WSOP Attendance Remains High in Face of Slowing Economy

07/13/2011
By Pamela PattersonGoogle

At the end of the World Series of Poker’s main event, after days and hours of playing, one of the 6,865 players will walk away with $8,711,956.  This is the third largest playing field in WSOP history.

 

This year’s turnout is particularly impressive in light of the fact that three of the biggest US-based online poker websites, Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker, were indicted this spring by the US Department of Justice.  These sites served as a breading ground for new poker players and were very much responsible for the growing turnout.  That being said, it is pleasantly surprising that in spite of the indictments, and in spite of the recent economic downturns, the attendance at the WSOP has not gone down.

 

The highest attendance was in 2006 prior to the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.  The year after that, the WSOP saw a significant drop of about 2,500 attendees; in years following, the number of attendees has hovered steadily between 6,300 and 7,400.

 

The high attendance at the WSOP, in spite of recent events, is for the most part due to online poker sites that have brought a whole new generation into the world of poker.  For these young players, the main event is the ultimate battleground in which they can implement the skills they have been perfecting in online play.

 

The future of the WSOP will depend on the level of regulation that congress decides to impose on online gambling.  Will players still attend the WSOP even if they can’t gamble online?  Though one can’t predict the future, it seams as if the new generation of players born during the heyday of American online poker will serve as a solid basis for continual growth for the WSOP.

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