The 2018 WSOP Awarded A Quarter Billion In Winnings

Written By Katie Callahan on August 1, 2018 - Last Updated on September 13, 2022
The 2018 WSOP

Now that the 49th World Series of Poker has dubbed its winner, the staggering numbers are in. The WSOP awarded the most money ever in a single poker series: $266,889,193.

This number is up 15.1 percent from the prior year and is the first time the WSOP topped the quarter billion dollar mark in prize money in a single WSOP, reported the WSOP.

World Series of Poker Executive Director Ty Stewart had this to say about the numbers:

“The 2018 World Series of Poker was another big success and it’s thanks to the loyal players that make it out to Las Vegas every summer. We love seeing the Main Event grow to numbers no one ever thought was possible in 2018 as well as positive reaction to our new events. The team will be hard at work to make sure this remains the premier poker festival in the world.”

This record was among many broken in this year’s event, including:

  • Largest attendance: 123,865 (up 2.4 percent)
  • Most players in the money: 18,105
  • Main Event record number of payouts: 1,182
  • Largest number of players earned $1M: 28 players
  • 2018 WSOP largest prize pool: $74,015,600 for the Main Event
  • Largest top prize: $10,000,000 for $1 Million Big One for One Drop
  • Follow-up top prize: $8,800,000 for the 2018 Main Event

The WSOP has now awarded $2,999,643,394 in prize money in the 48-year history of the tournament series.

Get up to $1,100 in Bonuses at WSOP
Get up to $1,100 in Bonuses at WSOP
Up to $1,100
In Bonuses
WSOP Poker Review
  • $100 in Bonus Play on 1st Deposit
  • 100% up to $1,000 on Deposit
  • Use Bonus Code: 25FREE

WSOP players

This 78-event, 50-day poker series brought players from 104 nations to Las Vegas and 7,874 entries (a nine percent increase over last year). This is also the sixth time in WSOP history that the total prize pool topped the $200M mark.

Notable non-poker elite:

  • Michael Phelps (Olympian swimmer)
  • Brad Garrett (actor)
  • Ray Romano (actor)
  • Patrick Bruel (singer)
  • Hoodie Allen (rapper)
  • Steve Albini (music producer)
  • Nick Cassavetes (movie director)
  • Jennifer Tilly (actor)
  • Richard Seymour (former NFL defensive end, Super Bowl Champion)
  • Phil Kessel (Stanley Cup Champion)
  • Max Kruse (German soccer player)
  • James Woods (actor)

The youngest player was Nicholas Dashineau, who turned 21 a few days before Day 1C. The oldest player was John Olsen at 88 years old. The average age of the WSOP male participants was 42.1; the average age of female participants was 45.64. This puts the average overall at 42.27.

Men represented just over 95 percent of the field (111,837). Comparatively, females made up 4.86 percent, or 5,717 entries.

The tournament’s averages and big wins

The average first-place prize came in at $655,337, with an average field size of 1,588 entries.

The U.S. had the largest number of entrants, with 89,533. Canada (5,128), the United Kingdom (4,534), France (1,671), and Brazil (1,267) followed up with the next largest number of entrants. Eighteen countries were represented in the winner’s circle, the most at a single series. Colombia and the Philippines got their first bracelets, thanks to Daniel Ospina and Mike Takayama, respectively. Diogo Veiga won the first gold bracelet for Portugal for an event outside Europe.

In contrast to the average turnouts were the largest field sizes and payouts:

  • Event #42, the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller – 230 entries (most for this buy-in)
  • 9 events with field sizes of 4,000 or more
  • 10 events with $1 million first-place payouts (matched last year)

Returning to the players, Tony Cousineau continued his reign as the player with the most cashes (84) without a win, picking up six cashes this year.

For a single WSOP, Chris Ferguson came out on top. Ferguson cashed 18 times in this series, a new record. Hitting two final tables and with over $250,000 in tournament earnings, he picked up the pace from last year (six cashes in the 2017 WSOP Europe; 17 cashes in 2017 WSOP) to amass a total of 41 cashes over two years.

Ferguson, along with Barry Greenstein, came into 100 career WSOP cashes at this series: Ferguson with 115, and Greenstein with 101 (cashed 12 times in this series).

Phil Hellmuth, a now 15-time WSOP bracelet winner, extended that record this year as the individual all-time leader in cashes (138). He had eight cashes in 2018. He snagged his 13th career bracelet victory in hold’em.

As a whole, the charity tournaments raised $2,790,008 combined, contributing to the $23,166,974 since its beginning in 2012.

Katie Callahan Avatar
Written by
Katie Callahan

Katie Callahan is a freelance journalist, blogger and copywriter who covers everything from poker, business, education and politics to construction, startups and cybersecurity.

View all posts by Katie Callahan
Privacy Policy