2017 WSOP Preliminary Dates, Details Released

Remember when Qui Nguyen won the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event? I know the U.S. Presidential election drama basically wiped out the memory of anything that happened before it, but really, somebody won the WSOP Main Event. And if you do still remember, prepare to forget it, as the key dates for the 2017 World Series of Poker were announced this week, allowing poker players to move on and start getting mentally ready for next year.

The 2017 WSOP will begin…DRUM ROLL…Tuesday, May 30th, 2017. So, pretty much when it always does. Still, it’s good to be able to get things on the calendar and already plan for a prolonged illness from work well in advance.

2016 WSOP Main Event Champ Qui Nguyen Image credit: WSOP.com/Jayne Furman

2016 WSOP Main Event Champ Qui Nguyen
Image credit: WSOP.com/Jayne Furman

That first day is actually more or less a warmup day, as the poker that will be played at the Rio on Tuesday is just cash games and satellites. The cash games are extraordinarily juicy, though, so if that’s your bag, it is highly recommended to play them as much as possible. The following day, Wednesday, May 31st, is when the WSOP tournaments actually get going, kicking off with the usual starter, the $565 Casino Employees event.

The headliner non-Main Event (or at least the one the WSOP has pushed each year as the headliner) is the $565 Colossus, or Colossus III, as it is known this year. Two years ago, the WSOP created the Colossus as a way to draw more recreational players by offering the least expensive open event in Series history. And boy, did it work. The Colossus quickly become the largest live poker tournament ever, and in its first two years, the Colossus has garnered almost 44,000 entries.

Full details have yet to be given for the Colossus III, but we do know that it will again have three starting days – June 2nd, June 3rd, and June 4th – with two Day 1 flights on each day. Like this year, it will be a re-entry event in that players who bust out in a flight can re-enter any subsequent flight, even one on the same day. There was also no mention of the payout structure, but it would not be surprising in the least if it was the same as this year’s. To shorten the lines at the cage, the money bubble burst during each starting flight, rather than on Day 2,when many more players would have rushed to the cashier upon elimination. One byproduct of this was that it was very possible for players to “cash” more than once in the tournament, should they make the money in one flight, bust out before the conclusion of that flight, then re-enter another flight and cash there.

The WSOP guaranteed a $1 million first prize and a $7 million prize pool for the Colossus this year, up the latter up from $5 million in 2015.

The 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event will begin on July 8th with the first of three Day 1’s and will stop for the summer when the November Nine is determined on July 17th (or July 18th, if the proceedings extend into the wee hours of the morning).

As previously mentioned, Qui Nguyen won the 2016 WSOP Main Event and $8 million using a punishing style of play at the final table. He played very aggressively, seemingly unafraid to gamble it up with any two cards. He was particularly impressive heads-up against the more conservative Gordon Vayo. Nguyen had the uncanny knack of making bold plays at just the right time, more than once taking down pots with the worst hand. And then, when he was in trouble in the hand, he was able to escape without spewing.

“We want to wish everyone Happy Holidays and best wishes for a safe and successful 2017,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart in a press release. “We are busy trying to finalize the entire 2017 WSOP schedule.  We anticipate a similar series to last year with a few new wrinkles, but ensuring a broad array of options to satisfy every potential participant.”

Other familiar events will return such as the Ladies Championship, the Seniors Event, Little One for One Drop, Millionaire Maker, and Monster Stack. Noticeably absent is the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop, which donates $111,111 of each buy-in to the One Drop charity to benefit areas that need better access to clean drinking water. It was played in 2012 and 2014, but this year, it was moved to Monaco and changed to an invitation-only event for recreational players only. Based on its every-even-year schedule, it wasn’t necessarily expected that we’d see it in 2017, but anyone who was holding out hope that it would show up again in its original form will be disappointed.

The World Series of Poker expects to have the full schedule ready for publication in February.

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