Obviously the Colossus turned out to be a huge success with regard to popularity, especially when considering that the previous largest tournament ever was the 2006 WSOP Main Event at 8,773 players.
It’s not hard to see why the Colossus was record breaking when considering that the buy-in was just $565, on top of a $5 million guarantee. However, some players weren’t so happy to find out that the top prize was ‘only’ worth $638,880.
Several pros were very vocal through Twitter about what they perceived to be a minuscule amount compared to the hype of the Colossus. Here’s a look at what some pros tweeted about the $638.9k first-place payout:
Daniel Strelitz – So @WSOP is making more than 2x first place in rake. $638k is a complete joke
Mike Matusow – Disgrace only 638k out of 11million for 1st I colossus pa more players rake more players#sadwsop
Daryll Fish – Colossus paying 600k for first, and I actually thought the event was a huge success for a minute. What an epic fail by @WSOP
Eugene Katchalov – Over 22k entries creating a prize pool of over $11Mil and 1st prize is only $630k?? Don’t think I’ve ever seen 5% for 1st
When considering that 22,347 players were involved in this low buy-in crapshoot, $638,880 does seem a little small for such a big event. But on the other hand, one also has to consider the ROI for the eventual winner – a point that WSOP Director Ty Stewart made with these tweets:
“We like getting praise but sometimes u have to do right thing. Going top heavy for PR value + short changing thousands would have been worse”
“It’s the principle of what goes up, must come down The more you pay (a record 2,241) the less for top. Winner gets 1,130 ROI, Highest ever”
Top payout controversy aside, the Colossus set a record that may never be broken by another live poker tournament. And as a tourney held at Wembley Stadium two years ago shows, it’s definitely not easy trying to organize a record-breaking poker event.