The World Series of Poker is just around the corner…well, if that corner is about 250 miles away and then around an extended series of corners. But nevertheless, unless our planet unexpectedly gets engulfed by the sun within the next several months, there will be a WSOP in 2016. And now we know exactly when.
The WSOP has announced that the 2016 World Series of Poker will run from May 31st, 2016 to July 18th, 2016, not counting the November Nine. The official schedule has yet to be revealed, but it appears that the final day of May will be a setup day of sorts, perhaps with cash games and satellites starting. That’s because the first event, the Casino Employees Event, does not start until June 1st.
Event #2 is one of the highlights of the entire WSOP schedule: the return of the Colossus. Colossus II, as it is being called, is a $565 No-Limit Hold’em re-entry event, slated to have six separate starting flights. Those starting flights will be split across three days, likely with one beginning each morning and one beginning early each evening, if it follows the same pattern as this year’s Colossus.
The 2015 Colossus set a couple records: it was the lowest buy-in open event in World Series of Poker history and, at 22,374 entrants, was the largest live tournament in poker history. It looks like WSOP organizers expect the 2016 edition to be even larger, as this year’s event had four starting flights across two days. The guaranteed prize pool has also been increased from $5 million to $7 million, with a $1 million guarantee for first place.
As mentioned, the Colossus II will be a re-entry event, meaning that players who bust out of one starting flight can pay another buy-in to try again in one or more subsequent flights. In a new twist, the tournament will adopt the format of the WSOP Europe’s Oktoberfest event, as each starting flight will make it through the money bubble before the day ends. The WSOP says one major goal of this format is to “ease congestion” that they saw this year, which likely came from players trying to hang on as their starting flight went late in order to make it to Day 2 and possibly cash. With cashes out of the way on the very first day, there will be less incentive for many players to squeak into Day 2.
What this also means is that it is very possible for someone to cash more than once in the Colossus II. If a player cashes in one starting flight but busts out before the end of the day, he can still re-enter in another starting flight and possibly cash there, as well.
Of course, there is also the Main Event, which was won by Joe McKeehen this year. The 2016 WSOP Main Event will begin July 9th and run through July 18th before breaking until November (or October, if the schedule is adjusted for the U.S. presidential election). There will be three opening flights, held July 9th, July 10th, and July 11th.