What Are The Odds of Winning the WSOP Main Event?

avatar of chris Chris
February 22, 2022
odds of winning the wsop main

The World Series of Poker’s Main Event is the “big one” for poker players. There are dozens of smaller tournaments throughout the year. Still, the Main Event is the only one that requires a buy-in of $10,000 — although it does come with a prize pool of almost $12 million. The 2018 WSOP saw a record-breaking attendance for the Main Event with 6,719 players. The winner of this event takes home more than $9 million. Given that there are millions at stake and just under 10,000 players, you may ask yourself: What are the odds of winning the WSOP Main Event? Let’s take a look at what we know about this tournament below…

How many people play the WSOP Main Event?

The WSOP Main Event is always the biggest tournament of the entire year. People travel from all over the world to play in this event, and many are shocked by the sheer number of players that are at the tables. The WSOP has held the Main Event since 1970, so we can look at a ton of data to see how many people play each year. We will look at the total number of entrants and the percentage of total American entrants. Theoretical Odds of Winning the WSOP Main Event First, we must understand the theoretical odds for each player. Here are a couple of example scenarios. A player with a 1% chance of winning has a 99-to-1 chance of losing. Another player with a 10% chance of winning has a 90-to-10 chance of losing. Here’s what the numbers look like for a few different scenarios:

Actual Odds of Winning the WSOP Main Event

The odds of winning the WSOP Main Event vary yearly, thanks to the number of entrants. The chart below shows the average number of entrants for each Main Event year since 1970, as well as the average number of American entrants. Knowing this information, we can calculate the “actual odds” of winning the WSOP Main Event. The “actual odds” of winning the WSOP Main Event aren’t what most people think they are. After all, most people would assume that the “actual odds” would be based on the 1% or 10% that we discussed above. The problem is that the actual odds are actually much worse than that. The actual odds of winning the WSOP Main Event are 0.02%. Why are the actual odds so much lower than everyone thinks? Remember, we calculated the average number of entrants per year. This means that there have been many years where there were fewer than 1,000 entrants. And since there are a lot of players who don’t win any money from a tournament, there are a lot of chances to be eliminated before the final table. Let’s say that you make the final table with six other people. Your chance of winning the tournament is now 33%.

Which games have the best odds?

The specific game you play isn’t going to greatly impact your odds of winning the WSOP Main Event. If you’re looking for games with the best odds, you should choose poker variants like No-Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha. You’ll find that the games with lower stakes are much easier to beat. Because there is such a big prize for winning the Main Event, you’ll often find people playing higher-stakes games. These games are much tougher to beat because more experienced players are at the table. To enjoy the best odds of winning the WSOP, you should play a No-Limit Hold’em table with $0-$2 blinds. This table is going to be the easiest to beat by far.

What is the average payout for finishing in a certain spot?

The payout chart below shows the amount of money you can expect to win based on where you finish the tournament. Don’t forget that the top prize is $9,150,000, spread out among all 6,719 players. You’ll notice that the first position on the payout chart is “6th Place.” Why is this the first position and not the first-place winner? The payouts for the WSOP Main Event are actually based on the size of the field. Since you have exactly 6,719 people to beat, the first position on the payout chart is 6th place. The first-place finisher in the WSOP Main Event will win about $4 million, which is just a fraction of the total prize pool. Even if you finish in the top 10%, you’ll walk away with more than $100,000 in prize money.

Variables that determine your odds of winning the WSOM

There are a couple of different things to remember when trying to figure out your odds of winning the WSOP Main Event. First, you have to consider the size of the field. The more people that play, the tougher it is to come out on top. That said, you have more chances to win a bigger prize if more people are at the table. The second thing you have to consider is your skill level. If you’re a skilled poker player, you will have better odds of winning than a beginner. Finally, remember that the WSOP Main Event is a very difficult tournament to win. You’re not only competing with the other 6,719 players, but you’re also dealing with fatigue. The WSOP Main Event lasts for 10 days, so you must stay focused over a long period. This makes it much tougher to stay in the game, even if you’ve built up a big lead in terms of chips.


The WSOP Main Event is the most prestigious tournament in all of poker. That said, it’s important to remember that the odds of winning aren’t what most people think they are. You’re not going to get rich by playing in this tournament, but you can walk away with a nice chunk of change. To increase your odds of winning, you should focus on table selection. You can’t do anything about the size of the field, but you can try to find a table with inexperienced players. If you play your cards right, you could be the next WSOP champion!

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Author Chris

Father, Writer & Gamer working with casino operators to provide the best user experience from search to the game dashboard.

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