The World Series Of Poker should also be known as the World Series Of Profit. Looking at the financials for the 2012 WSOP Main Event only, you can see why Caesars Entertainment Corporation were keen to move the WSOP to the much larger Rio and what happened after they purchased the WSOP brand.
The figures for this one event are staggering and we are not typing about the total prizepool paid out to the players, which is the 1st Wonder of the Sporting World.
2012 WSOP Main Event figures
Total entry pool: $65,980,000
Buy-in fees (4.2% of the total entry pool): $2,771,160
Tournament staff wages (1.8% of the total entry pool): $1,187,640
Total Prizepool (before “October 9”): $62,021,200
Prizepool interest (up to “October 9”): $10,185
Final Total Prizepool: $62,031,385
It would seem that Caesars Entertainment took $3,958,800 out of the prize pool for the Buy-in fees ($2,771,160) and Staff wages ($1,187,640).
World Series of Poker Profit
For the 2012 WSOP there was a total prizepool payout of $222,035,192! The lower buy-in tournaments ($1,500) seemed to charge a 10% fee of the prizepool, the $10,000 events charged 6% and the $50,000 Poker Players Championship charged the same as the Main Event at 4%.
Back of the beermat calculations at 5% average for the combined buy-in fees and and tournament staff wages for total prizepool paid at during 2012 WSOP, Ceasars Entertainment collected $11,101,759.6. The true figure can be worked by going through the different tournaments if that sort of accuracy turns you on.
Obviously there are the running and hidden costs but there is also the other revenue streams of cash games, drinking, food, hotel accommodation, poker players degenerate gambling in the casino, sponsorship deals, media deals …
Although the figures for the WSOPs in 2002/2003 were much lower than todays poker extravaganzas you can see why Ceasars Entertainment (formerly Harrah’s Entertainment) were very keen in 2004 to purchase Binion’s Gambling Hall and Hotel and the WSOP brand.
Within a few days Ceasars promptly sold the Binion’s bricks and mortar but retained the brand names of Binion’s Horseshoe and much more importantly the World Series of Profit.