American Players Dominating 2012 WSOP As Attendances Fall

2012 WSOP Latest NewsWith 36 of the 61 scheduled events at the 2012 World Series of Poker now complete, we are 60% of the way through poker’s showpiece event. But how have the numbers compared with recent World Series events? We’ve been crunching the WSOP numbers…

Winning Nationalities

In the last couple of years, the WSOP has had an international flavour to it, but after 36 events, it’s clear that American players have been dominating the 2012 World Series of Poker. Although the total number of nationalities is about right compared with recent years, 25 of the 36 bracelets won so far have gone to American born players; that#s five more than the 19 US born winners at last year’s WSOP, and 17 at this stage in 2010.

2012 WSOP Bracelets

25 – USA
3 – Canada
1 – Belgium, Bulgaria, England, France, Iran, Japan, Netherlands, Thailand

Different nationalities: 10

2011 WSOP Bracelets

19 – USA
4 – Canada
3 – England
2 – France, Russia, Ukraine
1 – Germany, Honduras, Indonesia, Israel

Different nationalities: 10

2010 WSOP Bracelets

17 – USA
4 – Canada, England
2 – China, Vietnam
1 – Bangladesh, France, Hungary, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia
Different nationalities: 12

Attendance

The 2012 WSOP has been a strange one in terms of attendance; one the one hand, numbers are clearly down overall, yet at the same time, records are being broken.

Event #29, the WSOP Seniors Championship, attracted a mammoth 4,128 entrants, blowing away the previous best of 3,752 set just last year, while around a third of the events with a comparable 2011 tournament had increased in attendance, even if only slightly. But on the flip side, the smaller buy-in No Limit Hold’em events that are usually a reliable indicator of WSOP attendance are majorly down.

At the 2012 World Series of Poker, average attendance in $1,000 NLH events stands at 2,797, compared with 3,499 in 2011 and 3,444 in 2010. The average attendance for the 2012 $1,500 NLH tournaments is 1,991, which is clearly down on the 2,369 seen in 2011 and 2,211 found back in 2010.

Prize Money

Prize money at this stage of the 2012 World Series of Poker is also noticeably lower than in the past two years. Admittedly, the structure has changed in such way that we have only seen three tournaments with a five figure buy-in so far, whereas at this stage in both 2011 and 2012, we had already seen seven such tournaments (including the $25,000 Heads Up event in 2011 and the $50,000 Players Championship in 2010).

Even allowing for the smaller number of five figure buy-in WSOP events, total prize money is still $12 million shy of the 2010 World Series of Poker total.

Total WSOP prize money after 36 events:
2012:  $57,755,820
2011: $73,295,910
2010: $69,786,730

2012 WSOP Player of the Year

The WSOP Player of the Year race is beginning to heat up, particularly as Phil Ivey and John Monnette are enjoying such strong form at the top of the table.

Monnette has already won a bracelet, on top of a second and third place finish from five cashes, while Ivey can boast six cashes and five top eight finishes, though he is yet to secure a bracelet.

Here is the 2012 WSOP Player of the Year top ten as it currently stands:

1 – Phil Ivey – 539.70
2 – John Monnette – 524.25
3 – Andrew Frankenberger – 384.66
4 – Phil Hellmuth – 368.70
5 – Michael Gathy – 321.25
6 – David Baker – 317.94
7 – Max Steinberg – 309.44
8 – Brian Hastings – 303.00
9 – Ashkan Razavi – 274.06
10 – Aubin Cazals – 263.00

This time last year, Russian Mikhail Lakhitov was top of the tree having won an event and cashing a further four times, though he has only managed a single cash in 2012.

One familiar face present at the head of both tables is Phil Hellmuth, who had a storming 2011 WSOP without managing to actually claim a bracelet, but securing three second place finishes. This year though, he’s finally captured his record breaking 12th WSOP bracelet, as well as cashing in four other events.

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