California Wins 2008 WSOP Money Race

Main Event Dominance Propels Left Coasters Past LV Locals

by , Jul 17, 2008 | 4:56 am

It’s been fun keeping track of the 2008 WSOP by city-nation-state … taught me a lot about something — what exactly, I’m not yet sure. But I did get a clearer picture of just how significant the main event really is compared to all other poker tourneys. Just a little more than a week ago, I wrote:

Unless something really funky happens in the main event, it looks like Nevada has the edge on California when it comes to home base for the best poker players in the world.

Well I guess something funky did happen, because even with the biggest prize-pool distributions TBD, California poker players absolutely dominated in the 2008 main event (93 cashes, 2 final tableists)… while the Nevadans (mostly Las Vegas-based, of course) seemed to be napping, or perhaps just resting on their laurels (49 cashes, 0 final tableists). Regardless, looking at the 55 events that comprised the 2008 WSOP, I think it’s clear that the visitors can stake their claim: California is the Poker Capitol of the World … at least for now.

GREAT DANES: Another big surprise (to me) — apparently the Scandis aren’t so overrated after all. Denmark in particular showed up at the main event ready to play, and not only did they get one of their own on the final table, but also they performed so well in the latter events that they scooched past a bunch of other supposed Europoker powerhouses in the money won. The best non-American players, according to these results, in order: Canadians, Brits, and then the Danes … who actually could move past the Brits come November … and if you add the Danish in with the rest of the Scandis, it’s clear that Scandinavia and the UK are like the California and Nevada of European poker.

GERMAN ENGINEERING: The Deutsch, of course, also have a legitimate claim to European badassness after the 2008 WSOP — with three bracelets proving that while maybe Germany couldn’t take home as much money overall, they have at least a few players who know how to close it down when the opportunity is in front of them.

RED DAWN: And really it’s no surprise that the Russians made their statement this WSOP — we all heard they were coming, and indeed they did. Who is Nikolay Evdakov anyway? I mean other than the guy who smashed the record for most cashes in a World Series. At the same time, like so many who get kinda big heads, the Ruskies pretty much got their asses kicked overall in the main event — only four little cashes, but they do have one (scary) player at the final table,

(By the way, we’ll have to talk later about why Full Tilt won’t do business with the Russians.)

COOL RUNNINGS: Rory Chinn became the first and most irie Jamaican to cash in the 2008 WSOP, finishing 533rd in the main event, for $25,090. Pauly et al salute you … and your people every day.

Plausibly related, Steven Rosen from Armonk, New York, finished in 420th place, receiving a very Hammery payout of $27,020.

POSITIVE LATTITUDE: Two other newcomers to the WSOP money: Ecuador and Nova Scotia.


These numbers represent results of the 2008 WSOP through 54.9987 of 55 events. And $180.7 million awarded, with a possible error of + or – $185 (or .0001percent).

There is still $24,527,416 and one bracelet being fought for — by representatives from Ontario(2), California(2), Russia(1), Texas(1), Missouri(1), Denmark(1), and New York(1).

All of the above have been credited with 9th place money – $900,670 – which has been removed from the remaining prize pool.

Full list of WSOP results by country, state, and/or province here.

8 Comments to “California Wins 2008 WSOP Money Race”

  1. Aaron A

    California?? hmmmm…. They have 330 more cashes than Nevada but only $160,000 more in earnings?? That tells you that possibly the Nevada players move further in the tournaments, and also have 5 more bracelets and 1 more final table than the Cali’s. I think it’s a tough call to say who’s better. Cali still may be a sliiiiight favorite in the number of cashes, but Nevada still shows plenty of power.

    I could be missing something with the above observation, but I think Nevada is just as strong or stronger than Cali with those stats.

  2. DanM

    You are forgetting that California has two players at the final table, to Nevada’s zero.

    So that means when all is said and done, the money split between them will be in the millions.

  3. Uncle Ray

    Okay, I’ve kept quiet long enough. Aaron, you are correct when pointing out that the money is virtually the same and CA has 1 and 1/2 times as many cashes, the same number of final tables, and Nevada has 1 and 1/2 times as many bracelets. How does that make CA superior?

    I’ll reiterate what I have always said, that you can twist statistics any way you want to make them mean what you want them to.

    Dan, the split MIGHT be in the millions, might not. If they’re the first 2 bustouts, the difference is only 100K more. And whatever happens, it won’t increase the CA number of final tables and only POSSIBLY increase bracelets by 1.

    What would be more telling is the percentage of people from an area that cashed in. CA has 996 cashes, but how many CAians entered the 55 events? NV has 666 cashes but how many NVdans entered the 55 events? (you do notice that the last 3 letters of Nevadan is Dan, right?)

    Also, out of 996 cashes for CA, how many DIFFERENT people cashed? or was it the same people over and over.

    And if one person entered many events and cashed 5 but busted out of the main event, and another entered many events but ONLY cashed in the main event, and for more money than the guy who cashed 5 times, who did better?

    I can think of a million (well, maybe only 2 or 3) more questions to ask about the stats, and all of them have an affect (did I use affect/effect correctly, too/to/two/2?) on where you might think the most successful players this year are from. But you get my point. It all comes down to your opinion of what are the most important stats anyway.

    I’ve said enough (probably too much)

  4. DanM

    Boy Uncle Ray, you sure do take your data seriously. Just to be clear, all final tableists have been “awarded” their 9th place $900k … both in real life and the Pokerati World Standings.

    So if the California players went out in 9th and 8th place, Cali still would have another $1.something million added to their overall stack. Oh, wait, I see what you are saying … you are right, it would be only a few hundred thousand difference that way.

    Still, I didn’t even expect them to pass Nevada at all with one event to go. And because there are different ways to look at the data, we have given you multiple ways to look at it … indeed, the debate will come down to what’s more important, the actual bracelets or the money they represent.

    BTW, it should be noted that Argentina and Alabama are still leading in the Alphabetical standings.

  5. Uncle Ray

    Actually I DON’T take data seriously, since I’ve always dealt with it and can do a pretty good job of manipulating it myself.

    What I like to do is point out that there are alternative ways to interpret the data that you see, and therefore alternatives to the conclusions you can make. I’d rather tell someone they are jumping to conclusions not supported by the facts than jump to conclusions of my own. It’s more fun that way.

    By the way, the intriguing thing to me is how the “home” is determined. I mean, are you Dallas Dan or Danny Vegas?

  6. Ed

    I have always thought of him as Dan The Pole.

    Or is that Poll?

  7. DanM

    ***By the way, the intriguing thing to me is how the “home” is determined. I mean, are you Dallas Dan or Danny Vegas?***

    That’s the biggest dilemma on here. You may have seen earlier debates on whether Shannon Shorr was from LV or Alabama, and whether or not David Benyamine really was from France.

    Our default was to go with whatever locale was the player’s officially declared residence was … and made a few semi-consistent changes along the way.

    The trick would be to add an extra blank on whatever form players fill out — second home, or birthplace or something. Would make it sooo interesting, as we might see a real Vietnam vs. Texas kinda thing developing, since so many of the original Viets now make their home base in Cali, and Texans do so in Vegas.

    But even that adds a slight level of complication. Take me, for example, if “birthplace” provided the secondary home info, I would be seen as Dan from Chicago, instead of Dan from Texas, where I really feel is home.

  8. Aaron A

    I want to move to Las Vegas from Dallas and be a professional poker player!!! Yeah!!!