The past few years at the WSOP have seen a few eye opening changes to the tournament schedule for this prestigious series which attracts people from across the globe. The greatest of which was perhaps the 'Big One For One Drop' with it's $1 million buy in, but more recently the 'Dealer's Choice' has generated a lot of interest, as has the upcoming event which is played mostly online.
The Colossus is clearly another one of those tournaments which sets out to be something special. With the final number of registries for the event now verified at 22,374 it has accomplished that, becoming the largest field for a live tournament in poker history. With 5 starting days and the option to re-enter 3 further times, the prize pool stands at $11,187,000. This is one of the largest that will be seen at the WSOP each year, and will represent a life changing amount of money for many of those that reach the final table, and all for the small entry fee of $565. Money will be paid to 2,241 players, with the minimum payout being $1,096. Almost 1,000 dealers will be rotating 4,480 decks of playing cards, and when the final hand is won, the victor will walk away with over $638,000.
How does the Colossus Rank Amongst WSOP's largest events?
As a new important event on the calendar, it is useful to look at how Colossus compares to other big WSOP events. The Main Event has always been the jewel in the WSOP crown, and in it's record breaking year of 2006 it drew 8,773 runners, who each paid $10,000 to buy in, leading to a $12 million 1st prize that year. While the 1st prize of Colossus won't get close to that figure, it will still represent a colossal return on it's $565 buy in. The key difference aside from the buy in, is that while the Main Event is a freezeout $10,0000 event, the Colossus allows for re entries. Also, the number of entries is not necessarily the same as the number of participants as a result even if the number of individual players in the 'Colossus' is thought to have exceeded those figures.. The 3rd and 4th largest field at the WSOP in terms of entrees are the 2014 $1,500 Millionaire Maker and the 2014 WSOP $1,500 Monster Stack.
Colossus: The largest field for a poker tournament
When the 1st place prize for Colossus was announced there were a few voices which were critical of the numbers involved. $638,000 for winning an event with over 22,000 entries represents only 5.7% of the prize pool. However, WSOP officials defended the payout, pointing out that it represented a 1,130 times return on investment and was the largest prize for a $500 buy-in event in poker's history. It is also worth noting that $65 of entry goes straight to the house, which takes $1.4 million out of the prize pool. JC Tran tweeted on the subject “it's absurd when the house makes more than 1st place money.” The counter argument is that this event will have brought many new players to the WSOP for their first ever event, and is giving a lot of visibility to poker in the media worldwide. Furthermore, the logistical difficulties of hosting a record breaking event like this can often be underestimated. The event has been a great success so far, with some distance still to go until the final table is set. There is every chance that next year will see 'Colossus II' with an even larger field size and prize pool than the one created by this event.
Final Table Payout Structure
1st – $638,880
2nd – $386,253
3rd – $308,761
4th – $234,927
5th – $182,348
6th – $140,956
7th – $109,632