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The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has been one of the best-established poker pow-wows where pros meet each other and compete in a high-paced play of skill and prescience. While the event’s COLOSSUS segment prize pool has grown up significantly, its popularity has seemed to peter out for reasons that go beyond organizers and observers alike.

WSOP has been punching up its efforts to reinvent itself as an attractively ostentatious event, introducing a hefty prize pool soaring up to $1 million for the individual to distinguish themselves as the best player around.

WSOP: A Look at the Diminishing Numbers

WSOP’s COLOSSUS event kicked off in 2016, attracting 22,374 entrants. The then-winner, Cord Garcia, managed to walk away with $638,880 under his belt and a new title to his career. The meetup itself was a watershed moment, reaffirming a new event in the world of poker (as a previous edition ran in 2015).

A year later, WSOP said it would secure $1 million for the winner, but fewer people flocked to the tables, with Benjamin Keeling besting 21,613 entrants and clearing his way to victory. In 2017, the numbers continued to fall, and we saw 18,054 people turn up, with Thomas Pomponio winning the prize pool.

Meanwhile, it has come to this. Paltry 13,070 entrants managed to turn up at the event this year. A pity! If we look at the hard numbers, that’s a 42{c118e36310c7bc75bef8f724f80ee0a52cfaf44be22f7e80906142f4c81518da} dip compared to 2015 and a 27{c118e36310c7bc75bef8f724f80ee0a52cfaf44be22f7e80906142f4c81518da} slump compared to 2017. The announcement of one of the juiciest poker tournaments out there has not been enough to incentivize people into coming, it seems.

Felicio takes $1m Over Gleeful Liu

The truth of the matter is, WSOP needs to make some effort in bringing people and giving them a reason to play. The event itself saw three people battling it out until the very end, with Roberly Felicio, Sang Liu and Joel Wurtzel at the table.

For a moment there, it looked like Liu would be the ultimate victor, bringing home with him $1 million. He was gleeful and preemptively confident in his victory when Felicio turned his fortunes on the river.

The news reverberated across Twitter & Twitch with the caption “Never make a victory dance to win $1,000,0000 until the last card is dealt.” The final results were as such:

Final Table Results:

1. Roberly Felicio – $1,000,000
2, Sang Liu – $500,000
3. Joel Wurtzel – $300,000
4. Scott Margereseon – $220,040
5. Timothy Miles – $166,091
6. Song Chow – $126,158
7. Gunther Dumsky – $96,431
8. John Racener – $74,178
9. Steven Jones – $57,425

The Untold Marketing Failures

Despite what you may think, WSOP has been putting substantial efforts in bolstering the events. The addition of money alone may have been the wrong stratagem giving the circumstances. It would help to focus on reaching out to more people and seek the reason why last years’ participants have decided to opt out of the event in its latest edition. Meanwhile, other WSOP events have been in full spate and we have tipped you about the fortunes of other noteworthy players, including Bonomo.