Wednesday July 19, 2017 at 4:37 pm

We compiled a quick list of some important stats and historical data for the World Series of Poker Main Event. For the first time since 2007, the Main Event will be played out in Las Vegas in the summer. No more November Nine! This year's champion will win $8,150,000 for first place. Since 1991, every single winner of the WSOP Main Event walked away with at least $1 million in cash. This year's Main Event marked the third-largest field in its history and the biggest field since the wake of Black Friday. And in an interesting side note, Jesus Ferguson finished the 2017 WSOP with 17 cashes (tied for most) and he earned enough POY points to land him in first place overall in the Player of the Year race.

John Hesp during his Main Event run (Photo by Winamax)

Since its earliest days in 1970, the World Series of Poker always showcased the cream of the crop in the poker world. Las Vegas became the focal point of the gambling world for one week every year when the sharpest cardsharks, hustlers, and road gamblers trekked to downtown Las Vegas. They wanted to see how they held up against the best in the world. A mere 47 years later, the tradition continues. Sure, the WSOP has gone full-blown corporate, but it's still the largest festival of poker in the world attracting the best and brightest minds from every corner of the globe. The Main Event is still the most prestigious tournament in the world and the winner instantly becomes the next superstar…whether they like it, or not.

The 2017 WSOP Main Event attracted 7,221 runners, which made it the third-largest field since its inception. More importantly, it was the largest field since Black Friday 2011.

This year's total prize pool was $67,877,400 with the champ winning $8,150,000. Ninth place pays out at least $1 million.

Since 1991, the winner of the WSOP Main Event took home at least $1 million. So, over the last 26 years, the WSOP champion became an instant millionaire (minus taxes, makeup, staking, expenses, swaps, back taxes, alimony, child support, credit card bills, markers, and other mysterious arrangements).

In the last 10 years, only Joe McKeehen took down less than $8M for winning the Main Event. McKeehen won almost $7.7M in 2015 in the second-lowest field since Black Friday 2011.

At the 2017 WSOP, at least 10 players won $1 million in total summer earnings. Doug Polk won the most with a total tally of $3,687,240 after he binked the One Drop High Roller. A trio of Europeans walked away with some big bucks.. Elky won over $2.3M this summer, while Italy's Dario Sammartino won $2.1M, and 50K PPC champ Elior Sion won nearly $1.4M. Big-time sportsbettor Haralabos Voulgaris landed himself in the Top 10 in money earned with a $1.1M score.

WSOP Main Event Champions

2017: ???

2016: Qui Nguyen - $8,005,310

2015: Joe McKeehen - $7,683,346

2014: Martin Jacobsen - $10,000,000

2013: Ryan Riess - $8,359,531

2012: Greg Merson - $8,531,853

2011: Puis Heinz - $8,715,638

2010: Jonathan Duhamel - $8,944,138

2009: Joe Cada - $8,574,649

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

2003: Chris Moneymaker - $2,500,000

2002: Robert Varkonyi - $2,000,000

2001: Carlo Mortensen - $1,500,000

2000: Chris Ferguson - $1,500,000

1999: Noel Furlong - $1,000,000

1998: Scotty Nguyen - $1,000,000

1997: Stu Ungar - $1,000,000

1996: Huck Seed - $1,000,000

1995: Dan Harrington - $1,000,000

1994: Russ Hamilton - $1,000,000

1993: Jim Betchel - $1,000,000

1992: Hamid Dastmalchi - $1,000,000

1991: Brad Daugherty - $1,000,000

1990: Mansour Matloubi - $895,000

1989: Phil Hellmuth - $755,000

1988: Johnny Chan - $700,000

1987: Johnny Chan - $625,000

1986: Berry Johnston - $570,000

1985: Bill Smith - $700,000

1984: Jack Keller - $660,000

1983: Tom McEvoy - $540,000

1982: Jack Strauss - $520,000

1981: Stu Ungar - $375,000

1980: Stu Ungar - $385,000

1979: Hal Fowler - $270,000

1978: Bobby Baldwin - $210,000

1977: Doyle Brunson - $340,000

1976: Doyle Brunson - $220,000

1975: Brian Roberts - $210,000

1974: Johnny Moss - $160,000

1973: Puggy Pearson - $130,000

1972: Amarillo Slim Preston - $80,000

1971: Johnny Moss - $30,000

1970: Johnny Moss - N/A (Voted)

WSOP Main Event Entrants (Since 1999):

2017: 7,221 - $67,877,400 Total Prize Pool

2016: 6,737 - $63,327,800

2015: 6,420 - $60,348,000

2014: 6,683 - $62,820,200

2013: 6,352 - $59,708,800

2012: 6,598 - $62,021,200

2011: 6,865 - $64,531,000

2010: 7,319 - $68,798,600

2009: 6,494 - $61,043,600

2008: 6,844 - $64,333,600

2007: 6,358

2006: 8,773

2005: 5,619

2004: 2,576

2003: 839

2002: 631

2001: 613

2000: 512

1999: 393

WSOP Player of the Year

Jesus Ferguson Black Hat

Jesus Ferguson always wore a black hat.

In American western films, spearheaded by the legendary director John Ford, the bad guy or villain typically wore a black hat, while the hero sported a white hat. It was a visual cue to alert the audience to who is who. In the wake of the Full Tilt scandal, Jesus Ferguson and other owners emerged as villains for life in the poker community. Black hat or not, Jesus Ferguson was going to be vilified no matter what. Jesus returned to the WSOP and played a plethora of events. He went deep a couple of times, but missed out on a bracelet when he lost to Mike Wattel heads-up.

Jesus Ferguson ruffled more feathers with his appearance near the top of the WSOP Player of the Year leaderboard… despite the fact he didn't win any bracelets. David Bach shipped two bracelets, yet he finished 70th place on the POY. Then again, he didn't play in nearly every possible event, nor did he cash 17 times. Jesus Ferguson tied with John Racener for most cashes.

Jesus finished this WSOP with the top spot in the WSOP POY, 22 points higher than Ryan Hughes. John Monnette put up a good fight with third overall. Racener finished 45 points behind Jesus, or fourth overall.

2017 WSOP Player of the Year

1. Chris Ferguson 898.46

2. Ryan Hughes 876.35

3. John Monnette 865.21

4. John Racener 853.16

5. Ray Henson 768.49

6. Ben Yu 766.49

7. Alex Foxen 754.36

8. Daniel Negreanu 717.76

9. Dario Sammartino 710.96

10. Kenny Hallaert 686.81


In the Player of the Year department, this year's new calculation system came under fire… which was expected. I'm sure it will get tweaked once again, but this year favored players who played a shit-ton of events.

At least a dozen players cashed at least a dozen times. That's definitely a record. With the WSOP expanded to 74 bracelet events this year (plus three online events at, it gave players more chances than ever to cash in multiple events.

Jesus Ferguson and John racer tied for most cashes with 17 each. Quite a feat. Ryan Hughes finished with 16 cashes. Mike Leah, John Monnette, and Alex Foxen all tied for fourth with 14 each. Barry Greenstein ended up with 13 cashes this summer, or seventh best overall. Five players cashed 12 times…Ray Henson, Ben Yu, Kevin Eyster, Manig Loeser from Germany, and Mikhail Semin from Russia.

Top 10 Total Cashes at 2017 WSOP

1. Chris Ferguson 17

1. John Racener17

3. Ryan Hughes 16

4. Mike Leah 14

4. John Monnette 14

4. Alex Foxen 14

7. Barry Greenstein 13

8. Raymond Henson 12

8. Ben Yu 12

8. Manig Loeser12

8. Kevin Eyster12

8. Mikhail Semin 12

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