The $565 Colossus shattered records at the 2015 World Series of Poker and opened a few eyes about the potential of low buy-in bracelet events.
It's back on the schedule for the 2016 WSOP and will have a new cohort in the sub-$1,000 buy-in category: the first-ever 888poker-branded "Crazy Eights" event.
As you might have guessed, the buy-in will be $888, play will be eight-handed at each table and the winner is guaranteed a payout of $888,888.
Starting day is July 1 with four different flights over two starting days. Each player will have the option to buy in once per flight. Blind levels will be 30 minutes on Day 1 and 60 minutes for Days 2-4. Day 4 will play down to a winner.
The potential is so big, in fact, it has already even been voted by USA Today as one of the top five tournaments for first-time players to play.
WSOP Joins in Low Buy-In Trend
The World Series opened up to recreational players last year by offering tournaments with less than a $1,000 buy-in, following the current trend in online poker and with low-buy-in live tournament series.
Colossus showed the way.
The success was evident, as not only the fairy tale number of 22,374 players in the Colossus proved.
VP of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky explains how the idea to connect a new tournament with the WSOP’s main sponsor came to be:
"That concept really came because we wanted to offer another affordable buy-in event but have it stand out from others. Then Ty Stewart and Jack Effel thought, for this year, we should try to have an affordable buy-in event that also played short-handed – or relatively short-handed.
"So this concept got settled around an 8-handed event, which we don’t believe has been done at this point. So once you are playing 8-handed, then the leap to making it $888 was pretty easy."
Lower buy-in events became an instant hit at the WSOP because they allow that part of the poker community that can’t afford a $10k championship - and might even have to think twice about spending $1,500 - to play for a bracelet.
Tournaments can be a short and frustrating affair and it would be even more so if you went all the way to Vegas for just one event. The “Crazy Eights” event, however, allows you to re-enter if you get unlucky. Compared to the $1,500 events, you get two shots for the price of one.
Comfort and Value
If you've ever played live poker you'll know an 8-handed table is more comfortable to sit at than a 10-handed one, although that likely won't have a big influence on players’ decision to play.
Bracelet not bad either.
A tournament with four playing days for less than a $1,000, though, is certainly very appealing for every poker enthusiast - even some of the game's most experienced pros.
888poker Team Pro Bruno Kawauti will be there to play and offered a few tips on how to approach this type of event.
“The thing is that we will play 30-minute levels on Day 1, so you must always count your stack per big blinds and adjust your play depending on how many big blinds you have.”
“The fact that we are playing 8-handed and 30-minute levels, you should be a little more aggressive. Stealing blinds will be essential for the maintenance of your stack.
"My strategy will be to watch my opponents carefully and see who is most exploitable, and try to attack their blinds. Or play more pots against them in position!”
With a field this big there’s also the perspective to play in an event that “feels” like the main event. if you have an account at 888poker you might even be able to play in both.
Make your way through the steps system and you could be playing in Vegas this summer for as little as a single cent. Check our 888poker review for more information.