The World Poker Tour Is Flat

As mentioned in my previous post, I’m forgoing the last day of the inaugural WPT500 at Aria. Each of the starting days is playing down to 5% (or less, in some cases where there have been multiple busts on the bubble. The last positions paid are getting $1,250 on a $565 buyin. That’s a 120% ROI for beating all but 1/20th of your flight.

The Wynn Classic $30K that ran on 2 July had 245 entries (at $300). 13th place (on the bottom edge of the top 5%) got $1,155–nearly as much cash, more profit, and an ROI of 285%.

“Maybe it’s just the bigger field size?”, you might ask. It’s true that larger fields have flatter payouts, as I’ve mentioned before, but one of the biggest fields this year was the WSOP Monster Stack event (#51), with 7,862 entries over two flights (sort of, it was confusing). Folks in the top 6th percentile there (just below position 393) were making $4,670 on their $1,500 entry fee, a 211% ROI, nearly a full buyin (in relative terms) to the WPT500.

Argue all you want about rake making it difficult to make a living playing tournaments, making it through half the cashing field and losing an entire buyin because of a top-heavy structure is going to cost you a lot more.