Top 10 Biggest Poker Tournaments in History

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What determines what makes a poker tournament the biggest should not be the prize money organizers of the event give out to winners but the number of passionate players and fans who give their best to make the tournament worth mentioning. Putting a prize tag on how much the winner gets during a poker tournament is easy.

One person can do that, but if you want to bring people to a poker tournament, a lot of preparation, planning, publication, organization, work, etc, goes into that. You can not just bring 10s of thousands of people to a poker tournament from your bank account.

Therefore, the parameter we will use to determine which poker tournament in history is among the top 10 biggest is the tournament's number of entries; poker is first about the people before the money. Join us as we take you through history's top 10 biggest tournaments. 

Top 10 Biggest Poker Tournaments In History

1. 2019 World Series Of Poker Big 50

Biggest Poker Tournaments in History

The 2019 World Series Of Poker Big 50 holds the record for the biggest poker tournament. Before 2019, no poker tournament had a total of 28,371 entries; even after four years and still counting, no poker tournament has had that number of entries. 

The 2019 WSOP final was held on 7th July of the same year. The opening weekend featured the Big 50 no-limit hold ’em tournament with a $ 5,000,000 prize pool and a $500 buy-in. The star of the tournament was Femi Fashakin. Fashakin is a Nigerian native who is based in Florida, United States.  He defeated Paul Cullen in the final to win the grand prize of about one and a half million dollars. 

2. 2023 World Series Of Poker Gladiators 

The 2023 World Series Of Poker  Gladiators of Poker tournament, held in June this year, also saw an impressive turnout with a whopping 23,088 entries, second to the 2019 tournament.

The tournament had the players break the $3 000,000  prize pool guarantee by over $ 2 600 000 and a $300 buy-in, totaling over 5.6 million dollars. Jason Simon, the tournament star, pocketed almost half a million dollars of the tournament prize money after defeating Eric Trexler. 

3. 2015 World Series Of Poker Colossus 

The 2015 World Series Of Poker Colossus drew players from 98 countries worldwide. These are players that had many years of experience. Most players were above 75 years old, including Norman Spivock, who was more than 96 years old when he participated in the tournament. 

The tournament had 22,374 entries, making it the third-biggest poker tournament ever based on the number of entries. The tournament started on the 28th of May and ended on the 3rd of June, with Cord Garcia winning the prize of over half a million dollars. The field generated a prize pool of over $ 11,000,000. 

4. 2016 World Series Of Poker Colossus

The 2016 World Series Of Poker Colossus was won by Ben Keeline, a 30-year-old professional poker player turned Uber driver. He became a million overnight when we won the prize money of over 1 million dollars, followed by Jiri Horak, who was the second runner-up and went home with 600 thousand dollars. 

The tournament had 21,613 entries, making it the fourth biggest tournament on our list. The event created a prize pool of over 10 million dollars. At the end of the tournament, it was the second-largest poker tournament in history, but the 2019 and 2016 events have since broken that record. 

5. 2022 World Series Of Poker Housewarming

The 2022 World Series Of Poker Housewarming holds the record for the fifth-biggest poker tournament, with 20,080 entries. The grand prize for this event was over 700 thousand dollars won by Henry Acain from the United States, while the runner-up was Jared Kingery, who went home with over 400 thousand dollars. The event generated a prize pool of almost 8.5 million dollars. The tournament marked the first time the World Series Poker will be relocated to the Las Vegas Strip. 

6. 2023 World Series Of Poker Mystery Millions

The year 2023 saw some records broken and new ones created. It is the year that saw several big poker tournaments.  The event saw a whopping 18,188 entries, and Tyler Brown from the United States won the tournament with a prize tag of 1 million dollars; Guang Chen from the same US was the runner-up with a prize money of almost 600 thousand dollars. He was the runner-up of the PokerGo Tour PLO Seris $10,000 tournament held in March of the same year before winning his biggest event in May. 

7.  2017 World Series Of Poker Colossus

The 2017 World Series Of Poker Colossus had a prize pool of over 9 million dollars and attracted 18,054 entries. The event was held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, and it was won by Thomas Pomponio, who became a millionaire and achieved his childhood dream of holding the golden bracelet. 

8. 2023 World Series Of Poker Colossus

Moshe Refaelowitz

The 2023 World Series Of Poker  Colossus is another poker tournament 2023 that made it to the top 10 biggest tournaments in history. The tournament had 15,894 entries to put it in the top eight of this list. 

Moshe Refaelowitz from Israel won the tournament with a $400 buy-in and went home with over 500 thousand prizes. 

9. 2022 World Series Of Poker Million Dollar Bounty

Quincy Borland

The 2022 World Series Of Poker Million Dollar Bounty saw Quincy Borland smiling to the bank with almost 800 thousand dollars in prize money. The tournament saw 14,112 entries competing for the ultimate prize. 

10. 2022 World Series Of Poker Colossus

Paul Hizer

The tenth biggest poker tournament on our list is the 2022 World Series Of Poker Colossus. The event saw an entry of 13,565 players and a pool prize of almost 4.5 million dollars. Paul Hizer won the tournament from the UK and went home with over 400 thousand dollars. The runner-up was Sam Laskowitz, who got almost 300 thousand dollars. 

Conclusion

Poker players are very passionate about poker, and no poker tournament is complete without them. They are the ones who bring beauty to each tournament, and therefore, every tournament should first be about them. The 2019 World Series Of Poker Big 50 holds the record for the biggest poker tournament ever and has been standing for four years. Thanks to the over 28 thousand players that graced that tournament. In the future, we will have other tournaments top the 2019 record and the other top 10 biggest tournaments mentioned above. 

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