Poker news | Oct 13, 2020
Numbers Behind Record Breaking 2020 WSOP Online
By RTR Dennis
The 2020 World Series of Poker is possibly the strangest entry in the series’ history. This year’s edition, which included 85 tournaments, exclusively took place online.
The 2020 WSOP Online started out on WSOP.com. Open only to players located in New Jersey or Nevada, WSOP.com hosted the first 31 (non-bracelet) events from mid-July until August. From here, GGPoker took the torch for the final 54 events—all of which offered gold bracelets.
Despite the exclusive online format and lack of live play, the 2020 WSOP Online was a memorable one. In fact, it set plenty of records regarding both the WSOP and internet-based tournament series in general.
What Records Were Set in the 2020 WSOP Online?
The talk going into the 2020 World Series of Poker was whether any live events would happen. Some speculated that, assuming COVID-19 fears died down, the Main Event could happen live. This theory never materialized as the entire series took place on WSOP.com and GGPoker.
Most people probably wouldn’t have guessed that an all-online series would be so popular. The 2020 WSOP was indeed a hit as the following records indicate:
- Largest attendance for a WSOP event – 44,765 (Event #71: $50 Big 50)
- Biggest average prize pool for any poker series – $2,737,195
- Most millionaires made from an online poker series – 13
- Most seven-figure prizes paid in an online series – 11
- Most nationalities to play in a WSOP series – 166
- Most seven-figure prize pools in an online poker series – 45
- Second-most prize money in any online poker series – $147,808,535
- Largest guaranteed prize pool for an online poker tourney – $25 million ($5,000 Main Event)
The headliner here is definitely the attendance record being broken. An astounding 44,765 players signed up for the Event #71: $50 Big 50. With such a small entry fee, it’s no wonder why a record-breaking number of players turned out for this event.
The attendance record was actually broken three times throughout the series. Event #32: $100 The Opener set up for a special series after drawing 29,036 entries.
Event #84: $100 WSOP Million$ broke this mark with a new record at 34,787 entries. The current record, though, now stands at 44,765 players thanks to the $50 Big 50.
The $5,000 WSOP Main Event Online was no doubt a big story too. It guaranteed a $25 million prize pool and broke this mark when its prize pool reached $27,559,500.
More on the 2020 WSOP Main Event Online
2020 marked the first year that the WSOP Main Event wouldn’t take place in a live setting. It also offered its smallest buy-in in history at $5,000 and allowed re-buys for the first time.
All totaled, the 2020 WSOP Main Event Online drew 5,802 entries. 3,470 of this total included unique entries while the remaining amount came from re-buys.
Many people wondered if GGPoker would need to cover a big overlay early on. After all, not many players had entered through the first several flights.
However, the last 23 starting flights drew a massive number of players. Again, the 2020 ME broke the $25 million guarantee with a $27.56 million prize pool.
Bulgaria’s Stoyan Madanzhiev battled through the large field to win the Main Event. He collected a $3,904,686 prize for his efforts.
Madanzhiev played highly aggressively on the final table. He eliminated most of his remaining opponents en route to becoming the first (and possibly only) online WSOP Main Event champion.
Other Interesting Stories from the 2020 WSOP
Broken records and the ME weren’t the only noteworthy happenings at this year’s World Series of Poker. You can see other notable stories from the summer of 2020 below.
The Ladies Do Well
Female poker players never make up a large percentage of WSOP entries. Nevertheless, they made their presence felt in 2020.
Three women won a gold bracelet this year. Kristen Bicknell headlined this group by winning her third-career bracelet. Melika Razavi and Thi Truong each captured their first bracelet.
Nahrain Tamero took down the WSOP.com Main Event. Although Tamero didn’t win a bracelet since this tourney happened on WSOP.com, she did become yet another female champion.
Wenling Gao Becomes Highest Female Finisher in WSOP Main Event
Wenling Gao took second place to Stoyan Madanzhiev in the 2020 WSOP Main Event Online. She collected a $2,748,605 payout, which is the largest single prize ever awarded to a woman in any WSOP series.
It’s a shame that Gao just missed out on becoming the first female Main Event champ. But she is at least the first to finish runner-up.
Alek Stasiak Only Player to Win 2 Bracelets in 2020
Most series see at least one player win multiple gold bracelets. Alek Stasiak was that player this year. Normally a low-stakes grinder, Stasiak satellited into both Event #33: $1,111 Every 1 for COVID Relief and Event #52: $1,000 NL Hold’em.
He won Event #33 along with a $343,204 prize after entering through a $10 satellite. His series got even better when he topped 2,006 players in Event $52.