WSOP: The Numbers Behind the Numbers for Volpe, Lewis and Canada

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There are some interesting numbers to look at from the 2018 World Series of Poker.

The 2018 World Series of Poker had its own fair share of memorable moments and unforgettable storylines, but a deeper look at some of the numbers reveals a few things that might have been missed.

Another Up Year for the Main Event. What about 2019?

For the third year in a row, and the fourth time in the last five, the number of entrants in the WSOP Main Event was up year over year. That’s hardly news, but the amount that field size jumped this year might be. The 7,874 players who paid the $10,000 entry fee this year represented a 9.04% jump in attendance. That’s the biggest jump in the last five years

Year Field Size Y/Y Growth
2014 6,683 5.21%
2015 6,420 -3.94%
2016 6,737 4.94%
2017 7,221 7.18%
2018 7,874 9.04%

So what exactly does this mean for 2019? Well, all indications are that 8,000 players is almost a certainty. If the 2019 Main Event sees the same amount of growth, 8,586 players will play the Main Event, making it the second largest Main Event of all-time behind the 2006 Main Event. To surpass that magical year – 8,773 players – the 2019 Main Event will need to see an 11.5% increase of 2018. That’s an increase not seen since the early days of the Poker Boom.

Paul Volpe Does His Best Against the Best

Everybody is well aware that Shaun Deeb won two bracelets this summer and is the frontrunner for WSOP Player of the Year, but what Paul Volpe did this summer is worthy of extra attention. Volpe, a former #1-ranked player on PocketFives, won his third career bracelet this summer but also picked up seven other cashes, and those are the ones that people should be talking more about.

All eight of Volpe’s cashes this WSOP came in events with a buy-in of $10,000 or greater. He picked up five cashes, including his win, in $10,000 Championship events. He also picked up a 15th place finish in the $100,000 High Roller and a 32nd place finish in the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller. By and large, those events are populated by the best players and Volpe might have been the player to shine brightest.

Paul Volpe’s 2018 WSOP results

Event #2: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super Turbo Bounty 3rd $169,195
Event #5: $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller 15th $155,378
Event #9: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship 1st $417,921
Event #23: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship 14th $14,691
Event #42: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed High Roller 32nd $41,049
Event #56: $10,000 Razz Championship 11th $21,059
Event #65: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em MAIN EVENT – World Championship 142nd $57,010
Event #74: Big Blind Antes $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed Championship 2nd $503,196

Not Enough People Are Talking About Romain Lewis

For the last six years at least one player has suffered the heartbreaking agony of finishing runner-up in two WSOP events. This year that distinction went to France’s Romain Lewis. The 23-year-old Team Winamax Pro finished second to Benjamin Moon in a $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event and Ronald Keijzer in a $ 3,000 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha event. He almost picked up a third runner-up finish in the $10,000 Six Max No Limit Hold’em event, but ultimately fell in third place behind Volpe and eventual champ Shaun Deeb.

Oh, Canada

Given a simple understanding of geography and online poker laws, it seems logical that Canadian poker players would do well at the WSOP every year. That’s not the case though and 2018 showed that things are trending in the wrong direction though. Thanks to tax laws that take a good chunk of winnings from Canadian players before they even leave the cashier window, Canadians seem to be passing on spending the entire summer in Las Vegas grinding the WSOP events.

This year, 833 players cashed in WSOP events earning $7,995,246. Both of those numbers are down over 2017 even though there were four more events on the schedule this year. In 2016, the first year that the WSOP went with 15% payouts across the entire schedule, Canadians cashed 712 times but earned just $8,529,088 – down $3.2 million from the previous year.

Year Bracelets Cashes Winnings
2014 0 515 $14,804,565
2015 4 570 $11,717,753
2016 1 712 $8,529,088
2017 1 857 $10,937,983