2019 WSOP Structure Breakdown: Millionaire Maker

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WSOP Chips
The 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker gives players 25,000 chips to start and a much deeper structure

The World Series of Poker has been pushing “more value” for the 2019 WSOP. Those words have been met with some skepticism around the poker world, as players wanted to wait to see the actual structures for 2019 events before deciding if more value was added or not. After all, it is easy to simply add more starting chips to a tournament but not actually provide more value. Now that the WSOP has added a few of the structure sheets for the 2019 World Series of Poker, we have a chance to compare to 2019 structures versus the 2018 ones, and we’ll get started by looking at the ever-popular $1,500 Millionaire Maker tournament.

2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker Structure

Buy-In: $1,500
Starting Chips: 25,000
Level Duration: 60 minutes
Late Registration Period: 10 levels
Re-Entry: One re-entry per starting flight
Click here for structure sheet

DATE EVENT DAY START TIME (PT) DAY LENGTH
6/7 Day 1A 10 a.m. 11 levels
6/8 Day 1B 10 a.m. 11 levels
6/9 Day 2 12 p.m. 10 levels
6/10 Day 3 12 p.m. 10 levels
6/11 Day 4 12 p.m. To six players
6/12 Day 5 12 p.m. To winner

*Per WSOP structure sheet: In the event that the final table of this event gets selected for live streaming, management reserves rights to adjust the schedule as needed to accommodate.

Below is a table of the blind structure for the 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker, where “BB depth” represents how many big blinds are in the starting stack if a player was to buy in or re-enter during that current level. “M” represents a player’s M ratio in regards to the starting stack. M can be calculated by dividing the starting stack by the sum of the small blind, big blind, and antes for a given round. Although M is a term that can get laughed at when it’s brought up, using it provides a simple and informative comparative metric when looking at structure sheets.

The 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker is using a big blind ante format, so keep that in mind when thinking about the ante displayed here. For this table, only levels during the registration and re-entry period are shown.

LEVEL ANTE BLINDS BB DEPTH M
1 100-100 250 125
2 100-200 125 83.33
3 200 100-200 125 50
4 300 100-300 83.33 37.71
5 400 200-400 62.5 25
6 500 300-500 50 19.23
7 600 300-600 41.67 16.67
8 800 400-800 31.25 12.5
9 1,000 500-1,000 25 10
10 1,200 600-1,200 20.83 8.33
11 1,600 800-1,600 15.63 6.25

As you can see, if you wait until the last minute to enter or re-enter the 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker, you’ll start with a stack of 15.63 big blinds entering Level 11. On the surface, that feels pretty good considering the tournament has already played 10 levels and you’re coming in very late. Sure, just over 15 big blinds are short, but it’s not the dreaded danger zone that is 10 big blinds. You’d also enter with an M of 6.25.

In order to best gauge the “more value” aspect and see if more value has been achieved, we must compare the 2019 structure to the 2018 structure in this very same event. The next table addresses this comparison.

The starting stack for the 2018 WSOP Millionaire Maker was 7,500. In 2019, the Millionaire Maker has a starting stack of 25,000, which is 3.33 times greater.

For “ante,” we took the standard ante from the 2018 structure and multiplied it by nine to show the cost of a full round of antes at a standard nine-handed table. This was done to better align the comparisons.

2018 Structure Compared To 2019 Structure

LEVEL YEAR ANTE BLINDS BB DEPTH M
1 2018 0 25-50 150 100
2019 0 100-100 250 125
2 2018 0 50-100 75 50
2019 0 100-200 125 83.33
3 2018 0 75-150 50 33.33
2019 200 100-200 125 50
4 2018 225 75-150 50 16.67
2019 300 100-300 83.33 35.71
5 2018 225 100-200 37.5 14.29
2019 400 200-400 62.5 25
6 2018 450 150-300 25 8.33
2019 500 300-500 50 19.23
7 2018 450 200-400 18.75 7.14
2019 600 300-600 41.67 16.67
8 2018 675 250-500 15 5.26
2019 800 400-800 31.25 12.5
9 2018 900 300-600 12.5 4.17
2019 1,000 500-1,000 25 10
10 2018 Reg. Closed
2019 1,200 600-1,200 20.83 8.33
11 2018 Reg. Closed
2019 1,600 800-1,600 15.63 6.25

In 2018, registration and re-entry lasted through eight levels, whereas in 2019 it has been increased to 10 levels. For comparison purposes, we’ll refer to the first nine levels as the “overlapping registration periods.” Although you could not enter or re-enter the WSOP Millionaire Maker in Level 9 in 2018, you could still do so in the break right before it, giving you a fresh stack of 7,500 in chips to begin Level 9. The same then applies for 2019 and Level 11, when you’d enter with a fresh 25,000.

Looking at the comparison between 2018 and 2019, we can see that at any point during the overlapping registration periods, the 2019 structure gives you more big blinds in the starting stack, and it’s not really close. Players beginning the 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker from the start are greeted with a starting stack that is 100 big blinds deeper than what was received in 2018. The added depth is carried throughout the overlapping registration periods.

A player’s M ratio is also much healthier throughout, giving players more flexibility within his or her stack size.

In fact, even though players can register or re-enter two levels later in the structure in 2019 when compared to 2018, entering at the very last moment in the registration period still yields a deeper starting stack. That’s very solid even though time-wise you’re coming in two hours later.

In 2018, if you entered right at the close of registration, you’d start Level 9 with 7,500 in chips and the blinds at 300-600 with a 100 ante. That’s a starting stack depth of 12.5 big blinds and an M of 4.17. In 2019, if you entered right at the close of registration, you’d start Level 11 with 25,000 in chips and the blinds at 800-1,600 with a 1,600 big blind ante. That’s a starting stack depth of 15.63 big blinds, which is 3.13 big blinds more than when registration closed the year before, and an M of 6.25, which is 1.5 times greater than the M would have been at the close of registration in 2018.

What Happens After Registration Closes?

One worry might be that tournament organizers could have structured the beginning of the tournament in a fashion that masks deficiencies later on in the structure, but concerned players should rest easy as that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Although you do begin playing larger blind levels earlier in the 2019 structure, the greater starting stack size more than makes up for it, as evidenced by the fact that a player has more big blinds in a starting stack when registration closes.

Looking over the 2019 structure, we can also see that no levels are skipped in the middle and late stages of the tournament, which is when these events really matter with big money on the line. Starting with the 300-600 blind level, all of the levels after are of the same increments in both 2018 and 2019.

Final Table Likely Deeper

In 2018, the WSOP Millionaire Maker reached its final table of nine players in Level 33 with the blinds at 80,000-160,000 with a 20,000 ante. That made for an average stack of 38.34 big blinds and an M of 19.17. If the final table of nine was reached in Level 33 of the 2019 structure, the blinds would be 120,000-240,000 with a 240,000 big blind ante. That’s a higher big blind, but each player would have many more chips given the increased starting stack.

Using the same field size of 2018 (7,361 entries), the final nine players would have an average stack of 20.447 million which means they’d have 85.2 big blinds and an M of 34.08. Of course, this science isn’t perfect year over year, but it’s a solid guess that the 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker final table will have much more play at it than the 2018 final table did.

Five Days Instead of Four

In 2018, the WSOP Millionaire Maker was scheduled as a four-day tournament. Entering the fourth and final day of the event, 17 players remained, instead of being down to a final table. If the same length was kept, the increased play added by the 2019 structure would likely spill this event over into a fifth day. WSOP went ahead and scheduled the 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker as a five-day event which should provide adequate additional time for the event.

When it comes to the 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker, the verdict is that, yes, more value has been added to the tournament.

Want to know more? Check out ‘Everything You Need To Know About the 2019 WSOP.’