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WSOP Main Event Largest Since 2006
Attendance at the 2010 WSOP Main Event was up 31% through two days of registration and has been confirmed as the second biggest Main Event field in the 41 year history of the WSOP.
Only 2006 - arguably the peak of the poker boom - produced a larger turnout.
While the official registration number won't be released for another few hours, we know 4,928 players registered on the first three days and day 1D will exceed day 1C. That means the number will be well over 7,200.
"I had a bet that the number would hit 7,500," Doyle Brunson told PokerListings. When asked what he would attribute the spike in registrants to, Brunson summed it up in two words: "Internet poker."
Certainly the rise in online poker has contributed to increased turnout, but that alone can't explain the year-over-year spike.
"We're fortunate that people save up to play in this event," said WSOP Communications Director Seth Palansky. "This is the Olympics of poker and people want to play in the most recognizable poker event in the world."
Allen "The Chainsaw" Kessler said he has seen an increase in all of the tournaments he plays in. "People have more money in general, all of the higher buy-ins I've been playing like the $5k and $10ks have seen increased numbers."
"It helps that the WSOP didn't screw up registration this year and turn people away," Kessler added.
While there is still higher than usual unemployment in the United States, the U.S. financial situation has improved compared to last year and that probably contributed to the turnout. "I think the economy is coming back,"said Jeff Shulman. "[Registration] had been going up every year until the last couple, so I think this is a good sign."
"The fact that they didn't hold the tournament over the 4th of July weekend probably helped," said 2009 bracelet winner Blair Hinkle. "The last two years there was at least one day on the 4th and they lose a ton of American players who don't want to play on those days."
"I just hope they realize what they did right and do it again next year," said Hinkle.