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2015 WSOP should be in for Another Record-Breaking Year

Shortly after April 15th, 2011 - a.k.a. "Black Friday" - many predicted the fast decline of poker. After all, the game was being hit in the worst possible way, with PokerStars no longer being able to accept American players, and Full Tilt, Absolute and UB Poker all going offline. The latter two sites would never return, taking $20 million worth of player deposit money with them.

But here we are six months out from the 2015 World Series of Poker, and many are already expecting another record-breaking year. Sure, online poker may have taken a hit in April 2011, but that hasn't killed the overall enthusiasm for the game. Take the 2014 WSOP, for example, which drew a record 82,360 participants. And based on the schedule from the 2015 WSOP, it's very possible that the participation record could be broken once again.

"The Colossus," a $5 million guaranteed event with a $565 buy-in, seems tailor-made to help usher in another record-setting year. As WSOP Executive Director Ty Steward contends, this is the lowest buy-in for an open-registration WSOP tournament in 35 years. Add in the $5 million prize pool and gold bracelet for the winner, and many predict that The Colossus will attract over 13,000 players.

Also on tap are the Millionaire Maker ($1,500 buy-in), Little One for One Drop ($1,111 buy-in), Ladies Championship ($1,000 buy-in) and Seniors Championship ($1,000 buy-in). These are all highly popular tourneys that draw thousands of players in their own right. So when you combine these with The Colossus, it's easy to see the 2015 WSOP breaking more attendance records.

And we can't forget the 2015 WSOP Main Event, which should draw between 6,000 and 7,000 players. This is especially the case when you consider that, for the second straight year, the Main Event will deliver another $10 million guaranteed payout to the winner.

In the end, who knows how many players will descend upon the Rio. But it looks like WSOP organizers have definitely figured out the right formula to keep making runs at their own participation records.