Marty Derbyshire wsop californians

Players really do come from all corners of the earth to play in the World Series of Poker Main Event.

In fact, the 2018 WSOP Main Event, which kicked off in Las Vegas last week, saw entries from 88 different countries on the way to becoming the second largest WSOP Main Event in poker history.

Almost every country, from Argentina to Zambia, saw at least one player enter poker’s world championship this year. Of course, no country is better represented than the United States, which accounts for 5,758 of this year’s 7,874 total entries.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia sent at least one player. However, to no one’s surprise, California is the most-represented state.

More than 1,000 from California

A whopping total of 1,009 players from The Golden State registered for the 2018 WSOP Main Event. No other state saw more than 1,000 players enter this year.

In fact, no other country saw more than more than 1,000 players enter this year. Canada is second to the US with 415 players in the 2018 WSOP Main Event.

Nevada is the state with the second-most entries at 626. It is followed by Florida (519), New York (456), and Texas (390) in the top five states.

A massive turnout for the third of three starting flights, held on the Fourth of July, helped make the 2018 WSOP the second biggest ever.

For context, the 2006 WSOP Main Event drew 8,773 players and remains the largest tournament in poker history. The 2006 prize pool reached $82,512,162, and champion Jamie Gold earned $12 million for the win.

A $74 million prize pool

Adding the record 4,571-entry Independence Day field to the 925 and 2,378 entries from the first two starting flights helped create a $74,015,600 prize pool this year. The top 1,181 finishers will make the money.

All nine players to make the final table will earn a minimum of $1 million. Plus, the 2018 WSOP Main Event Champion will collect an $8.8 million first-place prize. Even the runner-up will earn $5 million.

Many were predicting the July 4 holiday would create a huge turnout, while others said traditional picnics and firework shows would keep the masses away. It turns out the former were correct. The 4,571-entry field now represents the largest starting flight in WSOP Main Event history.

Plans are to play down to a winner on July 14.

The WSOP Main Event on ESPN

ESPN and online subscription-based poker content service PokerGO are providing television and live-streaming coverage of the event.

ESPN and ESPN2 are broadcasting coverage on a 30-minute delay during various prime-time hours. PokerGO picks up live stream coverage in the hours around the TV broadcasts. Live updates are also available on

New Jersey’s Scott Blumstein won the 2017 WSOP Main Event for $8.15 million, besting a 7,221-player field that created a $67,877,400 prize pool.

Editorial credit: Sharaf Maksumov /

Marty Derbyshire
Marty Derbyshire - Martin Derbyshire is a veteran of the world of poker and gambling, having worked as a reporter, producer, and editor in the industry for more than a decade. He has traveled the globe interviewing high-profile personalities and contributes to a number of publications, including,, and