This year’s Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championship attracted the largest turnout in poker history with a field of 3,752.
Attendance increased nearly 20% from last year and the capacity crowd represented the largest single-day start for any live tournament in poker history.
The 2011 champion is James Hess, from Encino, Calif, who earned $557,435 in prize money – the biggest payout ever for what some players have dubbed the Seniors World Poker Championship. It was his first-ever WSOP gold bracelet.
The Seniors Poker Championship has been successful due in part to the efforts of longtime GamingToday columnist “Oklahoma” Johnny Hale, who is known as the “Elder Statesman of Poker.”
Hale has organized many senior’s poker events over the years. Prior to the start of this year’s Seniors Championship, Hale conducted the annual “Roll Call,” which provides for a moment of silence and reflection on behalf of many deceased poker greats, such as Benny Binion, Johnny Moss, and others.