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World Series Of Poker Hosts Second-Largest Non-Re-Entry Live Tournament In History Of Game

$1,500 'Monster Stack' Event Draws 7,862 Players, Prize Pool Of $10.6 Million

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Card Player’s 2014 WSOP coverage is sponsored by CarbonPoker.

On Thursday at the 2014 World Series of Poker, a $1,500 buy-in “Monster Stack” no-limit hold’em event drew 7,862 players, which made it the second-largest live tournament in the history of the game when you consider unique entries (no rebuys or re-entries).

The 2006 $10,000 buy-in main event had more than 8,700 players and is still the record.

Earlier this summer, the WSOP had another running of the $1,500 buy-in “Millionaire Maker,” and there were 7,977 buy-ins, but the event allowed for re-entries. Players who busted on the first day were allowed to buy back in on the second starting day.

Back to the Monster Stack. The 7,862 players spread across two starting days generated a prize pool of $10,613,700, of which $1,327,083 will go to the winner. More than 4,000 players were eliminated on the first day of action. The overnight chip leader was Pierre Calamusa, who had more than 240,000—around 80,000 more than the second-largest stack in the Rio.

The Rio Convention Center was bursting at the seams on Thursday, as thousands of players were finding their seats. The event didn’t stop seating players until around 11 p.m. local time. Poker pro Faraz Jaka referred to the Rio as a zoo, and that the event felt “like a mini WSOP main event.”

The Monster Stack gave players 15,000 chips to start with, which was incredibly deep considering the first level had blinds of 25-25 and no ante. Though, some poker pros were wondering why the event was so attractive to amateurs. Jonathan Little Tweeted: “It is interesting that the Monster Stack event hugely favors the pros but, for some reason, amateurs are lined up out the door to play.” Little went on to argue that the deep-stacked nature of the event was not good for the recreational player, since it allowed the pros to grind them down with less risk. The same logic could be applied to the main event, but it’s the prize money and prestige that arguably has many rightfully excited year after year for the tournament, despite it favoring the game’s best grinders.

Poker pro DJ MacKinnon added to the Twitter conversation by saying: “Could end up being a bad day for poker. Some people are gonna finally realize the starting stack size of WSOP events aren’t their problem.” Others pointed out that such a huge starting stack might be bad because it could cause many to expect it going forward in smaller buy-in no-limit hold’em events.

Whatever the case may be, people play poker for a variety of different reasons—some for entertainment, some to “take a shot,” some because of their ROI, and so on—and the Monster Stack event proves that. The good news: Poker is still immensely popular.


For more coverage from the 2014 summer Series, visit our WSOP landing page.

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Comments

trentbridge
almost 7 years ago

Why do amateurs want to play a "deep stack" event? Because with 15,000 chips and the first level of 25 - 25 blinds, they are guaranteed a few good hours of poker before they become short-stacked - if they don't happen to win any big pots in the first three levels or so. If this was a 4,500 starting chips, as per usual, the amateur like myself, would be faced with many more and much earlier "all in" decisions. You'd think that pro's would understand that the amateur is more focused on surviving from Day One and getting to play on Day Two than their ultimate chance of winning.

 
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boicem82
almost 7 years ago

Deep stack events heavily favor the better players for sure. It allows them to play looser pre-flop, and out play you post flop early on without much risk. It also probably helps them being able to use implied odds easier with less risk.

 
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pokertruth
almost 7 years ago

A first-time amateur from idaho will win this thing. No so-called pro will come close to the final table. The small skill component of a pro over hundreds of hands will become miniscule in the long run. The ultimate winner will get to the final table by getting lucky turn cards and and luck river cards. Enough said!

 
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trentbridge
almost 7 years ago

Agree 100% - I think pros have too much confidence in their ability to bluff amateurs of winning hands.

 
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