Men lie, women lie, numbers don't. The World Series Of Poker continues to grow in stature and the proof is in the numbers, which continue to be quite staggering. Last year, the WSOP Colossus event had the most participants for any event in 2015, and as the 2016 edition began this weekend the tournament was expected to break records as well.
The 2016 edition of Colossus, named Colossus II, features 21,613 entries, which is down from 22,374 in 2015, but that is still an incredible number of competitors. Reports are stating that 3,245 players are going to be able to cash out in this event as there is a prize pool of $10,806,500 to draw from. That number of players that will cash out will be a record.
There are going to be six flights and several of them have already began. The breakdown will look as follows: Flight A will have 3,249 players, then 2,153 for Flight B, 3,770 for Flight C, 3,099 for Flight D, 4,855 for Flight E and 4,487 for Flight F. The top players from those will move on to Day 2 and the winner of the event is going to get at least a million dollars, which is more than the $638,880 that Cord Garcia won in the inaugural event in 2015. Bradley McFarland came in second to Garcia, and he took home $386,253. The lowest prize money in the top five was $182,348.
The Colossus II is a massive no-limit hold 'em tournament that costs $565 to get into, so it shouldn't be that much of a surprise that the participation numbers are so huge. Many of these poker tournaments that include professionals - like Chris Ferguson, who is back this year - are often unattainable for the common player, but $565 is a reasonable buy-in.
The 2015 edition of the tournament set a record for the largest live poker tournament, so Colossus II has a lot to live up to. The full list of payouts has yet to be announced outside of the winner's cut, but they will be out shortly. It will also be the second event on the World Series Of Poker event schedule after the Casino Employees No Limit Hold 'Em tournament, which is the event where Christopher Sand took home $75,157. While everything in the World Series of Poker leads up to the main event, this event is definitely starting to become one of the stars of the show. This is an event that looks like it might get bigger as the years go by, and it certainly is going to be fun to watch.
There had to be some changes made to how it was laid out as a 20,000-player field is significant amount of traffic to handle in terms of logistics. The organizers will employ some new strategies in terms of cashing out to alleviate the problems of last year. This year's event is taking place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.