WSOP Tournament of Champions Gets Less than 50% Turnout of Eligible Players WSOP Tournament of Champions Gets Less than 50% Turnout of Eligible Players

When the WSOP decided to move its invitation-only $1 million freeroll tournament, the Tournament of Champions, to Los Angeles, the decision was met with disapproval from many of the qualified players.

This dissatisfaction has now been reflected in the turnout.

According to the WSOP’s website, 1176 players qualified for the 2024 Tournament of Champions. However, fewer than half of them traveled to Los Angeles to participate in the tournament currently taking place at The Commerce Casino & Hotel.

The actual turnout was 562 players, representing just 48% of the eligible players.

This turnout is significantly lower compared to last year when the event was held at the beginning of the 2023 WSOP live series in Las Vegas. At that time, 960 players qualified for the 2023 TOC, and over three-quarters of them attended the freeroll, 741 to be precise.

In 2022, the participation rate was even higher, with 470 out of 569 eligible players competing in the event, representing 83% of the total qualifiers who competed in the event.

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Tournament of Champions Turnout (2022 – 2024)

Year Qualifiers Actual Participants % of Participation Location
2022 569 470 83% Las Vegas
2023 960 741 77% Las Vegas
2024 1176 562 48% Los Angeles

The $1 million freeroll tournament kicked off on May 22 as part of the final stop of the WSOP-C 2023/2024 season, currently taking place at The Commerce Casino in Los Angeles. The tournament is currently running into its second day, with 104 players remaining in contention.

Only 100 players will receive payouts, with the minimum cash prize set at $2,400 and the winner earning $200,000 along with a WSOP gold bracelet.

The tournament was exclusively open to champions from the current WSOP Circuit season. Eligible participants included winners of gold rings from live or online circuit events, as well as online or live bracelet winners, including those from WSOP Europe or WSOP Paradise.

Despite nearly 1,200 eligible players, the tournament attracted only 562 participants. Those who did compete had an expected value of $1,780.

The low turnout can be attributed to several factors. Many qualifiers anticipated the event would be held in Las Vegas during the WSOP live series, as in the previous two editions. These players would have already planned to travel to Las Vegas, but the shift to a new venue meant additional travel expenses for those wanting to participate in the freeroll.

Furthermore, a 7% tax on tournament winnings in Los Angeles deterred some players, as did the timing of the event right before the start of the WSOP 2024 series, necessitating travel to two states in a short period.

WSOP Los Angeles Circuit Awards Over $6M

It seems WSOP’s goal was to boost attendance at its final WSOP-C festival at the Commerce Casino. A total of 18 rings were up for grabs, and the winner of each ring event qualified for the Tournament of Champions.

The $1,700 Main Event generated the largest prize pool of the series: $2.22 million from 1,467 entrants. However, the biggest crowd-puller was Event #1: $600 The Housewarming NLH, which attracted 1,483 participants, creating a total prize pool of $763,745. The $400 Monster Stack was the third most popular event, drawing 1,087 entrants and producing $358,710 in prize money. The $1,100 Mystery Bounty NLH ring event saw 329 participants, resulting in a prize pool of $320,775.

Overall, the series generated over $6 million in prize money and attracted more than 9,000 entries.

Despite the success of the Circuit series in Los Angeles, WSOP will likely reconsider its decision to host the Tournament of Champions at a venue other than Las Vegas during the WSOP live series. Expect next year’s Tournament of Champions to return to Las Vegas during WSOP 2025.