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The 2008 World Series of Poker has proven to be the largest series, both in entrants and prize money, in history. Official records were released yesterday evening confirming the achievement. The number of this year’s entrants beat out 2007 WSOP’s by 4,432 entries and the prize pool grew by $20,880,030. The number of countries and territories represented by the players was also at an all-time high.

For 2008, the WSOP had an amazing 58,720 entrants and a whooping prize pool of $180,676,248. It consisted of the largest live tournament field in a non-Main Event, for Event #2, in history. The number of entrants reached 3,929 for the $1,500 no limit Texas Hold’em tournament. Players this year came from 118 different countries and territories as compared to last year’s 87. So far, entrants from over 57 countries have cashed, and a player from each United States state and Canadian province.

It is clear that the WSOP is growing in popularity, recognition, and significance. As World Series of Poker Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack put it, “The results this year demonstrate the increasing global appeal of our events and the universal recognition that winning a World Series of Poker gold bracelet is poker’s ultimate achievement.”

This year’s Main Event comes in at second place in the record books in terms of size and riches. Its 6,844 entrants and $64,333,600 prize pool only fall short to those records set by the 2006 WSOP’s Main Event.