Several new events will be making their debut at the 2023 WSOP, one of which has just concluded. The first-ever “Gladiators of Poker” event finished late last night, with Jason Simon beating out over 23,000 players to bag the first-place prize.
About WSOP 2023 Gladiators of Poker Event
The Gladiators of Poker event was aptly named, as it was certainly a test of strength and endurance. The $300 buy-in event had four starting flights and drew in 23,102 entrants which generated a prize pool of $5.7 million.
Huge numbers were seen at each flight:
- Flight A: 3,940
- Flight B: 4,571
- Flight C: 6,124
- Flight D: 8,467
Flight D was nearly a record-breaker, as it was the second-largest flight in the history of the WSOP. In fact, the entire event was just 5,000 runners short of being the biggest live poker event – an achievement earned by the Big 50 in 2019, which drew over 28,000 runners.
Another massive turnout for the final flight of the $300 Gladiators of Poker event. We have over 7,000 entries so far, with 90~ minutes of late registration left. Good luck, Gladiators! pic.twitter.com/5rudpwYxq9
— WSOP – World Series of Poker (@WSOP) June 10, 2023
Jason Simon’s WSOP Bracelet Win
After registration closed, the field was whittled down very quickly. Just over 800 players managed to make it through to Day 2.
Jason Simon wasn’t a chip leader going into the second day, but was fourth in chips by the time it was over. Only 14 made it to Day 3.
It was only three hours into the third day before the final table was set, with the short stacks being eliminated first. As Jason Simon and Eric Trexler entered heads-up play, Simon held a 4-to-1 chip leader but Trexler managed to hold his own for quite a while.
In the end, Simon shoved with K-8 for 10 big blinds and was called by Trexler with Jack-10. All the way down the river, Simon’s hand stayed the strongest and he scooped the last of the chips to become the first-ever Gladiator of Poker and win the biggest prize of his poker career so far.
The Cheapest-Ever WSOP Bracelet Event
Being the “cheapest-ever” live WSOP bracelet event certainly made it an attractive prospect. With a buy-in of $300 and a $3 million guaranteed prize pool, the Gladiator offered players the opportunity to turn a pretty small sum of money into a life-changing prize.
When Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP Main Event in 2003, his story was one of rags to riches. He was the first-ever player to win the main after qualifying online, showing the world that anyone could become a millionaire in the world of poker.
Since then, the WSOP has seen plenty of relatively unknown players win big in the Main Event but it’s incredibly rare for someone to land a huge win in return for such a small buy-in. So, the Gladiator event really brings the WSOP back to its roots, in a way, and we hope to see more events like this in the future.