2016 World Series of Poker, Preliminary Events: Colossus II Falls Short of 2015, $10K Stud Led by Steve Weiss

 2016 World Series of Poker, Preliminary Events: Colossus II Falls Short of 2015, $10K Stud Led by Steve Weiss

The first Saturday of the 2016 World Series of Poker saw the tournament arenas around the Rio packed with a plethora of players of all types. For those with a shortened bankroll, the “Colossus II” rumbled on with its final two flights, while those with a bit more change in their pockets chose to take on the challenge of Seven Card Stud to the tune of $ 10,000.

Event #2 – Colossus II $ 565 No Limit Texas Hold’em

After the four previous flights garnered a total of 12,271 entries, it was obvious that WSOP officials were hoping the final two flights for “Colossus II” would be gangbusters. Although the two flights were the largest of the six openers, they failed to draw in enough players to eclipse the numbers from the inaugural tournament. After these totals were tacked to the end of the list on Saturday:

Flight A:  3249 registered players/121 remaining players
Flight B:  2153/69
Flight C:  3770/139
Flight D:  3099/105
Flight E:  4855/219
Flight F:  4487/192

21,613 entries had been received for the tournament and 845 players will come back on Sunday for Day 2 of “Colossus II.”

To compare the 2016 version of the event – which featured six starting flights – to the 2015 version – which featured four starting flights – there is room for concern. The 2015 event was monstrous in drawing out 22,374 entries, by far the largest ever event in WSOP history (estimates are that there were approximately 14,000 singular people in the tournament). The 3% drop in players might not be tremendously significant but, if it starts to stretch out across the other events at the WSOP (next weekend’s Millionaire Maker, for example, with its $ 1500 buy in), it could pose a problem.

With all the flights in the books, here are your Flight Leaders who will be around the top of the leaderboard when action resumes on Sunday at 2PM:

Flight A:  David Polop, 513,000
Flight B:  Jason James, 407,000
Flight C:  Ben Lindemulder, 362,000
Flight D:  Brian Graham, 416,000
Flight E:  Hai Nguyen, 392,000
Flight F:  Norman Michalek, 531,000

Everyone who returns on Sunday is guaranteed a payday that will be a minimum of $ 2155 (the WSOP paid out each Flight’s top 15%, meaning some players were eliminated on Day 1 but still received a payday for their efforts), but that number might be flexible pending final counts from WSOP officials. The big prize that all are looking at is the $ 1 million guaranteed for the first place finisher, which will be awarded on Tuesday along with the WSOP bracelet.

Event #3 – $ 10,000 Seven Card Stud World Championship

It is where everyone normally – at least prior to 2000 – got their start playing poker. Seven Card Stud is the game that families most often spread with each other when playing nice home games for M&Ms on the kitchen table. It is, however, one of the more difficult disciplines of poker to master as reflected by the 87 players who came to the felt for the WSOP’s $ 10,000 Seven Card Stud World Championship on Saturday afternoon.

There was nary a table that wasn’t replete with top professionals looking to potentially get their first action of the 2016 WSOP and, for some, it worked out better than others. Down to his last chips at one point in the tournament (literally, he had one bet left), Jean-Robert Bellande demonstrated tremendous resiliency in coming back to finish the night’s work with 282,500 in chips. Others such as former WSOP Player of the Years George Danzer (274K) and Jeff Lisandro (141K) were joined by 14-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth (65K) and Brandon Shack-Harris (79K), who had a particularly interesting clash during Saturday’s action.

With his four up cards showing K-8-7-9, Hellmuth went to Seventh Street with Shack-Harris, who showed 10-A-4-J for battle. According to WSOP live coverage reports, Hellmuth commented over to Shack-Harris, “I had kings up (two pair) early,” but he didn’t show his cards. Meanwhile, Shack-Harris showed his down cards – A-10-8 – to show that he held a better two pair. “Are you f****ng kidding me?” Hellmuth fumed as his cards went to the muck. He would continue to berate Shack-Harris for a bit before regaining his composure.

If those thunderbolts weren’t enough, there was also the reemergence of former World Champion Chris Ferguson on the WSOP stage. Not seen at the WSOP since 2010 due to “Black Friday,” Ferguson was one of the last players to register for the event, but the rust was obvious. After only 90 minutes of play, Ferguson was eliminated from the tournament, joining 54 other players who plopped down $ 10,000 for a shot at this title.

Leading the final 33 players will be Steve Weiss, who quietly worked his way through Day 1 to eclipse Bellande for the chip lead:

1. Steve Weiss, 301,500
2. Jean-Robert Bellande, 282,500
3. George Danzer, 274,000
4. Chad J. Brown, 238,000
5. Rod Pardey, 215,000
6. Calvin Anderson, 209,000
7. Frank Kassela, 199,000
8. Matt Grapenthien, 178,500

The top 14 players will earn at least $ 14,500 from the $ 817,800 prize pool, but the champion will earn the lion’s share of $ 242,662 and the WSOP bracelet.

STARTING TODAY

Two more tournaments will get underway on Sunday alongside “Colossus II” and the Stud World Championship. At 11AM today, the $ 1000 “Top Up” Turbo No Limit Hold’em tournament, Event #4 on your schedule, this event allows players to earn an extra 5000 starting chips by playing on WSOP.com or by outright purchasing an additional 5000 starting chips before the event starts. As it is a new event, there are no indicators how well this tournament will be received by the players.

At 3PM, the $ 1500 Six Handed Dealer’s Choice event will begin. This event allows each “dealer” (player) to pick from one of 19 different poker variants and basically “name the game.” The usual suspects are there – Texas and Omaha Hold’em variants and Stud – but such games as Badugi and No Limit Five Card Draw High also are available for the players to pick. Carol Fuchs defeated a 357-player field to capture a $ 127,735 payday and her first WSOP bracelet in the 2015 version of this tournament.

Poker News Daily