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Colossus Payout Uproar Is Mainly Unwarranted

by Barry Shulman |  Published: Jun 01, '15


The Colossus FieldEverybody, including myself, was surprised to hear that the Colossus first place payout was “only” $638,880.

As soon as I ran some numbers, however, I saw that it was a reasonable amount. It is axiomatic not just in poker tournaments but in business companies as well, as the pot grows the leaders get a smaller piece of a bigger pie. Bill Gates owns less of Microsoft every year and he is doing fine.

Very small tournaments pay 50 percent to the winner. With several hundred players the winners get about 25 percent and a few thousand pays about 15 percent. What’s wrong with the winner of a 22,000-player event getting 6 percent? Bigger pie = a bigger return but a lower percentage of the total.

The Colossus winner will get back 1,130 times his investment. That’s huge.

The WSOP should be commended for the Herculean task that they performed so well in its first year. It was administered fabulously.

In retrospect probably a couple things could have been handled better on the payout. I would have liked to see a $1 million first-place guarantee. That is sexy.

On all tournaments I would like to see a before-the-fact printed sheet on the payout schedule depending on how many people played. That would have solved all this nonsense.

Barry Shulman is the CEO of Card Player Media, as well as a WSOP Europe main-event champion. Barry has two WSOP gold bracelets and is one of very few people who have managed to cash for over $1 million twice in the same year.

You can follow Barry on Twitter here:
Barry also writes a travel blog called JetSetWay at

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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