WSOP 2024 Players Guide: Marquee Events

Jonathan
03 Apr 2024
Jonathan Raab 03 Apr 2024
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  • PokerWired's 2024 WSOP Players Guide
  • History of Multi-Starting-Day tournaments at the WSOP
  • Full details of Marquee events on the 2024 schedule
WSOP 2024 Players Guide Part 2 Marquee Events
  • History of Multi-Starting-Day events at the WSOP
  • Named Events Become a Thing
  • More Marquee events find their way onto the schedule
  • Multi-Starting-Day Events at the 2024 WSOP
  • The $1,000 Mystery Millions
  • The $300 Gladiators of Poker
  • The $1,500 Monster Stack
  • The Seniors $1,000 NL Hold’em Championship
  • The $1,500 Millionaire Maker
  • The $400 Colossus
  • The $800 Independence Day Celebration
  • The $600 Ultra Stack
  • The $1,000 Mystery Bounty PLO
  • The $3,000 Mid-Stakes NL Hold’em Championship
  • The $777 Lucky Sevens
  • The $1,500 Closer
In the first edition of PokerWired’s 2024 WSOP Players’ Guide we looked at the new events gracing this year’s tournament schedule. In this second part of our guide to the World Series of Poker’s summer events in Las vegas, we take a look at tournaments with more than one starting day. Several of these are the ‘Marquee’ events that take place over the weekends throughout the series, but some are simply events that are expected to be really popular and need more than one starting day in order to be able to accommodate everyone who wants to play. Let’s start off with a look at the history of multi-starting-day events at the WSOP.

History of Multi-Starting-Day events at the WSOP

In the old days of the World Series the number of players who showed up for the annual festival was much smaller than today. As such there was no need to run events with more than one starting day, as everyone who wanted to play could be sat at the same time. Then poker got popular, it started on the internet and soon the legions of new players who had found the game via html were venturing out of their homes to experience playing the game in a real life environment. Swapping the quick-fire game of online clicks for slower paced poker in offline bricks and mortar casinos became the defining feature of the poker boom of the early part of the 21st century.

As it began to get bigger, extra starting days were required, but at first only for the main event, as pretty much all other events went off as single starting day affairs. The first year that the main event had more than one starting day was in in 2005, which was also the first year that the series was held at the Rio, having moved from its original home downtown at the Horseshoe. Since then the WSOP main event has always featured multiple starting days. Just one year later, in 2006, the poker boom was in full thrust and not only did the main event require multiple starting days, but so did some of the side events. The very first open event of the 2006 WSOP saw 2,776 players enter a $1,500 NL Hold’em event that was won by Brandon Cantu for just over $750,000! Before long, tournaments with more than one starting day became common at the WSOP and now they account for more than 10% of the bracelet events.

Named Events Become a Thing

At this stage of the World Series of Poker's history, events weren’t given fancy names. Tournament names did exactly what it said on their tins, they were descriptive and fully functional names. You knew what you were letting yourself in for as the naming convention was quite simply the buy-in followed by the format of event, e.g. $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha. It wasn’t until 2013 that this began to change. Prior to this, the only events that were not named in this way were the main event, the Casino Employees Event, the Antes Up for Africa charity tournament and the $50,000 Players Championship. The latter of these was introduced to the schedule in 2010.

In 2013 the WSOP included a new tournament with more than one starting day, called the Millionaire Maker, a $1,500 event which guarantees that first prize is at least $1m. It was a huge success with 6,343 entries and was won by Canadian Benny Chen, who did indeed become a poker millionaire, scooping the first prize of $1,199,104. It was certainly no surprise to anyone that the event was scheduled again the following year and to keep it company, a second ‘named’ multi-starting-day $1,500 tournament was introduced, called the Monster Stack. The second running of the Milly Maker saw participation grow to just under 8,000 and the inaugural Monster Stack was almost as popular, with 7,862 entries and a prize pool of over $10m!

In 2015 the $600 buy-in Colossus made its WSOP debut, attracting a staggering 22,374 entries, while both the Millionaire Maker and the Monster Stack each had over 7,000 entrants. Due to the big numbers, they required a few days to play out, becoming what the WSOP would later refer to as Marquee events. Huge tournaments that finally gave players who could not afford the main event a way to experience a big field multi-day event. These events changed the mould of the WSOP schedule and would shape the way the series would develop over the next decade.  

More Marquee events find their way onto the schedule

In 2017 a $365 event called The Giant was included for the first time, attracting just over 10,000 entries. Also in 2017 a higher buy-in marquee event called The Marathon was launched, predictably costing $2,620 to play, as a road race marathon is 26.2 miles long. This ran for a few years, but was discontinued after 2019. 2017 was also the first year that The Closer appeared on the schedule.

The 2019 WSOP featured a new event near the beginning of the festival called the Big 50, which replaced The Giant. The name was a reference to this being the 50th annual running of the World Series of Poker, not the buy-in, which was $500 and included a $5m guarantee. A total of 28,371 players competed in this event with Femi Fashakin taking it down for $1,147,449! The $1,000 Mini Main Event was also first held in 2019.

After a couple of disrupted years due to Covid, the WSOP returned to its summer slot in 2022 and the event that been called the Big 50 was renamed The Housewarming, to mark the change of host venue. The new Balllys and Paris house did indeed heat up very quickly as 20,080 players took their seats with Henrieto Acaim emerging victorious and $701,215 better off for his not inconsiderable efforts. Also in 2017, $777 Lucky Sevens, a seven-handed tournament which had been played online on GG Poker during lockdown now found itself as a live WSOP bracelet event. The Ultra Stack event, which had also begun life as an online WSOP event was introduced in 2022 as a live event.

In 2023 a $1,000 Mystery Bounty Million had become the first multi-starting-day event of the series. It had 18,188 entrants and was won by Tyler Brown for a cool $1m. Another new event that was born in 2023 was the $300 Gladiators of Poker, which saw 23,088 players battle out for a share of a $3m guaranteed prize pool. That number of players is almost half the original PARTcapacity of the Coloseeum in Rome, where Gladiators traditionally did battle in ancient times.

Multi-Starting-Day Events at the 2024 WSOP

The 2024 schedule has twelve multi-starting-day events, in addition to the $10,000 main event itself, with several new events included. The  new $800 Independence Day Celebration event takes place on July 3rd and 4th, side-by-side with the main event. The Seniors Championship has also grown so much that it now becomes a two flight event. Other new marquee events are a Mystery Bounty PLO that requires two starting days and the $3,000 Mid-Stakes NLH Championship.

Event #DatesEvent NameNo of Starting Days
530th May - 4th June$1,000 Mystery Millions4
206th - 11th June$300 Gladiators of Poker4
3814th - 20th June$1,500 Monster Stack3
4618th -22nd June$1,000 Seniors NLH Championship2
5421st - 27th June$1,500 Millionaire Maker3
7028th June - 2nd July $400 Colossus3
803rd - 6th July $800 Independence Day Celebration2
847th - 11th July$600 Ultra Stack2
869th - 12th July$1,000 Mystery Bounty PLO2
8911th - 14th July$3,000 Mid-Stakes NLH Championship2
9313th - 17th July$777 Lucky Sevens3
9815th - 17th July $1,500 Closer2

The $1,000 Mystery Millions

Event #DatesEvent Buy-In & Name
530th May - 4th June$1,000 Mystery Millions
1st place is guaranteed at $1m, as is the biggest mystery bounty prize. Prize money payouts begin on day 1, mystery bounty payouts begin on day 2.
ChipsClockLate Registration
40,00030/40 mins12 Levels
Day DateStart Time
Day 1a30th May10.00 am
Day 1b31st May10.00 am
Day 1c1st June10.00 am
Day 1d2nd June10.00 am

The $300 Gladiators of Poker

Event #DatesEvent Buy-In & Name
206th - 11th June$300 Gladiators of Poker
The Gladiators of Poker event returns for a second year, with a $3,000,0000 guaranteed prize pool. 
ChipsClockLate Registration
30,00030/40 mins12 levels
Day DateStart Time
Day 1a6th June10.00 am
Day 1b7h June10.00 am
Day 1c8th June10.00 am
Day 1d9th June10.00 am

The $1,500 Monster Stack

Event #DatesEvent Buy-In & Name
3814th - 20th June$1,500 Monster Stack
Players are only permitted one entry per starting day and can re-enter on subsequent starting days if eliminated.
ChipsClockLate Registration
50,00060 mins10 levels
Day DateStart Time
Day 1a14th June10.00 am
Day 1b15th June10.00 am
Day 1c16th June10.00 am

The Seniors $1,000 NL Hold’em Championship

Event #DatesEvent Buy-In & Name
4618th -22nd June$1,000 Seniors NLH Championship
Open to players aged 50 and over only. One re-entry per flight permitted.
ChipsClockLate Registration
20,00060 mins8 levels
Day DateStart Time
Day 1a18th June10.00 am
Day 1b19th June10.00 am

The $1,500 Millionaire Maker

4DatesEvent Buy-In & Name
5421st - 27th June$1,500 Millionaire Maker
1st prize guaranteed to be at least $1m. One re-entry per flight permitted.
ChipsClockLate Registration
25,00060 mins9 levels
Day DateStart Time
Day 1a21st June10.00 am
Day 1b22nd June10.00 am
Day 1c23rd June10.00 am

The $400 Colossus

4DatesEvent Buy-In & Name
7028th June - 2nd July $400 Colossus
One re-entry per flight permitted.
ChipsClockLate Registration
40,00040 mins12 levels
Day DateStart Time
Day 1a28th June10.00 am
Day 1b29th June10.00 am
Day 1c30th June10.00 am

The $800 Independence Day Celebration

Event #DatesEvent Buy-In & Name
803rd - 6th July $800 Independence Day Celebration
The rumours are false, you do NOT have to be a US resident or citizen to enter this event. One re-entry per flight permitted.
ChipsClockLate Registration
40,00030 mins12 levels
Day DateStart Time
Day 1a3rd July10.00 am
Day 1b4th July10.00 am

The $600 Ultra Stack

Event #DatesEvent Buy-In & Name
847th - 11th July$600 Ultra Stack
Two re-entries per flight permitted.
ChipsClockLate Registration
60,00030/40 mins12 levels
Day DateStart Time
Day 1a7th July2.00 pm
Day 1b8th July2.00 pm

The $1,000 Mystery Bounty PLO

Event #DatesEvent Buy-In & Name
869th - 12th July$1,000 Mystery Bounty PLO
Unlike most Mystery Bounty events, in this one, there is a bounty on every player in the tournament and they can ben won right from the get-go. Two re-entries per flight permitted.
ChipsClockLate Registration
40,00040 mins9 levels
Day DateStart Time
Day 1a9th July10.00 am
Day 1b10th July10.00 am

The $3,000 Mid-Stakes NL Hold’em Championship

Event #DatesEvent Buy-In & Name
8911th - 14th July$3,000 Mid-Stakes NLH Championship
One re-entry per flight permitted.
ChipsClockLate Registration
40,00060 mins12 levels
Day DateStart Time
Day 1a11th July10.00 am
Day 1b12th July10.00 am

The $777 Lucky Sevens

4DatesEvent Buy-In & Name
9313th - 17th July$777 Lucky Sevens
Unlimited re-entry, knock yourself out! (not literally)
ChipsClockLate Registration
40,00030/40 mins12 levels
Day DateStart Time
Day 1a13th July10.00 am
Day 1b14th July10.00 am
Day 1c15th July10.00 am

The $1,500 Closer

Event #DatesEvent Buy-In & Name
9815th - 17th July $1,500 Closer
Unlimited re-entry, last chance to get out of it for the series.
ChipsClockLate Registration
50,00030 mins12 levels
Day DateStart Time
Day 1a15th July4.00pm
Day 1b16th July12.00 pm

In the Next Edition

In the next part of the PokerWired's World Series of Poker 2024 Players' Guide we take a look at the Championship events on the schedule.

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