Three Stats That Show Poker's True Growth
The World Series of Poker released its final numbers for the 2014 WSOP this week which showed it to be its largest ever with 82,360 participants and prize pools of over $225m.
While these numbers sound great, they aren't really the best indicators of growth for the WSOP.
Instead, let's look at some other numbers that give an even better idea of the true popularity of the WSOP.
A True "World" Series
This year 107 different countries were represented at the World Series of Poker with payers from Azerbaijan to Qatar and Vietnam taking part in at least one event this summer.
Other sports have a "World Series" or a "World Championship" but the participation is primarily American and Canadian.
Sure, there are players from other countries, but can the NBA boast players from 107 different countries?
It's been said that regardless of where you play poker is a language spoken by everyone and that appeared to be the case this summer.
Not Just an American Affair
Another key stat released by the WSOP was the number of players from each country.
Naturally, the United States dominated this stat with 78,165 participants. However there were five other countries with at least 1,000 players represented.
Canada was #2 on the list with 6,045 players. This is up from 4,118 last year. The United Kingdom had 2,894 players this year as opposed to 2,678 in 2013.
France and Germany both leapfrogged Russia for the fourth and fifth spot. France has 1,749 representatives and Germany 1,617. Last year, France only had 1,010 participants and Germany didn't even crack 1,000.
Russia had 1,370 players attend the 2014 WSOP up 260 from last year. Finally, Brazil had 1,057 players this year.
Three other countries had 500 or more citizens participating in the 2014 WSOP. Italy had 857 players, Austria 632 and Australia had 512.
Poker is growing worldwide and this year's WSOP numbers reinforce this trend. By the way, don't worry about the USA. Our 78,165 players was a 21,125 increase year-over-year.
Who said poker was dying?
Female Participation Up
In terms of percentages, female participation on the whole only grew from 5.1% to 5.28% this year.
Normally that would not be impressive, but keep in mind the year-over-year growth. This year 4,351 women participated in the World Series of Poker compared to 3,726 last year.
That's an increase of 625 players year-over-year or almost 10 per event.
Also, let's not forget the performances of Vanessa Selbst and Melissa Burr. Selbst won her third bracelet this summer, tying the all-time ladies mark and setting the mark for open-field wins by women. She also won $876,665 in prize money, the most ever for a female during the Vegas WSOP.
Melissa Burr cashed five times this summer and made three final tables. She just missed out on a fourth by one spot. Burr also became the first woman to cash and final table the $50,000 Poker Player's Championship.
Female participation is growing and players such as Burr and Selbst are beginning to take over the poker world.
While numbers such as overall participation and prize pools can be a bit subjective, the numbers above give us a clearer picture of the growth of the WSOP and of poker worldwide.
It makes one look forward with anticipation to the 2015 World Series of Poker.