The World Series of Poker is toasting its 2020 success after a number of long-standing records were smashed over the course of the 54 event series, which saw almost $150m in cash won.

The flagship WSOP live poker tournament in Las Vegas was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and, as a result, an online series of events took place at GGPoker from July 19 to September 6.

Among the records to tumble was that of the biggest online poker tournament prize ever awarded, which saw Stoyan Madanzhiev, winner of the event 77 WSOP Online 2020 Main Event, scoop $3.9m.

In total, 54 WSOP bracelets were claimed in the WSOP Online 2020 series, with the tournaments representing the first time that players located outside the US were able to compete for official WSOP bracelets online.  

“Obviously the events of 2020 have been unprecedented, and hosting the WSOP Online series at GGPoker wasn’t in our plans at the start of the year,” said Ty Stewart, executive director of the World Series of Poker

“But going online has been a wonderful experience, with tens of thousands of new players all over the world able to experience some of WSOP magic that they might have been otherwise unable to – we’re delighted that the series has been such a resounding success.”

Total prizes paid across all 54 tournaments came in at $147.7m, with an average prize pool of $2.7m, as the $5,000 buy-in WSOP Online Main Event boasts a status of the largest online poker tournament ever by producing $27.5m.

Furthermore, 166 nationalities were represented across the entire player base, with $354,756 also raised for the Caesars Cares charity; $257,853 by the worldwide poker community and $96,903 donated by GGPoker.

“For 50 years, the WSOP has been the gold standard in the industry,” said Steve Preiss, head of poker operations at GGPoker. “By introducing features like SnapCam and day 2 staking, GGPoker’s entire team worked tirelessly to bring our players a fun, unique experience just like they’d expect at the live WSOP.”

Notable players that participated in WSOP events included current and former footballers Neymar and Andriy Shevchenko, ex-world champion boxers Riddick Bowe and Amir Khan, tennis legend Boris Becker, former Australian cricketer Shane Warne and mixed martial artists Elias Theodorou and Patrick Côté.

“I’m personally very proud to be part of the effort that brought such a special WSOP series to the entire world,” noted GGPoker ambassador, Daniel Negreanu. “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and we even got to break a lot of poker records along the way.”