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A Colossal Achievement: Ray Henson on Surviving Large Tournament Fields

Ray Henson

We’ve offered advice here before in PokerNews Strategy about how to survive large-field multi-table tournaments, both live and online. Of course when it comes to live events, there’s never been anything like the 2015 World Series of Poker $565 No-Limit Hold’em Colossus (Event #5) before.

With 22,374 total entries, the Colossus featured more than two-and-a-half times the previous high at the WSOP (8,773 for the 2006 WSOP Main Event), and as Mickey Doft explained in “How Does the WSOP Colossus Rank Amongst Poker's Largest Live Events?” was well over the previous high of 13,178 entries for a $150 NLHE event at the Bicycle Casino in the summer of 2011.

Prior to the WSOP, our Marty Derbyshire spoke with Matt Stout about strategy advice for the Colossus. Now that the tournament has worked all of the way down to a final table of nine, we were curious to learn more about how things have actually played out for someone who has gone deep.

Late yesterday Sarah Herring caught up with Ray Henson who spent a lot of Day 4 near the top of the leaderboard and now will sit ninth of nine when play resumes today.

“You have to start with getting lucky,” said Henson as a prelude to other advice about surviving such a large event. Having patience is key, he explained, as is not panicking and having a good feel for the correct pace at which to play — “don’t go too fast, don’t go too slow.”

Henson has had plenty of experience successfully negotiating MTTs with big fields. In 2007 he made it all of the way to 12th from a field of 6,358 in the WSOP Main Event.

He has also collected no less than four World Series of Poker Circuit rings in the last two-and-a-half years. He talked a bit about how this Colossus event in some ways more closely resembles WSOP-C Main Events — at least in terms of the structure — than it does other $1K and $1,500 NLHE events at the WSOP.

Henson also talked about the incredible achievement of his roommate Cord Garcia, also of Houston, being at today’s final table as well. Take a look:

(Editor’s Note: Henson climbed all of the way back to finish third in the $565 Colossus for a $308,761 score, while his roommate Garcia went on to win the $638,880 first prize. Read about how the final table played out in “2015 WSOP Day 8: Colossus and Two Others Crown Champs on an Event-Filled Day.”)

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