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August 30, 2014

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WSOP Main Event: Biggest field since 2011 draws $62 million prize pool

$5 million will be on the line during heads-up play in November

Image

John Locher / AP

2013 champion Ryan Riess competes on the first day of the 2014 World Series of Poker main event Saturday, July 5, 2014, at the Rio. Players are vying for the $10 million first-place payout at the annual tournament.

WSOP Main Event: Day 1

A man walks by a sign on the first day of the World Series of Poker main event Saturday, July 5, 2014 in Las Vegas. Players are vying for the $10 million first-place payout at the poker tournament. (AP Photo/John Locher) Launch slideshow »

2014 WSOP Main Event final table payouts

  • 1st: $10,000,000
  • 2nd: $5,145,968
  • 3rd: $3,806,402
  • 4th: $2,848,833
  • 5th: $2,143,174
  • 6th: $1,622,080
  • 7th: $1,235,862
  • 8th: $947,077
  • 9th: $730,725

Last 10 Main Event champions

  • 2013: Ryan Riess ($8,361,570)
  • 2012: Greg Merson ($8,531,853)
  • 2011: Pius Heinz ($8,715,638)
  • 2010: Jonathan Duhamel ($8,944,310)
  • 2009: Joe Cada ($8,547,042)
  • 2008: Peter Eastgate ($9,152,416)
  • 2007: Jerry Yang ($8,250,000)
  • 2006: Jamie Gold ($12,000,000)
  • 2005: Joe Hachem ($7,500,000)
  • 2004: Greg Raymer ($5,000,000)

A summer series that has already produced the second- and third-largest tournaments in poker history can now add a third top-10 event of all-time.

The 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event had attracted the seventh-most entrants of any live tournament in history by the time registration closed Monday evening. After three separate starting days beginning Saturday, 6,683 players had paid the $10,000 entry fee to compete in poker’s world championship.

While that falls short of the 7,977 players who entered the $1,500 buy-in Millionaire Maker and the 7,862 who paid $1,500 for the Monster Stack event earlier this summer, it’s still an upward tick for the Main Event. For the first time since 2010, the Main Event beat the previous year’s number.

The 6,683 entrants bested the fields from both 2013, 6,352 players, and 2012, 6,598 players. It’s the fifth largest Main Event of all time, creating a prize pool of $62,820,200.

As promised, the eventual winner will claim one of the most significant chunks ever. First-place scores $10 million, which creates a ripple in the other high-finish payouts.

The runner-up is slotted for $5,145,968, meaning heads-up play will feature a pair competing for a near $5 million difference on the final day of the tournament.

That won’t come until Nov. 11 as the WSOP goes on the same four-month break as in the past six years to allow ESPN to air the action leading up to the final table. Seven out of the “November Nine” will score more than $1 million.

But most players at the Rio aren’t looking that far ahead yet. For now, they’d just like to get themselves into the money.

Payouts start at $18,406 for 693rd place. The tournament is expected to enter the money sometime Friday, during the event’s fourth day, with three more sessions scheduled from there to trim the field to nine.

Those nine will receive a ninth-place check for $730,725 while having ample time to think about their chance at eight figures, the second largest prize in Main Event history.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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