2013 WSOP Main Event

2013 WSOP: Harwood, Alaei Earn Bracelets; Main Event Underway, Draws 6,352

Day 1b of the 2013 WSOP Main Event (Photo: WSOP)

Day 1b of the 2013 WSOP Main Event (Photo: WSOP)

The last two preliminary events of the 2013 World Series of Poker finished up late Sunday night/early Monday morning while the $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em Main Event got underway with three Day 1 starting flights. Here’s a look at how those last two events played out as well as how the turnouts shaped up for both the Main Event and the Series as a whole.

Event #60 ($1,500 NLHE): Harwood Makes History

Loni Harwood continued a remarkable summer’s worth of finishes on Sunday night by winning Event #60, the last $1,500 no-limit hold’em event of the summer. For topping a big field of 2,541, Harwood earned a $609,017 first prize and her first WSOP gold bracelet.

Harwood became the second woman to win an open event at the WSOP this summer, following Dana Castaneda’s win in Event #54 (a $1,000 NLHE event). Castaneda and Harwood are the first women ever to win open no-limit hold’em bracelets at the WSOP in Las Vegas, as all prior wins by women in open events in LV were in other variants. (Annette Obrestad won the WSOP Europe Main Event in 2007 in England, and Allyn Jaffrey Shulman won the Seniors NLHE event in Vegas last year.)

Harwood’s finish marked her sixth cash at the 2013 WSOP and third final table. She finished sixth in Event #31 ($1,500 PLO8) and fourth in Event #53 ($1,500 NLHE), and is now third in the 2013 WSOP Player of the Year race behind Matthew Ashton (first) and Daniel Negreanu (second).

Event #61 ($10,000 PLO): Alaei Earns #4

Playing out just a few feet away from Harwood’s final table after midnight on Sunday was the final table of the last preliminary event of the summer, the $10,000 pot-limit Omaha event in which Daniel Alaei made some history of his own by winning his fourth career WSOP bracelet and second in four years in the $10K PLO event after having won the same tournament in 2010.

Alaei topped a tough field of 386 to win the bracelet and $852,692 first prize, including Jared Bleznick who finished runner-up after just one hand of heads-up play. Tom Marchese (who finished fourth) and Alex Kravchenko (who finished ninth) were part of the final table, with two-time bracelet winner Oleksii Kovalchuk (10th), Johannes Strassmann (11th), and Tony Cousineau (12th) just missing making the final nine.

Event #62 ($10,000 NLHE Main Event) underway, draws 6,352

The three Day 1 flights of the $10K NLHE Main Event played out on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, with the total number of entrants adding up to 6,352, down from last year’s 6,598. The total prize pool for the Main Event adds up to $59,708,800, with $8,359,531 due the winner in November.

While the WSOP was quick to report yesterday how the total number of entries in the 2013 Series set an all-time high of 79,471 (beating the previous record of 75,672 in 2011), the 62 total events were also the most of any WSOP, with the additional and unique “Millionaire Maker” Event #6 alone adding 6,343 entries to the overall total.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of 35 parallel events from 2012 and 2013.

Comparing 2012/2013 WSOPs

Not included above are the standard $1,000 NLHE and $1,500 NLHE events (i.e., without re-entries or guaranteed prize pools), both of which tended to see much smaller fields this year when compared to 2012.

The five $1K NLHE events in 2012 averaged fields of just under 3,277 players, whereas the five in 2013 averaged just under 2,200 even. Meanwhile, the seven $1,500 NLHE events in 2012 averaged just over 2,640 players per tournament, whereas this year the eight $1,500 NLHE events averaged a little under 2,192 players per tournament.

With regard to the latter comparisons, it should be added that this year’s “Millionaire Maker” (a $1,500 NLHE event with limited re-entries) and “Little One for One Drop” (a $1,111 NLHE event with unlimited re-entries) undoubtedly affected turnouts for the other lower buy-in no-limit hold’em events.

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