The 2016 World Series of Poker continued in Las Vegas on Friday with the third and fourth of six starting flights for the $565 Colossus II drawing thousands more players. All summer long, PokerNews.com will be bringing you daily coverage that is brought to you by our sponsors, 888poker.
The inaugural Colossus set a record for entries in a live poker tournament, drawing 22,374. Organizers tweaked the structure and format this year, including adding two more starting days in an attempt to draw even more entries. However, it now appears that unless the final two starting days draw more than 10,000 players combined, Colossus II will not outdraw its predecessor.
Although it's still not out of the realm of possibilities, as organizers have long predicted the final two flights of the event would be the biggest of the six, 10,000 players would likely stretch capacity at the Rio convention center.
Colossus II Up To 12,271
The third of six starting flights for Colossus II drew 3,770 total entries, making it the biggest flight so far.
They moved quickly past the money bubble and 139 players survived by the time 18 levels were through with Ben Lindemulder bagging the chip lead on 362,000.
Notables to build contending stacks included Marvin Rettenmaier and Scott Davies, while Allen Cunningham, Walter Treccarichi, and Ylon Schwartz all appeared to bag under average.
Greg Raymer, Loni Harwood, Phil Hellmuth, Andy Bloch, Antonio Esfandiari, Jeff Madsen, and Carlos Mortensen, all missed the money in this flight, while Phil Laak, Joe Cada, and Jeff Gross were among those squeaked in, but failed to survive the day.
Another 3,099 players entered the afternoon flight with money starting at 460. That brought the total number of entries up to 12,271 with two flights to play on Saturday.
Former WSOP Main Event champs Hellmuth, Raymer and Mortensen went 0-for-2 on the day, busting out of this one before the money as well.
Raymer gave PokerNews his thoughts on the Colossus II structure, which can be found in an article right here.
After 18 levels 105 players remained with Brian Graham leading the pack and WSOP bracelet winner Marco Johnson hot on his heels.
Other notables to bag included Craig McCorkell, Doug Lee, Michael Mizrachi, David "ODB" Baker and Scotty Nguyen.
Among those making the money, but failing to survive were Allen Kessler, Ludovic Geilich, Lily Kiletto, and Matt Giannetti.
The remaining players from both of the day's flights will join the survivors from the other flour flights in returning to play Day 2 Sunday at 2 p.m.
What's On Tap for Tomorrow?
Saturday will see the final two flights for Event #2: $565 Colossus II No-Limit Hold'em go off at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. respectively. Players who bust out of the fifth Colossus flight, or any previous one, can always register for the sixth as well.
Plus, the first $10,000 Championship level event of the summer kicks off when Event #3: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship begins at 3 p.m. local time. This event is sure to attract a number of the most recognizable players on the planet, especially the old school who remember a time before the poker boom, when Stud was the game's most popular variant.
Stay tuned to PokerNews.com for more coverage the 2016 WSOP, brought to you by our sponsors, 888poker.