There are some events that transcend the sport or game itself, and for poker, the WSOP Main Event is one of the very few poker events covered by mainstream broadcasters. The appeal is easy to understand, given the allure of high-profile poker players and A-list celebrities battling it out for record prices in the gambling capital of the world, Las Vegas.
10,043 players entered the 2023 WSOP main event. No, this is not a typo, I promise. The Main event is known for having big fields, but this year broke a new record, and this, of course, contributed to a record prize pool for the event.
All players were required to pay the entry fee of $10,000, and this all accumulated in Daniel Weinman, a man who looked destined to be going home on day eight, emerging victorious. He was one card away from shaking hands with everybody, but he hit his two outer and the rest will now be referred to as history.
Weinman was left as the last man standing after years of poor results considering his poker CV. He takes home the trophy and a sum of $12,100,000. Trumping Jamie Gold’s efforts in 2006.
After his triumph, we then learnt that all the years of hurt got to him, and he was in a position where he was considering, despite a successful poker career, not competing in this event again.
“I was honestly on the fence about even coming back and playing this tournament,”
This is perhaps understandable, considering his results. On top of that, any poker player will attest that you can be the greatest player in the world, but to emerge as number one when 10,000 players have entered a tournament, the amount of luck you need is astronomical.
Many casual poker fans might not be aware of the mindset that is required for such events. The best players don’t enter these events contemplating winning until 95% of the field has gone home.
Weinman secured a decisive win in an astonishingly short span of 164 hands at the final table, marking the briefest Main Event final table in recent times. Day ten shattered previous records, wrapping up in under three hours. (It has been known for the final two to take twice as long as this).
Adam Walton bowed out in third place, pocketing $4,000,000. While Steven Jones, an Arizona-based real estate investor, now finds himself $6,500,000 richer. Although the play was brief yesterday, it was a fiercely competitive affair, and the change of pace was much appreciated by those watching.
“I’ve always kind of felt that poker was kind of going in a dying direction, but to see the numbers at the World Series this year has been incredible,” Weinman replied when asked about the main events record field.
Despite having already achieved success as a skilled player with substantial earnings recorded on the Hendon Mob database, Weinman’s record was underwhelming in this event, but victory has made all those years of going home early worth it. His bank manager will certainly think so.