Cards In the Air at 2016 World Series of Poker
It is June, which can only mean one thing. Ok, if we are being honest, it can mean any number of things, like my kids have already been out of school for a week and a half, which is pretty insane. They also go back to school at the very beginning of August which again seems odd. But beyond all that, it’s June, so it is time for the 2016 World Series of Poker. The world’s largest poker festival has gotten underway and the Rio is already jumping.
The highlight of the WSOP’s first week is the Colossus II. Last year’s inaugural Colossus was a huge hit, thanks largely in part to its low $565 buy-in, the lowest ever for a WSOP bracelet event (only in poker and investment banking is $565 considered a small amount of money). Thus, it is back again this year and WSOP organizers predicted that it would easily break the 20,000 entrant mark.
The structure of the tournament is interesting. There are six starting flights spread across three days, two flights per day. The early flights start at 10:00am Las Vegas time, while the late flights start at 4:00pm. The tournament a re-entry event, which means that players who are eliminated from any of the starting flights may buy-in again in any subsequent starting flight. Players can do this as many times as they want, as long as there are flights remaining.
In most tournaments, when the money bubble bursts, lots of players start getting eliminated in rapid succession, as the short stacks who were just holding on to make the money breathe a sigh of relief and are perfectly willing to risk their few remaining chips to either double-up or go home. Last year one of the most significant problems encountered with such a sizable tournament was that when the money bubble burst and the resulting knock out spree happened, there was a mad rush at the cashier, creating long lines of people waiting for the payouts.
To relieve some of that stress this year, the money was guaranteed to be hit before the end of every starting flight. Thus, the flood to the cashier was essentially divided by six. The offshoot of this is that it is possible for players to cash multiple times in the Colossus II event if they make the money in a starting flight, get eliminated before the end of the night, re-enter the tournament in a subsequent flight, and then cash again.
As this article is being written, the final numbers for the Colossus II have been announced and the organizers were correct: it eclipsed 20,000 entrants. For the six flights combined, there are 21,613 entrants, creating a prize pool of $10,806,500. This actually fell about 700 entries short of last year’s Colossus, but all in all, that’s a pretty solid turnout.
The WSOP also set a rare guarantee for this event, guaranteeing a $7 million prize pool and a first prize of $1 million. The final payout structure beyond the starting flights hasn’t been revealed yet, but as the first prize last year was $638,880 with a larger prize pool, one would be reasonable to assume that the top prize will be a flat $1 million.
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