The annual World Series of Poker, which is slated to begin on Tuesday at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino, is responsible for driving a thriving portion of annual poker revenue in the city of Las Vegas.
The WSOP has run during a period which was the height of the poker boom in the state of Nevada in terms of sheer market size.
In 2007, poker cash game revenue around the Las Vegas strip was approximately $11.86 million. In 2016, Strip area poker rooms raked in $12.93 million, a record high for the month.
At the time there were 423 Strip area poker tables in operation in June 2016. Upwards of 100 cash game tables are added during the summer.
As for the World Series of Poker itself, the festival has thrived to cater to the demand for poker during the hot summer. The 2007 WSOP had a reported 54,288 entrants from 55 bracelet events. In 2016, there were 107,833 entrants from 69 bracelet events, both record highs. There are 74 bracelet events on the list this year, and it is likely that the WSOP will set another participation record.
A total of $159,796,918 in prize money was given out during the 2007 WSOP. Prize money has grown to $221,211,336 since last summer.
The WSOP is still considered one of the richest sporting festivals in the world.
The availability of poker across the U.S has contributed to ebbing annual poker revenue in Nevada. But the WSOP still represents the center of the poker universe in the summer, and players travel from overseas for the tournament. The 2016 festival drew players from 107 countries.
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The crime drama film Molly’s Game, based on the life of Molly Bloom, a woman who was convicted for running underground high stakes poker games, has been nominated for an Academy Award in the best adapted screenplay category.
Professional poker players from around the globe have already begun preparations for the 49th annual World Series of Poker.