9 Mind-Blowing Facts about the WSOP – 2023 Edition

WSOP history is full of WSOP fun facts. How could the world’s premier poker event not be? Famous players, eye-popping prize amounts, hilarious stories, the most exciting moments in poker… it all happens at the WSOP.
The WSOP 2023 event series is shaping up to be one of the biggest ever. Let’s kick off this list with a very fun fact for those who manage to cash at one of this year’s high-flying events.

Fun Fact #1: The total prize pool is expected to be over $350,000,000!

$350M was the 2022 mark, and by all accounts and estimations, 2023 is set to be even bigger. 2022 was a big bounce back year after the pandemic, but 2023 is going to be in a larger space that should allow the WSOP ample room to grow.

Fun Fact #2: There will be 115 events (or more)

The current 2023 WSOP schedule shows 95 live events and another 20 to be held online. These kick off May 30th with the $500 buy-in casino employees’ tournament and run until a Super Turbo No Limit Hold’em tourney on July 18th. The first flight of the $10,000 buy- in Main Event is scheduled for July 3rd. The event total is up from 2022, which included 89 live events and 13 online.

Fun Fact #3: There will be completely new events like Badugi

WSOP history doesn’t always highlight the other games outside the Main Event, but there’s a ton of fun to be had (and bracelets to be won!) This year, a game called Badugi has been added to the roster. Event #20 on June 7th will feature this lowball draw poker game, where players try to make non-suited, non-paired low hands.

The best hand is A-2-3-4, referred to as a four-card “four”. The second best hand is A-2-3-5 (a four-card “five”). Hands are named after their highest rank. A $1,500 buy in will get players into what is sure to be a fun time and a welcome break from the intense grind of NLHE.

Fun Fact #4: First time since 2005 that the events are held at the Horseshoe

The WSOP was born at Binion’s Horseshoe casino in 1970, and was held there for 35 glorious years. That’s where all the golden age champs like Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson (May he rest in peace), Stu Ungar, and Johnny Chan made their names. But for nearly 20 years since then, the WSOP has been held at the Rio. This will be the first year that the WSOP is held at a Horseshoe casino since the change. However…

Fun Fact #5: The Horseshoe casino hosting the WSOP 2023 is not Binion’s!

It’s really the former site of Bally’s, which has been remodeled and rebranded as the Horseshoe Las Vegas. Caesars Entertainment owns and operates the casino, now. The original Binion’s Horseshoe where the WSOP was first held still stands, but has been renamed. It was sold in 2004 and now carries the name “Binion’s Gambling Hall and Hotel.”

Fun Fact #6: The largest first place prize was $12,000,000

This might be one of the more surprising WSOP fun facts.

Most events grow over time, with recent years having the largest prize amounts. The WSOP is different, though. The poker boom in the early 2000s was truly something! The largest first prize ever awarded was actually handed out in 2006 to American producer Jaime Gold. 2022’s top prize was no small potatoes, though. Norwegian Espen Jørstad took home $10,000,000 last year. Will this year’s Main Event winner get the biggest prize in WSOP history? Time will tell!

Surprisingly, the WSOP does not hold the title for largest prize ever. The largest poker tournament prize ever awarded was actually won at a Triton Super High Roller event. Bryn Kenney won a staggering $20,563,324 for a first place finish!

Fun Fact #7: Phil Hellmuth is the bracelet king with 16 earned to date!

The “Poker Brat” has won more WSOP events than any other human alive. He’s got reason to be cocky! His total of 16 bracelets makes him not only the overall winner, but he’s won a Main Event in the USA and Europe. Love him or hate him, the man can play cards like an absolute demon. If you had to bet on a player to win a bracelet at the 2023 WSOP, it’d be him, right?

Fun Fact #8: The WSOP 2023 will have over 600 online qualifiers.

You don’t have to stroll up to the window with a stack of hundreds to buy in to the Main Event. Did you know you can qualify online through satellites? This year, there will be more than 600 players seated at the Main Event thanks to winning an online satellite tournament. The dream of Chris Moneymaker, 2003’s famous champion who qualified online, is still alive.

Another 100 players will qualify through the Main Event Maynia event series. All around the country (and the world) in casinos and cardrooms, players can find events offering a WSOP Main Event ticket as a top prize. Let it not be said that the WSOP only brings in pros and sharks. This game is pulling people literally from every corner of the globe!

Fun Fact #9: Someone could win Main Event tickets for LIFE!

If a new participation record is hit, the WSOP is going to offer an amazing prize to one lucky Main Event player. One such player chosen at random will receive a Main Event entry every year for the next three decades! How awesome is that? With 30 tries and a lifetime to train, what could you achieve? The WSOP is everything that poker is made of.