entered the fray, including former NFL player Richard Seymour, actor/comedians Ray Romano and Kevin Pollak, actor James Woods, Hollywood producer Nick Cassavetes and rapper Hoodie Allen.
World Cup quarterfinals
Westgate sports book manager Jeff Sherman picked France to win the World Cup at 13-2 before it started and jumped on Croatia at 12-1 adjusted odds before the Round of 16. Both teams are still alive heading into the quarterfinals in Russia and Sherman still likes Croatia, now the 6-1 fifth choice, to come out of the seemingly easier side of the bracket.
He also said he leans to the four teams getting a ½-goal: Uruguay (plus ½, minus 115) over France and Belgium (plus ½, minus 130) over Brazil on Friday and Sweden (plus ½, minus 105) over England and Russia (plus ½, minus 140) over Croatia on Saturday.
“I really don’t think there’s much separation at this stage of the tournament,” he said. “I do like Belgium plus ½ versus Brazil. Obviously, Brazil is the (9-4) favorite to win the tournament at this stage. But Belgium is a real solid team.”
Belgium and Brazil will play at 11 a.m. Friday in the marquee matchup of the quarterfinals.
“We should do tremendous handle on that one,” Sherman said.
Jeremy Pond (@JeremyPond)
Belgium-Brazil, Both Teams To Score (-130)
This quarterfinal showdown could easily double as the World Cup final if we are being honest. Love this wager, featuring two high-powered offenses clicking on all cylinders. Brazil has yet to face anyone like Belgium and its potent attack at this World Cup, which should cause issues for the tournament favorite throughout the affair. Defensively, Belgium struggles mightily at times (see most recent match against Japan and the group-stage shootout with Tunisia) and surely will not keep a clean sheet against Neymar and company. Play with confidence.
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Updated odds posted at Westgate sports book
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World Series of Poker’s Main Event
$10,000 buy-in No-limit Texas Hold ’em World Championship
Prize pool; $74 million
Players in money; 1,182
First place prize; $8.8 million
Second place; $5 million
Third place; $3.75 million
Fourth place; $2.825 million
Fifth place; $2.15 million
Sixth place; $1.8 million
Seventh place; $1.5 million
Eighth place; $1.25 million
Ninth place; $1 million
1,182nd place pays; $15,000