Big, Bigger, and Biggest
Saturday's Millionaire Maker tournament exceeded even the most optimistic hopes and projections.By any measure, the $1,500 buy-in gold bracelet tournament classified in the 2013 WSOP schedule as Event 6, will go down as a momentous occasion in the long and storied annals of the world's longest running and most prestigious gaming competition.Let's look at some of the numbers and put them into historical context:
1. The Largest Non-Main Event Live Tournament in History – WSOP Main Events have drawn as high as 8,771 players (2006 Main Event). Until this year, only one other non-Main Event tourney had ever drawn more than 6,000 players. However, the final tally for Event 6 rolled in at a staggering 6,343 players. That makes this tournament the largest non-Main Event gathering in history.
2. The Biggest Single Day in Poker History – No live tournament ever has registered and dealt in as many players in a single day as the “Millionaire Maker.” Keep in mind that Main Event fields are grouped into different starting sessions over multiple days. This tournament packed everyone into a single day spread across two starting flights.
3. The Biggest Payout Ever for a $1,500 buy-in Tournament – The total prize pool for the “Millionaire Maker” was $8,563,050. That meant the $1 million guaranteed to the winner was actually surpassed. In a surprise announcement, the champion will collect a stunning $1,199,104. That's nearly 200 grand more than the expected guarantee. It represents 799 times the original buy-in!
4. Largest number of payouts for any non-Main Event in History – There were 648 very happy poker players on Sunday afternoon, once they realized they were all in the money. Each player was guaranteed at least $2,740. All players who make the final table will collect at least six figures. That's also the first time in history this has happened for anything less than a $5,000 buy-in tournament.Given the huge numbers, the tournament will extend into an added fourth day of action. The new millionaire-plus will be crowned on Tuesday on the ESPN Main Stage. That promises to be one of the early highlights of a 2013 WSOP which is on track to be as big as any poker series ever in history.