Facts and figures. They make the world go around and, more often than not, tell a story without letting opinions or biases get in the way. Which numbers from the World Series of Poker’s Monster Stack tell that story and what quick opinions do we have?
$1,547,100 – When the Monster Stack debuted in 2014, 7,862 players built up an over $10,613,000 prize pool in one of the biggest WSOP events to date. This year, that number dropped to 6,716 entrants and the prize pool suffered. There is over $1.5 million less up for grabs compared to four years ago and this year’s champion will walk away with nearly $232,000 less than Hugo Pingray did in 2014.
1,008 – The reason the 2017 victor is going to barely break the seven-figure threshold when he or she wins the Monster Stack is more because of the WSOP’s new-ish payout structure than the total prize pool, although year-over-year drops don’t help. The World Series is paying more players than they were in 2014, which is arguably better for the entire poker community, and this year, 1,008 players will cash in the Monster Stack, while only 792 turned a profit four years ago.
304.37 – This year’s World Series of Poker Player of the Year race has been debated, dissected and argued almost endlessly through the first half of the series. Much of those conversations have been centered around the emphasis on large No Limit Hold’em fields awarding a massive amount of points, while smaller $10,000 Championship event results are not weighed as heavily. Because of the new system, the winner of the Monster Stack will receive 304.37 POY points, which could play a big role if someone like Joe McKeehen, who made Day 3 and won a bracelet earlier this summer, makes a deep run.
$820,863 – Speaking of Joe McKeehen, his WSOP legend began in the Monster Stack four years ago. McKeehen finished 2nd in 2014 to the previously mentioned Pingray, for a $820,863 score and has accounted for big results ever since. McKeehen won the Main Event in 2015, for $7.6 million, and then finished 6th in last year’s High Roller for One Drop, for $829,792. To date, McKeehen is the only player in WSOP history to cash for over $800,000 in three straight years.
28th – While McKeehen comes back for Day 3, the chip leader heading into the penultimate day is Scott Baumstein. The New Yorker has come close to his first WSOP bracelet a few times, including earlier this summer, when Baumstein finished 28th in the Millionaire Maker. There are over 230 players remaining though, so Baumstein has some work to get there and to then best that finish but if he can, the experienced professional will certainly be a threat to make his first WSOP final table since 2011.