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Biggest WSOP Fields

In 1973, Benny Binion, founder and owner of the Binion's Horseshoe casino, said of the WSOP Main Event, "We had eight players last year, and this year we had 13. I look to have better than 20 next year. It's even liable to get up to be 50, might be up to more than that. It will eventually."1

His statements proved pretty accurate. The 1974 Main Event had only 16 players, but 1975 had 21. And his longer-term prediction came true when 52 players entered the 1982 Main Event.

What he couldn't have predicted was that the growth would continue almost steadily for three full decades. And even then, it didn't stop. It exploded. Chris Moneymaker's truth-is-stranger-than-fiction world championship in 2003 fueled spectacular jumps from 839 to 2,576 to 5,619 to 8,773 entrants.

Only then did the crowds finally ease off, settling into the six-to-seven thousand player range for the last decade.

But even as the Main Event has stagnated, fields in lower-buyin events have continued setting new records, and the number of tournaments keeps rising. Some of the milestones along the way:

Different games have come in and out of fashion, which is reflected in the history of the largest fields:

Largest WSOP Tournaments Over Time

1971Four preliminary events each had about ten players10
1974$1,000 Limit Razz36
1975$1,000 Seven-Card Stud44
1976$1,000 No-Limit Hold 'Em56
1976$1,000 Ace-to-Five Draw80
1977$100 Women's Seven-Card Stud93
1980$500 Seven-Card Stud176
1982$1,000 No-Limit Hold 'Em192
1982$1,000 No-Limit Hold 'Em202
1983$1,000 Limit Hold 'Em234
1983$1,000 No-Limit Hold 'Em248
1984$1,000 Limit Hold 'Em270
1985$1,000 Limit Hold 'Em342
1988$1,500 Limit Hold 'Em400
1989$1,000 Limit Hold 'Em449
1994$1,500 Limit Hold 'Em506
1995$1,500 Limit Hold 'Em560
1999$1,500 Limit Hold 'Em609
2001$2,000 Limit Hold 'Em615
2003$10,000 Main Event839
2004$10,000 Main Event2,576
2005$10,000 Main Event5,619
2006$10,000 Main Event8,773
2015$565 The Colossus No-Limit Hold 'Em22,374
2019$500 No-Limit Hold 'Em "Big 50"28,371
2020$100 The Opener29,306
2020$50 Big 5044,576

Limit Hold 'Em's run ended in 2003; the biggest fields have all been in No-Limit Hold 'Em events since then:

Largest WSOP Tournaments All-Time

12020$50 BIG 5044,576
22020$100 WSOP MILLION$34,787
32021$50 No-Limit Hold 'Em - The Return30,810
42020$100 The Opener29,306
52019$500 No-Limit Hold 'Em "Big 50"28,371
62015$565 The Colossus - No-Limit Hold 'Em22,374
72016$565 No-Limit Hold 'Em21,613
82022$500 The Housewarming No-limit Hold 'Em20,080
92017$565 The Colossus III - No-Limit Hold 'Em18,053
102020$500 Mini Main Event No-Limit Hold 'Em15,205