2019 WSOP Structure Breakdown: Monster Stack

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WSOP Chips
The 2019 WSOP Monster Stack gives players 50,000 chips to start and a much deeper structure

The 2019 World Series of Poker is only growing closer. Continuing with our pre-WSOP coverage, PocketFives is comparing event structures for 2019 to ones from 2018, in an attempt to see if the WSOP’s marketing push of “more value” is true or not.

Spoiler: there is more value!

As you saw with the 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker structure, it’s not simply more chips that have been added to the 2019 events. Our deep dive does show that indeed more value has been added to the events in the form of more play for those competing.

Now, let’s take a look at the 2019 WSOP Monster Stack structure.

2019 WSOP Monster Stack Structure

Buy-In: $1,500
Starting Chips: 50,000
Level Duration: 60 minutes
Late Registration Period: 10 levels
Re-Entry: None
Click here for structure sheet

DATE EVENT DAY START TIME (PT) DAY LENGTH
6/21 Day 1A 10 a.m. 11 levels
6/22 Day 1B 10 a.m. 11 levels
6/23 Day 2 11 a.m. 10 levels
6/24 Day 3 11 a.m. 10 levels
6/25 Day 4 12 p.m. To six players
6/26 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.

First, let’s look at the blind structure for the 2019 WSOP Monster Stack. On this table, “BB depth” represents how many big blinds are in the starting stack if a player was to buy in during that 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 Monster Stack is using a big blind ante format, so keep that in mind when thinking about the ante displayed here. For this table, levels during the registration period are shown, plus one additional level that you’d start playing if you registered right before registration closed.

LEVEL ANTE BLINDS BB DEPTH M
1 100-100 500 250
2 100-200 250 166.67
3 200 100-200 250 100
4 300 100-300 166.67 71.43
5 400 200-400 125 50
6 500 300-500 100 38.46
7 600 300-600 83.33 33.33
8 800 400-800 62.5 25
9 1,000 500-1,000 50 20
10 1,200 600-1,200 41.67 16.67
11 1,600 800-1,600 31.25 12.5

As you can see, if you wait until the last minute to enter the 2019 WSOP Monster Stack, you’ll begin the tournament with a stack of 31.25 big blinds entering Level 11. Just as in the Millionaire Maker, this appears pretty good on the surface when you consider the fact that tournament has already played 10 levels and you’re coming in quite late.

To best gauge the “more value” aspect and see if more value has been achieved, we’ll compare the 2019 structure to the 2018 structure in this very same event. The next table shows this comparison.

The starting stack for the 2018 WSOP Monster Stack was 15,000. In 2019, the Monster Stack has a starting stack of 50,000, giving players 3.33 times more chips to begin with. But, it’s not just about the number of chips you start the tournament with. It’s about the structure you play with those chips.

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 align the comparisons better.

2018 Structure Compared To 2019 Structure

LEVEL YEAR ANTE BLINDS BB DEPTH M
1 2018 0 25-50 300 200
2019 0 100-100 500 250
2 2018 0 50-100 150 100
2019 0 100-200 250 166.67
3 2018 0 75-150 100 66.67
2019 200 100-200 250 100
4 2018 225 75-150 100 33.33
2019 300 100-300 166.67 71.43
5 2018 225 100-200 75 28.57
2019 400 200-400 125 50
6 2018 450 150-300 50 16.67
2019 500 300-500 100 38.46
7 2018 450 200-400 37.5 14.29
2019 600 300-600 83.33 33.33
8 2018 675 250-500 30 10.53
2019 800 400-800 62.5 25
9 2018 900 300-600 25 8.33
2019 1,000 500-1,000 50 20
10 2018 Reg. Closed
2019 1,200 600-1,200 41.67 16.67
11 2018 Reg. Closed
2019 1,600 800-1,600 31.25 12.5

In 2018, registration lasted through eight levels, just as it did in the Millionaire Maker, 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.”

Furthermore, although you could not enter the WSOP Monster Stack in Level 9 in 2018, you could still do so in the break right before it, giving you a fresh stack of 15,000 in chips to begin Level 9. The same then applies for 2019 and Level 11, when you’d start with 50,000 in chips.

Looking at the comparison table 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 Monster Stack from the start are greeted with a starting stack that is a whopping 200 big blinds deeper than what was received in 2018. The added depth is carried throughout the overlapping registration periods to provide much more play.

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

In fact, even though players can register 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.

In 2018, if you entered right at the close of registration, you’d start Level 9 with 15,000 in chips and the blinds at 300-600 with a 100 ante. That’s a starting stack depth of 25 big blinds and an M of 8.33. In 2019, if you entered right at the close of registration, you’d start Level 11 with 50,000 in chips and the blinds at 800-1,600 with a 1,600 big blind ante. That’s a starting stack depth of 31.25 big blinds, which is 6.25 big blinds more than when registration closed the year before. You’ll also have an M of 12.5, which is 1.5 times greater than the M would have been at the close of registration in 2018.

That’s quite the improvement for a tournament that was already considered to have one of the best structures of the summer.

What Happens After Registration Closes?

There’s no need to worry about what happens in the later stages of the tournament, too. After registration closes, no level increments are skipped throughout the duration of the 2019 WSOP Monster Stack. You do get to larger blinds earlier in the 2019 structure, but the greater starting stack size makes up for it, as evidenced by the fact that a player has more big blinds in a starting stack when registration closes.

To accommodate the deeper play of the 2019 structure, the WSOP Monster Stack is listed as a six-day event as compared to 2018’s listing as a five-day event.

An Added Day of Play

In similar fashion to what was done with the 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker structure, tournament organizers tacked on an extra day of play to the 2019 WSOP Monster Stack structure. With the added chips and increased depth of play throughout, having the Monster Stack end in four days of action would have been a tall task. The added day is welcomed foresight.

Just like the Millionaire Maker, the verdict is that, yes, more value has been added to the WSOP Monster Stack in 2019.

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