2019 WSOP Structure Breakdown: The Colossus

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WSOP Chips
The 2019 WSOP Colossus gives players 40,000 chips to start and a much deeper structure

The 2019 edition of the World Series of Poker Colossus event has a bunch of changes when compared to the 2018 version of the event. In fact, almost everything other than the event’s name has been changed for this year’s WSOP, but players should very much enjoy the alterations that have been made, especially to the structure.

Colossal Changes in 2019

Right off the bat, you’ll notice the 2019 Colossus has a lot more starting chips than the 2018 version did. In 2019, players will get 40,000 in chips to start, whereas 2018 saw competitors begin with 5,000. In 2018, levels on the Day 1s were 30 minutes long before they were increased to 60 minutes for Day 2 and later. In 2019, levels are 40 minutes throughout, so they’re 10 minutes longer on the Day 1s but 20 minutes shorter on the later days. For a $400 tournament, though, you can’t really argue with 40-minute levels.

Speaking of the buy-in, that’s also changed for 2019. Previously a $565 buy-in event, the 2019 edition of this tournament has a price point of $400. The rake has increased by quite a bit, though. In 2018, $65 of the $565 buy-in was taken for entry fees ($50) and tournament dealers and Staff ($15). That same $65 applies for 2019, but coming out of a $400 buy-in is a much larger rake percentage. The 2018 rake was 11.5% of the buy-in, whereas in 2019 it’s 16.25%.

The event’s starting date has shifted from the beginning of the WSOP to the back half. In 2018, the WSOP Colossus had six starting flights and players could re-enter once per flight. In 2019, there are just two starting flights and players can re-enter once per flight. Registration in 2018 lasted eight levels, but in 2019 it’s been increased to 12 levels.

Now, let’s get a little deeper into the nitty-gritty of the structure.

2019 WSOP Colossus Structure

Buy-In: $400
Starting Chips: 40,000
Level Duration: 40 minutes
Late Registration Period: 12 levels
Re-Entry: None
Click here for structure sheet

DATE EVENT DAY START TIME (PT) DAY LENGTH
6/26 Day 1a 10 a.m. 16 levels
6/27 Day 1b 10 a.m. 16 levels
6/28 Day 2 11 a.m. 15 levels
6/29 Day 3 11 a.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.

The 2019 WSOP Colossus will use a big blind ante format. On the table below, “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.

Also on the table below, 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
1 100-100 400 200
2 100-200 200 133.33
3 200 100-200 200 80
4 300 100-300 133.33 57.14
5 400 200-400 100 40
6 500 300-500 80 30.80
7 600 300-600 66.67 26.67
8 800 400-800 50 20
9 1,000 500-1,000 40 16
10 1,200 600-1,200 33.33 13.33
11 1,600 800-1,600 25 10
12 2,000 1,000-2,000 20 8
13 2,500 1,000-2,500 16 6.67

Drawing from the table above, you can see that if you enter or re-enter right at the close of registration and head into Level 13 with a fresh 40,000-chip starting stack, you’ll have 16 big blinds and an M of 6.67 to work with. That’s a big improvement from the 8.33 big blinds and M of 2.78 you had in 2018 if you got in right when registration closed, but let’s do a year-by-year comparison to really see if more value was added or not. The next table shows this comparison.

Again, the starting stack for the 2018 WSOP Colossus was 5,000 and it’s been upped to 40,000 for 2019. That’s eight times more chips right from the jump. It’s not just about the number of chips you start the tournament with, though. It’s about the structure you play with those chips. We already pointed out how much more play you’ll have with a fresh stack at the close of registration this year versus last year, so let’s look at all of the early levels.

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 25-50 100 66.67
2019 0 100-100 400 200
2 2018 0 50-100 50 33.33
2019 0 100-200 200 133.33
3 2018 0 75-150 33.33 22.22
2019 200 100-200 200 80
4 2018 225 75-150 33.33 11.11
2019 300 100-300 133.33 57.14
5 2018 225 100-200 25 9.52
2019 400 200-400 100 40
6 2018 450 150-300 16.67 5.56
2019 500 300-500 80 30.80
7 2018 450 200-400 12.5 4.76
2019 600 300-600 66.67 26.67
8 2018 675 250-500 10 4.26
2019 800 400-800 50 20
9 2018 900 300-600 8.33 2.78
2019 1,000 500-1,000 40 16
10 2018 Reg. Closed
2019 1,200 600-1,200 33.33 13.33
11 2018 Reg. Closed
2019 1,600 800-1,600 25 10
12 2018 Reg. Closed
2019 2,000 1,000-2,000 20 8
13 2018 Reg. Closed
2019 2,500 1,000-2,500 16 6.67

As previously mentioned, registration lasted through eight levels in 2018. In 2019, it’s been upped to 12 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 Colossus in Level 9 in 2018, you could still do so in the break right before it, giving you a fresh stack of 5,000 in chips to begin Level 9. The same then applies for 2019 and Level 13, when you’d start with 40,000 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 a colossal amount of more play than you had the year before. Players beginning the 2019 WSOP Colossus are greeted with a starting stack that is a whopping 300 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 four 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 5,000 in chips and the blinds at 300-600 with a 100 ante. That’s a starting stack depth of 8.33 big blinds and an M of 2.78. That’s just not much value at all. In 2019, if you enter right at the close of registration, you’ll start Level 13 with 40,000 in chips and the blinds at 1,000-2,500 with a 2,500 big blind ante. That’s a starting stack depth of 16 big blinds, which is just about double when registration closed in 2018. You’ll also have an M of 6.67, which is more than double the M at the close of registration in 2018.

What Happens in the Later Stages?

The later stages of the 2019 WSOP Colossus look good from a structure standpoint. Of course, there are a few mismatches here and there due to the big blind ante format, but overall, all of the levels played in 2018 are there in 2019 so players don’t have to worry about the structure skipping levels late. The one big difference will be what we already brought up, which is that the levels in the later stages are 20 minutes shorter than in 2018. That said, the tradeoff isn’t bad given the deeper structure.

How Deep Might the Final Table Be?

Last year, the 2018 WSOP Colossus reached the final table with an average stack of 36.31 big blinds and an average M of 12.74. The blind level was 100,000-200,000 with a 30,000 ante. If the final table were to be reached at the same level in 2019 (100,000-200,000 with a 200,000 big blind ante) with the same field size of 13,070 entries, the average stack would be 290 big blinds and the average M would be 116.18.

But, the 2018 WSOP Colossus had six starting flights. In 2019, there are only two starting flights. In 2018, the event averaged 2,178 entries across the six starting flights. Applying that average to 2019’s two starting flights gives you a projected field size of 4,356. If that’s the case, the average stack of the final table at the same level as 2018 would be 96.81 big blinds and an M of 38.73. That’s still much better than in 2018.

At the end of the day, the verdict is that, yes, more value has been added to the WSOP Colossus in 2019.

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