WSOP 2011 Was Most Definitely a Young Man’s Game

This summer’s World Series of Poker (WSOP) at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino has been wrapped up – apart from the conclusion to the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship, of course – so we’ve put together some facts and figures for you to chew over until November 7 comes around and the main event champion becomes known.

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WSOP 2011This summer’s World Series of Poker (WSOP) at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino has been wrapped up – apart from the conclusion to the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship, of course – so we’ve put together some facts and figures for you to chew over until November 7 comes around and the main event champion becomes known.

With 57 of the 58 events finished in Las Vegas, the 2011 WSOP has paid out an incredible $127,468,010 in cash from the prize pools created by the 68,807 participants – minus the main event.

It appears that the WSOP is becoming a young man’s game with the average age of competitors now sitting at 37.33 years and the median age of cashers being even lower at 36.31.

However, the age average just keeps dropping when looking at final table qualifiers at only 33.61, while winners this year have aged approximately 31.10.

We’re getting very close to the 30-year-old mark now, so maybe the 2012 staging of the WSOP will see that drop into the 20s – incredible as that may seem.

In fact, the main event’s final nine are aged 21, 22, 22, 26, 26, 26, 26, 35 and 49 to give us an average age of just 28.1 years, with Badih Bounahra the oldest and Anton Makievskyi the youngest. The future looks youthful, definitely.

Now, let’s move on to regions and nationalities through 57 events. A total of 98 countries were represented, with 73 nations providing players who cashed.

Every single US state was represented at this year’s WSOP, with California the most successful with 951 cashes for a $16,183,498 prize money total.

Next up was Nevada – which should come as little surprise – with 813 cashes for a $16,875,736 total, while Florida finished a distant third with 360 cashes finishes for $6,428,270.

Thereafter, it went Texas in fourth with 359 for a $6,406,274 total, and New York in fifth for 301 and an impressive $8,208,865.

As would be expected, the USA provided 33 of the gold bracelet winners, with Canada a very distant second on five. Ukraine and France both collected four bracelets each, while the UK and Russia managed three apiece.

After that, it was one each for Israel, Honduras, Indonesia, Germany, Brazil, Pakistan and Sweden.

Strangely, just 3,637 from the 68,807 total entries up to and including event #57 were women, so resulting in only 5.3% of competitors being from the fairer sex.

Just one player managed to pick up two gold bracelets this year – and that was 29-year-old Brian Rast, from Denver, who lifted the $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em title for $227,232 as well as a massive $1,720,320 for his success in the $50,000 Poker Players’ Championship.

This summer’s WSOP was also the year of the pro, with 44 full-time players taking home gold bracelets, compared to the six collected by semi-pros and seven by amateurs.

Here’s a breakdown of the winners for you (in order in which the gold bracelets were won):

  • Professionals (44):
    • Jake Cody
    • Francesco ‘Cheech’ Barbaro
    • Eugene Katchalov
    • Allen Bari
    • Harrison Wilder
    • Matt Perrins
    • Sean Getzwiller
    • Viacheslav Zhukov
    • David Diaz
    • Andrew Badecker
    • Tyler Bonkowski
    • Brian Rast (two wins)
    • John Juanda
    • Aaron Steury
    • Darren Woods
    • Jason Somerville
    • Bertrand Grospellier
    • John Monnette
    • Elie Payon
    • Mark Radoja
    • Chris Viox
    • Dan Idema
    • Andy Frankenberger
    • Chris Lee
    • Sam Stein
    • Mark Schmid
    • Jason Mercier
    • Mikhail Lakhitov
    • Fabrice Soulier
    • Mitch Schock
    • Matt Jarvis
    • Justin Pechie
    • Ben Lamb
    • Rep Porter
    • Andre Akkari
    • Joe Ebanks
    • Lenny Martin
    • Athanasios Polychronopoulos
    • Antonin Teisseire
    • Matt Matros
    • Marsha Wolak
    • Maxim Lykov
    • Nick Binger
  • Semi-pros (six):
    • Sean R Drake
    • Amir Lehavot
    • Oleksii Kovalchuk
    • Eric Rosawig
    • Arkadiy Tsinis
    • Alexander Anter
  • Amateurs (seven):
    • Geffrey Klein
    • Foster Hays
    • James Hess
    • Kirk Caldwell
    • Ken Griffin
    • Owais Ahmed
    • David Singontiko

Now, remember that there are only 58 tournaments at the WSOP before we go on to discuss the most events entered by players – and we’re not including the main event just yet.

So, it was New Jersey’s Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan who led the way with 52 entries, to be followed by Shannon Shorr on 42, Justin Smith (41), George Lind (38),
Roland Israelashvili (38),
Jason Mercier (37),
Sorel Mizzi (37) and
Paul Volpe (37).

The most prolific female in relation to events entered was Ohio’s Erica Schoenberg on 24. Schoenberg was closely followed by Maria Ho and Live Boaree on 23, while Jennifer Tilly and Odette Tremblay had 22 starts, and Vanessa Selbst notched 21.

Two players were level on most cash finishes, with Moscow’s Kirill Rabtsov and California’s Ben Yu notching seven, while Simon Charette, Bryce Yockey, Victor Ramdin, Shaun Deeb, Roland Israelashvili, Davidi Kitai, Dan O’Brien, Shawn Busse, Tommy Vedes, Max Pescatori and
Chris Klodnicki all secured six in-the-money finishes.

A total of 42 players were tied on five money finishes, including the top female in Melanie Weisner, from Houston, Texas, although that only amounted to $42,894, which was way behind the leading woman cash prize winner in Maria Ho.

Cyndy Violette recorded four cash finishes for $43,885, as did Schoenberg for $16,515, while Veronica Dabul was in the money three times for a total of $15,143.

Taiwan’s Ho might only have secured two cash finishes, but that gave her $544,262 with the overwhelming majority of that coming from her runner-up spot to Allen Bari in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event.

The 28-year-old picked up $540,020 for that, while adding just $4,242 for finishing 125th in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event #43.

Marsha Wolak, of Illinois, was next on $194,239 for her two cash finishes, while Singapore’s Vanessa Peng picked up $137,983 from two cashes, and Stephanie Nguyen, of San Diego, left with $131,900 for finishing second to Darren Woods in the $2,500 Six-Handed Limit Hold’em event #19.

Rast, meanwhile, is – before the big bucks are handed out to the November Nine – the leading earner with three cashes for $1,952,443, while 11-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil ‘The Poker Brat’ Hellmuth left with $1,591,004 from his three runner-up spots.

Tulsa’s WSOP Player of the Year leader, Ben Lamb – who has enjoyed an incredible series – managed four cash finishes so far, as he is still in the main event, to have already bagged $1,331,832, while Joe Ebanks left with $1,179,031 from three cash finishes, Chris Moorman picked up $1,051,466 from five in-the-money placings, and Bari has accumulated $894,259 after four cashes.

So, now we arrive at the main event – and there are some fascinating stats to list here, as well.

This year’s tournament attracted 6,865 entries, which is the third largest in WSOP history behind the 7,319 from last year and the record-setting 8,773 from 2006, when Jamie Gold left with a massive $12 million for his victory.

With so many starters, the average age was well above the norm for this year’s 42nd staging of the WSOP at 37.17 years, with New York State’s Ellen Deeb the oldest at 91 and Florida’s Logan Deen the youngest as he only turned 21 on the seventh of July, which just happened to be Day 1B of the main event.

Similar to the WSOP as a whole, just 242 main event entrants were female, accounting for only 3.5% of the total, while 85 nations were represented in the race to collect the most sought-after of bracelet tournaments.

Not surprisingly, the USA provided the biggest number of participants with 4604, with Canada supplying 486 and the UK
entering 288. The other seven top 10 countries were France (213),
Germany (158),
Russia (108),
Italy (106),
Brazil (83),
Australia (80)
and Sweden (79).

Finally, all 50 US States recorded participants, with California again on top with 796, to be followed by
Nevada (460),
New York (422),
Florida (358) and Texas (326).

Well, there you have it, folks. That’s a quick rundown on some of the more interesting stats from this summer’s WSOP. Phew!