With registration closed and the second of two starting days well under way, this year's Millionaire Maker has officially drawn a field of 7,275 players. The field for the third iteration of the tournament settles in right between the first two.
In 2013, the World Series of Poker rolled out the very first $1,500 buy-in with a $1 million guaranteed prize pool, and 6,343 entrants flocked to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino to participate. After a four-day grind, Benny Chen emerged from what was at the time the largest single-day starting field in WSOP history to take down just under $1.2 million. Notable final table participants included Justin Liberto (4th - $400,408), Dan Kelly (5th - $302,104), and Chris Hunichen (6th - $229,575).
The next year, the WSOP continued with the same one-day, two starting flight format, and things ramped up considerably. The previous year's record was smashed with 7,977 showing up, and Jonathan Dimmig came out on top for a payout of over $1.3 million. Others to navigate the massive field and make the final table included Andrew Teng (4th - $465,972), Stephen Graner (6th - $273,854), andMaurice Hawkins (9th - $128,150).
Dimmig is looking to pull a Mark Newhouse-like feat and make his way to the final table once again after bagging 75,800 on Day 1a, more than ten times the new 7,500 starting stack.
This year, the WSOP switched to two distinct starting days, with Day 1a on Friday and Day 1b on Saturday. Whoever does conquer the sea of opponents will get $1,277,193 for his or her efforts. Meanwhile, those who squeak into the money for a min-cash between 747th-676th will earn $2,749. At the time of this writing, with dinner break winding down on Day 1b, 1,620 players remain in contention. Three levels remain in the night before the remaining players bag up to return on Sunday with the Day 1a survivors and play out Day 2.
Undoubtedly, the incredible success of the Colossus drew some of the numbers away from this tournament, so the slight drop is understandable. With the solid turnout and the continued success of the tournament, expect the Millionaire Maker to remain a staple of the WSOP schedule for years to come.