Here's yesterday's WSOP midpoint press release verbatim:
39th ANNUAL WORLD SERIES OF POKER®
RUNNING STRONG AT HALF-WAY POINT
Through Thirty Tournaments, Records Set, Attendance Strong & Pros Doing Well
LAS VEGAS – June 19, 2008 – It took until just the second event of the 2008 World Series of Poker Presented by Milwaukee's Best Light to know it was going to be another strong year. A record 3,929 poker enthusiasts put up $1,500 each to compete in the first No Limit Hold'em event and things have continued to build nicely since.
The 3,929 entrants were the most-ever for a non-Main Event field and, through 30 events at the 2008 WSOP, the statistics are on target for another stellar year. Among the numbers, thus far (through 30 events):
821 average entrants per event
$59,117,189 in total prize money awarded
$1,970,573 average prize pool per event
$439,545 average first place prize per event
The storylines at the 2008 World Series of Poker are as colorful as ever:
KC's Finest: The Hinkle Brothers, from Kansas City, Missouri became the first-ever set of brothers to win bracelets in the same year. Grant won Event #2 and $831,432, with Blair winning Event #23 and $507,563. The Hinkle's become only the second set of brothers to win bracelets at the WSOP, joining the Pearson's, Puggy (1973) and J.C. (1994).
Is The Tide Turning?: Amateurs have had a lot of success at the World Series of Poker in recent years, including the record six consecutive years the Main Event has been won by an amateur. But this year professional poker players have won 23 of 30 (77%) of the bracelets handed out thus far. One of the best pros never to win a bracelet has shed that label. Erick Lindgren won his first bracelet and currently is tied for the lead in the WSOP Player of the Year standings, while notables Daniel Negreanu, David Singer, Barry Greenstein, Max Pescatori and Mike Matusow have all captured gold during the first half of this WSOP.
The Real "World": The World Series of Poker has seen an astounding influx of international players participating and cashing at the WSOP in recent years. In 2007, a record 87 countries and territories had entrants in the WSOP. This year shows that players cashing in tournaments are consistently from all corners of the globe. Through 30 events, 37 different countries have had an entrant cash. They are: Argentina; Australia; Austria; Belgium; Bolivia; Brazil; Canada; China; Denmark; England; Faroe Islands; Finland; France; Germany; Gibraltar; Guatemala; Hungary; Indonesia; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Lebanon; Lithuania; Mexico; Monaco; Netherlands; Norway; Peru; Romania; Russia; Scotland; Slovakia; Sweden; Switzerland; United States and Venezuela.
Where's Vermont?: Through 30 events, all of the states in United States (and D.C.) have had at least one entrant cash in this year's World Series of Poker – except Vermont.
Sporting an Appearance: Baseball great Orel Hershiser, hockey star Jeremy Roenick, Miami Heat basketball player Earl Barron and Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss have all been seen playing during this year's WSOP.
-- more --
The Name Game: These folks are standing out at this year's WSOP: (through 30 events)
Most events entered this year:
Thomas McCormick (23)
Sirous Jamshidi (22)
Amnon Filippi (21)
Justin Bonomo (21)
Phil Ivey (21)
Most event cashes this year:
Nikolay Evdakov (6)
Rolf Slotboom (5)
Tom Schneider (5)
Kathy Liebert (5)
Alex Jacob (5)
Roland Isra (5)
Highest cash percentage this year:
Kathy Liebert - 62.5% (5 of 8 events entered)
Sarah Bilney - 50% (4 of 8 events entered)
Tom Lee - 50% (3 of 6 events entered)
Peter Debest - 50% (3 of 6 events entered)
Calen McNeil - 50% (3 of 6 events entered)
Most final tables reached this year: 2 (11 players tied)
Chris Bjorin; Andy Bloch; Alex Bolotin; Scott Clements; Jacobo Fernandez; Fu Wong; Minh Ly; Daniel Negreanu; J.C. Tran; Theo Tran
Money leaders at this year's WSOP:
Grant Hinkle - $831,462 (1 cash)
Phil Galfond - $817,781 (1 cash)
Nenad Medic - $810,608 (2 cashes)
Scott Seiver - 781,866 (3 cashes)
Duncan Bell - $666,697 (1 cash)
Tracking the Big Three: Phil Hellmuth, 11 bracelets, and Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson with 10 each have been busy trying to add to their lofty totals. Here are their results, thus far, at the 39th annual WSOP:
Hellmuth: Events entered: 15; Events Cashed: 2; Total Money Won: $106,896
Brunson: Events entered: 7; Events Cashed: 1; Total Money Won: $16,243
Chan: Events entered: 9; Events Cashed: 2; Total Money Won: $273,946