When the World Series of Poker announced the 2015 schedule, it was not the Main Event that garnered the most attention but the new event, Colossus that was the star. Players could not stop talking about the new event which had a relatively low buy-in of $565 and would offer $5 million in guaranteed prize money.
Once pre-registering opened for the Colossus event, players did not waste any time with reserving a seat. The WSOP has estimated a big turnout for the series event, expecting as many as 20,000 players or more to take part. The event began just last week with four starting flights and players had as many as four times to reenter the event. Each starting flight saw about 5,000 to 6,000 players taking part, which lead to a total head count of 22,374 at the felt.
The WSOP finally made it through all the totals and with the 22,000+ players taking part in Colossus, the series tournament will be the largest live event to ever take place in the history of poker. With the large field, the $5 million in guaranteed prize money was easily surpassed and created a total prize pool of $11,187,000.
The massive prize pool created is the largest to take place with such a low buy-in as the $565 players had to pay to compete. When the tournament concludes, 2,241 will earn a payday with first place taking home $638,880.
Ty Stewart, the Executive Director of the WSOP, thanked everyone who came out to take part in the historic event, especially the first timers. Stewart reiterated that the WSOP enjoys brining poker enthusiasts together and help build positive momentum towards the game. While Stewart and the WSOP were more than happy with the turnout, players were not so happy about the first place prize.
The Colossus had been promoted as a larger than life event so players expected the first place prize to be just as massive. Players felt as though the prize would be at least $1 million or more with the amount of cash in the prize pool as well as number of players competing. Poker players took to social media outlets such as Twitter to speak out their disapproval of the payout structure.
The WSOP did respond, pointing out that the number of players, which requires just over 10% be paid, would come down to the winner earning 1,130 ROI which is the highest ever. Ty Stewart responded to the backlash on Twitter by stating: “We like getting praise but sometimes u have to do the right thing. Going top heavy for PR value + short changing thousands would have been worse.”
Even though the Colossus event hit a little snag in regards to player happiness over the payout structure, the event is going to be a huge success. More players than ever came out to take part in the event and it will be interesting to see if the event’s success will see the Colossus returning next year for round 2.