The event I played in Saturday night at the WSOP at Harrah's Casino (Tunica) was one hour late getting started so I watched a little of the final table from Friday's event. The events work like this: they play until down to the final table (or occasionally when there is two tables left if it is after a certain time, I think 2 a.m.), then those players come back the next day.
I heard that when there were five players left, they made this chop: There was one short-stack and the other four were about the same. The shortie got $10,000 and the other four got $25,000 each. (I'm not sure the numbers are exactly right, but something like this.)
They give a ring instead of a bracelet at these circuit events, so they played on. The winner would get his name in lights and the ring. A friend of mine won one of these rings two years ago, so I've seen one -- they're nothing special as far as being valuable, basically something to show off.
What's wrong with this chop? I'll give my comments in a day or two after others have had a chance to comment.
EDIT: You can see the payouts if you click here.
You can see the big difference between 1st and 4th and thus the rationale for wanting to chop.
When I add them up, however, it comes to around $116K and that doesn't work out. 25 times 4 is 100 and 10K for 5th so there would be 6K left over. As I said, the numbers were hearsay and not exact. For the purpose of this discussion, let's say they chop was $26K for the top four and $11K for fifth. Also, let's assume the short-stack was very short.