The 44th Annual World Series of Poker officially kicked off earlier today with the start of the $500 buy-in Casino Employees event and will be fully underway come 5 p.m. PDT with the start of what’s sure to be a star-studded $5,000 no-limit hold’em event.

2013 marks the seventh consecutive year that PokerNews will be live at the Rio in Las Vegas bringing you all the excitement from the tournament floor. You can expect a hefty dose of live updates, chip counts, interviews, videos, photos, podcasts, and much more.

During the past 10 years, the WSOP has seen an astronomical rise in attendance, and in turn, overall prize pools. Will the numbers continue to climb in 2013 thanks to the birth of regulated poker in both Nevada and New Jersey? Or will the lingering affects of Black Friday still dampen the field sizes? Keep your browser locked to PokerNews to find out.

Year # of Entrants Total Prize Money Awarded
2003 7,572 $21,789,060
2004 14,054 $45,973,770
2005 32,341 $106,055,907
2006 48,366 $159,616,588
2007 54,288 $159,796,918
2008 58,720 $180,774,427
2009 60,875 $174,013,215
2010 72,966 $187,109,850
2011 75,672 $192,008,868
2012 74,766 $222,045,377

Be sure to head to the PokerNews live reporting pages to get your daily fix of all the WSOP action!