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By Dianne R. Davis

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Photos by Dianne R. Davis or Burt Davis

42nd Annual World Series of Poker® Sets All-Time Records

Total Prize Money and Participation Establish New High Marks

Total Participation Finishes Over 75,000 Entrants for First-Time Ever

The 42nd annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) presented by Jack Links Beef Jerky at the Rio-All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas established a host of new records as poker enthusiasts from more than 100 nations compete in the game’s grandest spectacle. The WSOP remained the industry standard-bearer, with a record 75,672 entries in 58 events creating the largest prize pool in WSOP history: $191,999,010.


The new all-time high in entrants surpassed by 3.7 percent the previous record of 72,966 set last year; this year’s record prize pool eclipsed the previous high of $187,109,850 set in 2010 by 2.6 percent. For the seventh consecutive year, the WSOP generated a total prize pool well in excess of $100 million.

In the 42-year history of the WSOP, the prestigious tournament has now awarded more than $1.4 billion in prize money. (Actual figure is: $1,420,374,131)

Jason Alexander

Legions of amateur players competed alongside legendary poker pros, Hollywood A-listers and international sports figures to establish the new milestones. Among the notable non-poker playing names competing during this year’s WSOP included Jason Alexander, Nelly, Ray Romano, Shannon Elizabeth, Jennifer Tilly, Shane Warne, Paul Pierce, Shawn Marion, Petter Northug, David Lee, Phil Kessel, Jeff Fenech, Patrick Bruel and Brad Garrett.

The youngest player in this year’s WSOP was Logan Deen, from Cocoa, Florida who played Day 1-B of the Main Event, the day of his 21st birthday – and he did survive the day. The oldest player to participate in this year’s WSOP was 91-year-old Ellen Deeb, who played Day 1-C of the Main Event, but unfortunately Ellen didn’t make it through. It didn’t stop her from pulling out $10,000 cash from her purse to try and re-enter the tournament (not allowed), but she’ll have to wait to 2012 to play again.

"This summer underscores the appeal of the game and the power of this event. We're so thankful for all those who came from around the world to demonstrate that poker continues to grow," said World Series of Poker Executive Director Ty Stewart

Many within the poker community speculated that participation in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship – commonly referred to as the Main Event – would suffer this year, however it remained right in line with where it has averaged the last five years (6,753).

The 2011 WSOP Main Event attracted its third-largest field ever, with 6,865 participants. As a result, the prize pool for the 2011 Main Event alone stands at $64,531,000 million, with the winner’s share amounting to $8,711,956.


Alexa Fisher Back at World Series of Poker

I met little 7 year old Alexa Fisher at the World Series of Poker a year ago and was taken with this adorable Texan. ( Low and behold, I bumped into her and her family in the hallway of the Rio, outside the huge room where the WSOP Main Event was underway. Check out my interview with this 8 year old poker prodigy.


America's Got Talent contestant Geechy Guy can be seen in Las Vegas at Hooter's Hotel & Casino.

Check out my interview with him back in December.

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