2023 WSOP Chips

Payout scale smoothed

With the World Series of Poker just a week away, the WSOP has announced that payout structures have been changed, with a minimum cash for most events now equaling two times the buy-in. This flattens the payouts a bit, reducing the awards for the top finishers, but benefiting many more players at the bottom of the payout scale.

Let’s take a look at how the change will affect some of the tournaments. Using the $1,500 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em as an example, we used the calculator provided by the WSOP to set the 2024 entries to 2,454, the same as 2023.

First place this year would pay $430,242, compared to $465,501. The 2024 version continues to pay less until 136th place, when it is $3,650 versus $3,564 last year. In this tournament, the differences in pay from last year to this year aren’t huge, even at the bottom of the final table, though that may have to do with the fact that it isn’t a gigantic field or a pricey buy-in.

The min-cash is for 2024 is $3,000, double the buy-in, compared to $2,400 last year. Though not astounding in absolute terms, it’s quite a big difference percentage-wise and $600 for a min-cash can really help someone afford to stay in Las Vegas longer to keep playing at the WSOP.

Main Event first prize plummets

The 2024 WSOP Main Event is one of the tournaments that will not have a min-cash that doubles the event’s buy-in. The calculator only gave us the option to set the number of entries at 9,000, 10,000, or 11,000, so we went with 10,000 to come as close to last year’s record-breaking field of 10,043 as possible. The min-cash last year was $15,000 for the $10,000 buy-in event, which is where it will stay this year.

The most pronounced difference in payouts, as one would guess, is at the top of the standings. This year, first place in a 10,000-player Main Event would pay $10,000,000, second place would pay $6,000,000, and third place $4,000,000. Last year, those numbers were $12,100,000, $6,500,000, and $4,000,000 ($100,000 was added to first place to break 2006’s record for highest Main Event payout).

The rest of the final table payouts would be higher than last year, with the difference coming out of the first place prize. One nice byproduct of the change is that all nine players at the final table will cash for at least $1,000,000.

Interested to see what the payout structures will look like for other tournaments? You can play around with the WSOP’s calculator here.

Image credit: PokerGO.com

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