2019 World Series of Poker

How Does the WSOP Colossus Rank Amongst Poker's Largest Live Events?

How Does the WSOP Colossus Rank Amongst Poker's Largest Live Events? 0001
  • The Colossus is the largest live tournament ever run, but what were the previous ones?

On Dec. 23, 2014, the World Series of Poker announced the debut of The Colossus, an exciting new tournament with a $565 buy-in and a $5 million guaranteed prize pool. Immediately, casual players from around the globe circled May 29-30, 2015, on their calendars, seeing their shot at a life-changing seven-figure payday for the lowest buy-in amount for a WSOP open event in 35 years.

For the next five months, the hype continued to build and what was hoped and expected to be the largest live event in poker history turned out to be just that. The official numbers were released just after Day 2 began on Sunday and the final tally was 22,374 entries over the four starting flights, more than two-and-a-half times the previous largest WSOP tournament, which was the 2006 Main Event.

Prior to the Colossus, here were the top 10 largest fields at the WSOP:

12006 WSOP Main Event8,773July 2006
22014 WSOP $1,500 Millionaire Maker7,977May-June 2014
32014 WSOP $1,500 Monster Stack7,862June 2014
42010 WSOP Main Event7,319July 2010
52011 WSOP Main Event6,865July 2011
62008 WSOP Main Event6,844July 2008
72014 WSOP Main Event6,683July 2014
82012 WSOP Main Event6,598July 2012
92009 WSOP Main Event6,494July 2009
102007 WSOP Main Event6,358July 2007

*Data obtained from WSOP official media guide

Outside the WSOP, the Los Angeles area had been home to the largest live events. At the Bicycle Casino, the Mega Millions tournaments have always drawn large crowds. With re-buys and multiple levels of buy-ins over the years, there's a little something for everyone. Most recently, the buy-in levels have been $160, $550, and $5,300.

(For consistency reasons, the event names listed below are the official titles from the Hendon Mob.)

1$125+$25 No-Limit Hold'em13,178Jul-Aug 2011Bicycle Casino
2$125+$25 No Limit Hold'em Mega Million VI11,608March 2013Bicycle Casino
3$125+$25 No-Limit Hold'em11,597Mar-Apr 2012Bicycle Casino
4$125+$25 No Limit Hold'em Mega Million V11,146Aug 2012Bicycle Casino
5$130+$30 Mega Millions X10,989Aug 2014Bicycle Casino
6Mega Millions IX10,890Mar-Apr 2014Bicycle Casino
7Mega Millions VIII10,048Jan 2014Bicycle Casino
8Mega Millions XII9,360March 2015Bicycle Casino
9Mega Millions I9,328May 2011Bicycle Casino
10$150 No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack Final8,133Jan 2014Commerce Casino

*Data obtained from the Hendon Mob

For the events listed above in the LA area, there was a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million for each event. Players, professional and casual, love to see "guarantee" attached to a tournament, and with life-changing money a possibility, the numbers are and will continue to be at record highs.

At 22,374 total entries, the WSOP Colossus event is by far the largest live poker tournament ever seen.

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