Good things are happening in the world of poker, and this can also be seen in the number of people who registered with the World Series of Poker Main Event taking place in Las Vegas. Not since 2006, at the peak of online poker, did so many people – 7,873 players this year – register for the Main Event of the poker world’s most prestigious events. This is also the second largest number of players ever registered in the WSOP Main Event’s 49 year history.
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According to OPR, WSOP Main Event attendance climbed steadily year after year from 1971 to 2006, with one minor exception in 1991-1992, when attendance dipped on a tiny scale. From 2007 to 2015, however, attendance numbers were literally all over the place, IN 2007 they went down, then climbed in 2008. In 2009, down they went again, only to rise in 2010 and then drop consecutively from 2011 to 2013. In 2014, numbers were back up again and then, of course, dipped once more in 2015.
Since 2016, however, it seems that roller coaster ride is over, or at least at rest for the time being, with numbers climbing from 6737 in 2016 to 7221 in 2017 and 7874 this year.
So how are poker analysts explaining the steady year on year growth since 2016? There could be several reasons. The most obvious is the legalization of online poker in the three states of Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. Online poker rooms are now offering direct buy in poker satellites to WSOP events, including the Main Event, giving players the chance to play their way to a seat from their favorite online poker sites.
A stronger US economy also seems to have a positive effect on the online poker industry, and if things continue as they are, WSOP expects to see even higher numbers next year, with a maximum of 8,000 players in the coming years.