Event #5: $565 "The Colossus" No-Limit Hold'em is expected to bring in a massive field for opening weekend of the 2015 World Series of Poker! The WSOP will be in full swing almost before you can say "Shuffle up and Deal" when all the action of the world's largest poker festival begins on Friday, May 29th. The five-day Colossus tournament is expected to jam the Rio with guesstimates running anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 entries and optimists believing it could easily bring in more than 20,000 players to battle it out for the guaranteed prize pool of $5 million!
"It's all over the map internally, so I'm not sure if there is a real WSOP consensus number," Seth Palansky, Vice President of Corporate Communications, told PokerNews.com in regards to field-size estimations. "I believe I'm the most optimistic of everyone, and when I say optimistic I have something like 24,600 as my projected number, but I'm getting laughed out of the building."
Palansky's projection may not be completely out of the ballpark when one considers the numbers from last year's Monster Stack and Millionaire Maker. He also has other factors that influence his optimism, like early preregistration and feedback from various contact points.
"The reality is 75-80 percent of all the people eligible to reenter [the Millionaire Maker] did," Palansky says. "So those are the sort of things I'm using when trying to judge this one. Maybe it's taking the extremes of our most successful events, but I think the Colossus has the potential to fall in that range."
Palansky added, "It's going to be a biggie, but it is a big operational challenge. I still have nightmares over Monster Stack last year, so at least we learned a bunch of lessons and now we're going to try to implement them."
There will be four starting flights and each will have two "Late Waves." With expectations of a huge turnout, the WSOP is working to make it all come together and part of the plan is players will be seated with the starting stack of 5,000 chips but entering the tournament at the current level and blinds if they enter during the Late Waves.
How do the Late Waves work? Players receive assigned seats on a first-come, first-serve basis. As soon as the flight is full, that flight is closed and close to 750 seats will be sold in the "Late Wave Flight 1" — once those seats are sold, the next flight, (about 1,000 seats), which is "Late Wave Flight 2" will be sold.
Players can reenter the following flights of The Colossus but not the same flight. The tournament is designed to allow players to forfeit their chip stack, instead of bagging up at the end of the flight, and enter another flight. Once a player makes it to the end of a flight with chips (and doesn't forfeit them) they cannot enter another flight.
The Day 1 flights are expected to play through seven hours and 45 minutes of actual play time — no dinner break — the 10 levels will be 40 minutes long. The flights that begin at 10:00 AM will play to 5:45 PM and 6:00 PM flights are expected to end about 1:45 AM. The starting times are all local Las Vegas time.
Players who make it through their starting flights will come back on Sunday, May 31st, and start Day 2. The restart time hasn't been set yet but conjecture has it at 1:00 PM. Monday, June 1st, will find all the survivors returning for Day 3 in the Amazon Room where the remaining days of the tournament will be played out.
Flight Schedule for WSOP Colossus
|Day and Time||Starting Seat Capacity||First Late Wave||Second Late Wave||Capacity|
|5a: Friday, May 29 at 10 a.m.||Seat up to 4,600||Late Wave 1; 12:25-1:40 p.m.; Seat up to 750||Late Wave 2; 2:45-4 p.m.; Seat up to 1,000||Day 1a Capacity: 6,350 (est.)|
|5b: Friday, May 29 at 6 p.m.||Seat up to 4,000||Late Wave 3; 8:25-9:40 p.m.; Seat up to 750||Late Wave 4; 10:45 p.m. - 12 a.m.; Seat up to 1,000||Day 1b Capacity: 5,750 (est.)|
|5c: Saturday, May 30 at 10 a.m.||Seat up to 4,600||Late Wave 5; 12:25-1:40 p.m.; Seat up to 750||Late Wave 6; 2:45-4 p.m.; Seat up to 1,000||Day 1c Capacity: 6,350 (est.)|
|5d: Saturday, May 30 at 6 p.m.||Seat up to 4,000||Late Wave 7; 8:25-9:40 p.m.; Seat up to 750||Late Wave 8; 10:45 p.m. - 12 a.m.; Seat up to 1,000||Day 1d Capacity: 5,750 (est.)|
Playing any of the WSOP events requires a Total Rewards card. Be sure to stop by the registration area when you reach the Rio and pick up your player's card — or sign up online. Click here to sign up for a Total Rewards card.
Check out "The Colossus" structure sheet, here.
Preregistration for "The Colossus" recommended by WSOP
Now through May 12th players can preregister for "The Colossus" and officials are recommending that if you don't want to be left out at the starting gate, you need to register before starting day. Registration is open through May 26th at the Rio Main Casino Cage and starting at 8:00 AM on May 27th the WSOP Cage (which is in the Rio Convention Center) opens and is open 24 hours a day.
"Plan for lines and delays if you choose to register the day of the event," an ominous warning from the WSOP. "We will not be able to push back start times to accommodate line delays."
If you do register online, head for the Information Desk in the Rio Convention Center Rotunda, located across from the WSOP Retail Store, and grab your seat assignment and receipt...don't forget to bring your photo ID with you.
The WSOP is also suggesting that if you plan on playing additional flights, you should register for all of them at the same time. If you have registered for additional flights and make it through a flight with chips, you can receive a refund for any flights you don't play. Keep in mind that seats aren't transferable.
The refund process:
- Refunds for "The Colossus" will only be processed starting Sunday, May 31 at 1 p.m. local time.
- In order to receive a refund, players must take their unused seat card, receipt, I.D. and Total Rewards Card to the Payouts & Player Services Office in the Diamond/Seven Star side of the WSOP Main Cage.
- No refunds will be processed for Colossus players before May 31 at 1 p.m. local time.
- The refund process is different for this event and is required to allow enough time for organizers to properly reconcile and balance "The Colossus" registrants and ensure a successful process to register entrants into the event.
"It's by far the most successful one," Palansky said about preregistration. "Typically the Seniors Event is the most successful, but while that one is doing well, we've never had tracking on an event like we do The Colossus right now."
Preregister for 2015 WSOP events by clicking here.
Find more information on the 2015 World Series of Poker and the entire schedule by visiting here.
*Image courtesy of the WSOP.