WSOP

Key Dates Announced for 2016 WSOP

If it feels like the 2015 World Series of Poker just ended, it is because it essentially did. But just five weeks after Joe McKeehen was crowned king of the poker world for winning the WSOP Main Event in dominant fashion, the WSOP has announced the dates and some details for the 2016 WSOP.

The world’s largest annual poker festival will kick off on May 31st, 2016 and the first event will be the traditional starter $565 Casino Employees event on the first day of June.

The highlight of the early schedule (full details of which have yet to be released) is Event #2: the Colossus II. This year’s Colossus was the inaugural running of its event, if that wasn’t evident by the fact that the 2016 version is labeled “II,” and featured the lowest buy-in for an open event in the history of the World Series of Poker. Tournament organizers anticipating an immense tournament and therefore scheduled four starting flights. They were right: the Colossus became the largest live poker tournament of all time, with 22,374 entrants. The prize pool of $11,187,000 more than doubled the $5 million guarantee.

Next year’s Colossus II will be similar, but it appears that WSOP official believe they can get even more people to join. The guaranteed prize pool has been upped to $7 million and in 2016 there will be six starting flights, spread across three days. Those starting flights will take place on Thursday, June 2nd, Friday, June 3rd, and Saturday, June 4th; assuming the timing is the same as 2015, each day will probably feature one flight beginning in the morning and one in the early evening. First place will be guaranteed at least $1 million.

Like this year, the Colossus will be a multi-entry event where players who are eliminated in one starting flight can try again for another buy-in in any (or all, if they have the money) subsequent buy-ins. What makes the 2016 Colossus II quite interesting that it will be structured so that the money bubble will burst during each starting flight. Everyone who makes it past the first day will already have cashed. Thus, it is entirely possible – and permitted – that someone could make the money in one starting flight, bust out before the end of that same flight, then re-enter the next flight and cash again. It is not out of the question (though unlikely) that someone could conceivably cash in every single one of the six opening flights without ever advancing to Day 2.

The highlight of the 2016 World Series of Poker is, of course, the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em WSOP Main Event Championship. While its prestige has dipped in recent years with the expansion of high buy-in live tournaments around the world and the rise in strength of internet players, the WSOP Main Event bracelet is still the most coveted prize in all of poker.

Joe McKeehen - 2015 WSOP Main Event Champ Image credit: WSOP.com

Joe McKeehen – 2015 WSOP Main Event Champ
Image credit: WSOP.com

The Main Event will once again feature three starting flights, scheduled for Saturday, July 9th, Sunday, July 10th, and Monday, July 11th. It will run through Monday, July 18th, at which point, once the final table is determined, the tournament will adjourn until November. The final nine players, the “November Nine,” will return to the Rio in the fall to finish the battle. In 2012, the November Nine was actually moved up to October to avoid a conflict with the United States presidential election. 2016 is also an election year, so it is possible that this will happen again, though a variation of a week or so should not be a big deal to anyone. In fact, the skilled and fortunate few who make it to the final table will likely be happy if it is a bit earlier, as they will probably be champing at the bit to get going.

The 2016 World Series of Poker will feature the usual tournaments we have come to expect like the Seniors Event, the Ladies Event, the Millionaire Maker, the Monster Stack, and the Little One for One Drop. Of course, there will also be cash games and satellites running at the Rio throughout the day as well as three daily deep stack tournaments.

“We want to wish everyone Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2016,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart in a press release. “We hope some of your New Year Resolution’s will include capturing a WSOP gold bracelet in the coming year. We expect another well-rounded schedule offering something for everyone and another record-breaking opening with Colossus II on tap to make a millionaire right out of the gate.”

The full schedule for the 2016 World Series of Poker is expected to be release in January or February.

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