The 2009 World Series of Poker set a record for participation despite dire predictions that attendance would be down due to the sagging economy.
Tournament officials said a record 60,875 players participated in 57 events over the six-week competition at the Rio, surpassing the previous record of 58,720 players in 2008. The total prize pool was more than $174 million.
“Our results have exceeded every expectation,” said World Series of Poker Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack.
The tournament featured the largest non-main event field when 6,012 players competed in the $1,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em “stimulus special.”
Other highlights of the tournament included Jeffrey Lisandro tying the record for three individual event victories in one year, becoming the fifth player to accomplish the feat.
The 2009 main event of the World Series of Poker, the $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em world championship, continues through July 15 when the final table of nine players is determined. The players will return to the Rio in November to play for the title.
The event attracted 6,494 players and the winner will take home more than $8.55 million. For only the second time in World Series of Poker history, all nine players at the final table are assured winning more than $1 million.