July 11, 2010 (CAP News Wire) – This year’s World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event — currently underway — has been announced as the second-biggest of all time in terms of number of registered players: 7,319 of ‘em, playing for a $8.94 million jackpot.

“The total is an about 12 percent increase over last year, when Joe Cada won $8.5 million,” writes the Atlantic City Weekly.

The only year with bigger numbers was 2006. And the reason why the WSOP isn’t reaching those 2006 levels of numbers again: Surprise, surprise: The UIGEA strikes again.

“After 2006, federal restrictions on online gambling reduced the amount of players making the tournament through online satellites,” the Atlantic City Weekly also reports.

But organizers are still more than happy. “In this era, it feels like a record,” says Ty Stewart, WSOP vice president, per Sports Illustrated.

And indeed, in other ways, this year’s WSOP is the biggest ever.

“The 41st WSOP has been a record setter across the board,” according to the DoylesRoom blog. “Over the course of the summer, the series enticed the biggest crowd ever, more than 20% greater than last year’s Series. After the Main Event is completed, the competition will have played host to nine of the seventeen biggest live tournaments in history. The total prize pool of the entire series stands at $187,109,850, again the most ever.”


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