Sizing Up the PokerStars Players Championship, One of the World's Biggest Poker Tournaments

Sizing Up the PokerStars Players Championship, One of the World's Biggest Poker Tournaments

With 320 entries into the PokerStars NL Holdem Players Championship courtesy of the PokerStars Platinum promotion, this tournament was always going to be the biggest $25,000 buy-in tournament in the history of the game. Among the 320, of course, were some lesser experienced poker players. That, combined with the facts there's no rake, it's the Bahamas, and there's a guaranteed $1,000,000 added to first, attracted a battalion of other players, 719 to be exact, to get to a total field of 1,039 entries.

For the longest time, the record in terms of entries into a $25,000 buy-in event stood at 639, courtesy of the 2007 WPT Championship event in the Bellagio. That record was crushed, with the PSPC now standing firmly atop the Top 10 biggest $25,000 buy-in events.

The Biggest $25,000 Poker Events in History

#YearTourEventBuy-inEntriesPrize PoolWinnerFirst Place Prize
12019PokerStars LivePSPC$25,0001,039$26,455,500 $5,100,000
22007WPTBellagio$25,500639$15,495,750Carlos Mortensen$3,970,415
32006WPTBellagio$25,500605$14,671,250Joe Bartholdi$3,760,165
42008WPTBellagio$25,500545$13,216,250David Chiu$3,389,140
52005WPTBellagio$25,500452$10,961,000Tuan Le$2,856,150
62018partypoker LIVEMILLIONS World Bahamas$25,500394$10,000,000Roger Teska$2,000,000
72004WPTBellagio$25,500343$8,342,000Martin de Knijff$2,728,356
82009WPTBellagio$25,500338$8,196,500Yevgeniy Timoshenko$2,149,960
92015PokerStars LivePCA$25,000269$6,456,000Ilkin Garibli$1,105,040
102016PokerStars LiveEPT Monte Carlo€25,500231$6,531,825Alexandru Papazian$1,381,499

Since 2010, PokerStars has organized a $25,000 event every year at the PCA. Here are the numbers for the main $25,000 event at the PCA since its inception:

#YearTourEventBuy-inEntriesPrize PoolWinnerFirst Place Prize
12019PokerStars LivePSPC$25,0001,039$26,455,500 $5,100,000
22015PokerStars LivePCA$25,000269$6,456,000Ilkin Garibli$1,105,040
32014PokerStars LivePCA$25,000247$6,051,500Jake Schindler$1,192,624
42016PokerStars LivePCA$25,000225$5,400,000Nick Maimone$996,480
52013PokerStars LivePCA$25,000204$4,998,000Vanessa Selbst$1,424,420
62011PokerStars LivePCA$25,000151$3,775,500Will Molson$1,072,850
72012PokerStars LivePCA$25,000148$3,626,000Leonid Bilokur$1,134,930
82018PokerStars LivePCA$25,000144$3,484,800Christopher Kruk$836,350
92010PokerStars LivePCA$25,00084$2,057,998William Reynolds$576,240
102009PokerStars LivePCA$25,00048$1,200,000Bertrand Grospellier$433,500

One of the Biggest Prize Pools Outside of the WSOP

The list with the biggest events in the world, looking at the total prize pool, is dominated by the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. 2006's Main Event, won by Jamie Gold for $12,000,000, stands out as the biggest of them all with a total prize pool of $82,512,162 resulting from a field of 8,773 players.

After a long list of WSOP events, the €1,000,000 buy-in The Big One for One Drop in 2016 comes next in terms of prize pool. Next up comes the PSPC. Here's a look at the Top 25:

The Biggest Events in the History of the Game Looking at the Total Prize Pool

#YearBuy-inEventEntriesPrize PoolWinner1st
12006$10,0002006 WSOP Main Event8,773$82,512,162Jamie Gold$12,000,000
22018$10,0002018 WSOP Main Event7,874$74,015,600John Cynn$8,800,000
32010$10,0002010 WSOP Main Event7,319$68,798,600Jonathan Duhamel$8,944,138
42017$10,0002017 WSOP Main Event7,221$67,877,400Scott Blumstein$8,150,000
52011$10,0002011 WSOP Main Event6,865$64,531,000Pius Heinz$8,715,638
62008$10,0002008 WSOP Main Event6,844$64,333,600Peter Eastgate$9,152,416
72016$10,0002016 WSOP Main Event6,737$63,327,800Qui Nguyen$8,005,310
82014$10,0002014 WSOP Main Event6,683$62,820,200Martin Jacobson$10,000,000
92012$10,0002012 WSOP Main Event6,598$62,021,200Greg Merson$8,531m853
102009$10,0002009 WSOP Main Event6,494$61,043,600Joe Cada$8,574,649
112015$10,0002015 WSOP Main Event6,420$60,348,000Joe McKeehen$7,683,346
122007$10,0002007 WSOP Main Event6,358$59,784,954Jerry Yang$8,250,000
132013$10,0002013 WSOP Main Event6,352$59,708,800Ryan Riess$8,359,531
142005$10,0002005 WSOP Main Event5,619$52,818,610Joe Hachem$7,500,000
152012$1,000,0002012 WSOP The Big One for One Drop48$42,666,672Antonio Esfandiari$18,346,673
162014$1,000,0002014 WSOP The Big One for One Drop42$37,333,338Dan Colman$15,306,668
172016€1,000,000The Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza26$27,437,564Elton Tsang$12,248,912
182019$25,000PokerStars NL Hold'em Players Championship1,039$26,455,500 $5,100,000
192018$1,000,0002018 WSOP The Big One for One Drop27$24,840,000Justin Bonomo$10,000,000
202004$10,0002004 WSOP Main Event2,576$24,224,400Greg Raymer$5,000,000
212012HK$2,000,000Macau High Stakes Challenge Super High Roller73$23,511,077Stanley Choi$6,465,574
222015$500,000Super High Roller Bowl43$21,500,000Bryan Rast$7,525,000
232016$111,1112016 WSOP One Drop High Roller183$19,316,565Fedor Holz$4,981,775
242018HK$2000,000Super High Roller Bowl China75$18,550,297Justin Bonomo$4,823,077
252013$111,1112013 WSOP One Drop High Roller166$17,891,148Tony Gregg$4830,619

Data courtesy of

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