Nearly $3 billion.

That’s how much the World Series of Poker (WSOP) awarded in its first 49 years. In 2018, $266,889,193 was paid out to 18,105 players, which made it six out of the past seven years that more than $200 million was awarded at the WSOP.

Additionally, 123,865 entrants competed, making it the biggest turnout in the history of the WSOP. Both of those records are expected to fall in 2019 at the 50th Annual WSOP, which you can qualify for now on 888poker.

With the 50th Annual gathering upon us, we’ve decided to take a look at some facts and figures concerning WSOP winnings.

Table of Contents

WSOP Historical Fun Facts

  • At the 2018 WSOP, which included the WSOP Europe and Global Casino Championship, 34 poker millionaires were minted including Justin Bonomo ($10,198,296), John Cynn ($8,802,468), Joe Cada ($3,025,439), John Hennigan ($1,320,566), and Tommy Nguyen ($1,044,527).


  • Roland Israelashvili has the most WSOP cashes (96) without a bracelet, while Tony Cousineau (84), Tom McCormick (76), Allen Kessler (71), and Shannon Shorr (70) round out the top five.


  • 30 players have cashed in the WSOP Main Event six or more times. Among them are Berry Johnston (10), Johnny Chan (9), Doyle Brunson (8), Phil Hellmuth (8), Johnny Moss (7), JC Tran (7), Phil Ivey (6), and the late Gavin Smith (6).


  • Jamie Gold captured the biggest first-place prize in the history of the WSOP Main Event when he topped a record field of 8,773 players in 2006 to win $12 million.


  • 102 countries were represented at the 2018 WSOP including such faraway lands as Ecuador, Liechtenstein, Myanmar, Serbia, Haiti, and French Guiana.


  • Kelly Minkin has been the last woman standing in the Main Event twice. In 2018 she finished in 50th place for $156,265, and in 2015 she placed 29th for $211,821.


  • The average top prize at the 2018 WSOP was $655,337 (the biggest was $10 million in the Big One for One Drop).


Esfandiari Sits with Most WSOP Winnings

No one has more winnings in the history of the WSOP than Antonio Esfandiari with $21,835,096. The majority of that -- $18,346,673 to be exact – came when he topped a 48-entry field to win the 2012 $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop.

Likewise, the next two players on the list, Dan Colman ($17,413,782) and Daniel Negreanu, ($16,330,495), also earned a big chunk of their totals from the 2014 Big One for One Drop. Colman claimed $15,306,668 for prevailing while Negreanu got $8,288,001 for finishing as runner-up.

wsop winners earnings table


Most WSOP All-Time Cashes

Hellmuth may sit fifth on the WSOP’s all-time money list, but he is out in front in both bracelets (15) and number of cashes (120). The only other players to have hit the century mark in WSOP cashes are Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (120), Daniel Negreanu (108), Erik Seidel (107), and Barry Greenstein (102).

Here’s a look at the top ten number of cashes headed into the 50th Annual WSOP:


top ten number of cashes headed into the 50th Annual WSOP


Finally, here’s a look at some year-by-year numbers for the first 49 years of the WSOP:

year-by-year numbers for the first 49 years of the WSOP


Chad Holloway is a 2013 WSOP Bracelet winner who has previously worked for PokerNews as a managing editor and live reporter