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WSOP’s Main Event A Smashing Event, with 7,319 Entries (Second Most Ever)

You think people aren’t in to the World Series of Poker (season began in May)?

Forgettaboutit. As Tony Soprano might say.

Bad economy or no, people are still going to the WSOP’s main event this week in Vegas.

This year’s Main Event drew 7,319 entries, second most in the 41-year history of a tournament that began with seven players in 1970.

Of course, this is how it works. The higher the number of entries, the bigger the prize pool. That’s because of the $10,000 buy ins.

This year’s winner will pocket more than $8.9 milion, the second biggest top prize ever.

he Main Event is the last of 57 tournaments that make up the World Series. Begun in late May, those 57 events drew a record 72,966 overall entries.

“It’s certainly the high water mark for the poker industry, but it’s become more of a pop culture happening,” said WSOP v.p. Ty Stewart“I’ve heard it said that it’s like a bucket list item (things to do before I die). It’s a bucket list badge of honor. People say they want to run with the bulls in Pamplona and swim with the poker sharks in Vegas.”

The 72,966 total entries this year is a 20% increase over the previous record of 60,875 set in 57 events last year

Celebrities love to play. Athletes love to play. And the American public, the worldwide public, loves to play.

The leader going into Friday with 228,200 chips is Corwin Cole, 25, of Las Vegas (pictured above) . He is followed by James Danielsonof LaPlata, Md., with 201,050 and Dwyne Ringbauer of Henderson, Nev., with 191,125. Johnny Chan, two-time Main Event champion, is 10th with 163,700.

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