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:
|1||2006 WSOP Main Event||8,773||July 2006|
|2||2014 WSOP $1,500 Millionaire Maker||7,977||May-June 2014|
|3||2014 WSOP $1,500 Monster Stack||7,862||June 2014|
|4||2010 WSOP Main Event||7,319||July 2010|
|5||2011 WSOP Main Event||6,865||July 2011|
|6||2008 WSOP Main Event||6,844||July 2008|
|7||2014 WSOP Main Event||6,683||July 2014|
|8||2012 WSOP Main Event||6,598||July 2012|
|9||2009 WSOP Main Event||6,494||July 2009|
|10||2007 WSOP Main Event||6,358||July 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'em||13,178||Jul-Aug 2011||Bicycle Casino|
|2||$125+$25 No Limit Hold'em Mega Million VI||11,608||March 2013||Bicycle Casino|
|3||$125+$25 No-Limit Hold'em||11,597||Mar-Apr 2012||Bicycle Casino|
|4||$125+$25 No Limit Hold'em Mega Million V||11,146||Aug 2012||Bicycle Casino|
|5||$130+$30 Mega Millions X||10,989||Aug 2014||Bicycle Casino|
|6||Mega Millions IX||10,890||Mar-Apr 2014||Bicycle Casino|
|7||Mega Millions VIII||10,048||Jan 2014||Bicycle Casino|
|8||Mega Millions XII||9,360||March 2015||Bicycle Casino|
|9||Mega Millions I||9,328||May 2011||Bicycle Casino|
|10||$150 No-Limit Hold'em Double Stack Final||8,133||Jan 2014||Commerce 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.