Despite the fact that the 2005 World Series of Poker is only half finished, figures released by tournament officials indicate that this year's WSOP will more than double the record breaking numbers of the 2004 World Series.
Indeed, whereas last year the total number of tournament participants was 14,054, this year the combined total of player registrations for the first 21 events was tallied at 14,439. Tournament coordinators estimate that a total of 23,000 players will participate in this year's WSOP events.
And, not surprisingly, whereas last year the total prize money for all WSOP tournaments was an unprecedented $45 million, this year tournament organizers are anticipating a new record high of $100 million! In the first 21 events of the 36th WSOP alone, approximately $25.5 million was awarded in prize money.
Furthermore, organizers have discovered that players at the 2005 WSOP hail from 45 different countries across the globe. Not only another historic number set by this year's event, this statistic is also a marked indicator of the extent to which poker has infiltrated the international scene to become the distinguished cultural phenomenon we see here today at the Rio All Suites and Casino Pavilion in Las Vegas. And it is expected to keep growing…