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WSOP: Should the Main Event buy-in increase from $10,000?


The $10,000 buy-in for the World Collection of Poker Most important Occasion has been romanticized in movie, on tv and in print for greater than 50 years.

However it didn’t all the time value that a lot to enter.

When the match format was instituted in 1971 by Benny Binion, the primary Most important Occasion had a $5,000 entry charge, and Johnny Moss earned the winner-take-all prize. The next yr, the buy-in went as much as $10,000, and it has stayed there ever since.

Occasions change, although, and so does the worth of the greenback. This yr’s No-limit Maintain’em World Championship smashed the earlier file for largest Most important Occasion area.

With so many gamers capable of enter at that worth level, some within the poker group ponder whether it’s time for the WSOP to extend the buy-in from $10,000.

Others are joyful the place it’s.

“I don’t see any motive in any respect to kick it up,” skilled poker participant Daniel Negreanu mentioned. “For what? To decrease the numbers? We wish to give it an opportunity for everyone. I feel it’s excellent as is.

“There’s one thing historic about it being $10K, and I feel why mess with that?”

The argument for rising the buy-in is predicated largely on inflation. In line with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ on-line inflation calculator, $10,000 in 1971 has the identical shopping for energy as just a little greater than $76,000 in the present day.

The Most important Occasion was the highest-priced match on the WSOP schedule till 2005, and the five-figure value restricted the sphere to skilled poker gamers, rich businesspeople and the occasional dead-money novice hoping to get fortunate.

That modified through the poker growth of the 2000s, when attendance for the Most important Occasion spiked together with the rise of on-line poker. Chris Moneymaker certified for the 2003 Most important Occasion by an $86 on-line satellite tv for pc and went on to win the match, inspiring 1000’s of recent gamers worldwide who added the Most important Occasion to their bucket lists.

Beginning in 2006, the Most important Occasion has not drawn fewer than 6,000 gamers besides through the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 when the match used a hybrid on-line/stay format. The sphere crossed 8,000 gamers 4 instances, together with a file 10,043 this yr.

The unknown variable is what number of of these gamers would nonetheless enter if the Most important Occasion value $15,000 and even $20,000. Match officers declined an interview request by a spokesperson.

“Sooner or later, I feel it ought to change,” four-time WSOP winner Scott Seiver mentioned. “I feel there are many compelling arguments on each side. Simply my opinion of it’s truthfully largely inflation-related greater than the rest.”

Economics 101 teaches that as the price goes up, fewer folks can afford to pay. Gamers similar to 17-time WSOP winner Phil Hellmuth would quite preserve the Most important Occasion reasonably priced for as many as attainable.

“I’d wish to see 20,000 gamers, that’s the explanation why,” he mentioned.

As a method of maintaining alive Most important Occasion custom whereas nonetheless satisfying the excessive rollers who really feel the $10,000 buy-in misplaced its exclusivity, the WSOP has added larger buy-ins to the schedule. A $10,000 Pot-limit Omaha occasion debuted in 2005, and the $50,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. match — a format comprising 5 poker disciplines — was created the next yr.

Of the 95 stay occasions on this yr’s WSOP schedule, 26 featured a buy-in of $10,000 or extra.

One other method the WSOP has tried to provide Most important Occasion gamers extra bang for his or her $10,000 is by rising the dimensions of the beginning chip stack.

This yr, gamers had 60,000 chips on Day 1, which represented 300 massive blinds. When Moneymaker gained in 2003, he began with 10,000 in chips.

“It’s cool that every one these folks get to play,” mentioned Brian Rast, who was inducted into the Poker Corridor of Fame on Thursday. “Perhaps there’ll come a time finally the place $10,000 is sufficiently small that possibly that may make sense. To me that point hasn’t come but, so I don’t suppose it ought to change.”

Contact David Schoen at or 702-387-5203. Observe @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.


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