The 2016 World Series of Poker continued in Las Vegas on Saturday with the final two of six starting flights for the $565 Colossus II and Day 1 of the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship. All summer long, PokerNews.com will be bringing you daily coverage of the 2016 WSOP, brought to you by our sponsors, 888poker.
The inaugural Colossus at the 2015 WSOP set a record for entries in a live poker tournament, drawing 22,374. The structure and format were altered this year, with two more starting days added in an attempt to draw even more entries.
Once registration was closed it was clear the event had fallen just short of last year's record setting number of entries, but with changes made to the payout structure to pay the top 15 percent of the field, a new record was set for the number of players paid out in a live tournament.
The Final Number: Colossus II Draws 21,613
The fifth of six starting flights for Colossus II drew 4,855 players Saturday morning, pushing the total up to 17,126.
By the time 18 levels of play were through, 219 players pushed through to Day 2 Sunday with Hai Nguyen leading the pack on 397,000.
Other notables building big stacks included David Vamplew, Tyler Patterson, Asher Conniff and newly minted 888poker Team Pro Jeff Gross. Gross talked about his signing and more in an article that can be found here.
Those who made the money, but failed to advance included 2004 WSOP Main Event winner Greg Raymer, Kathy Liebert, and November Niner Martin Staszko.
Beginning at 4 p.m., the events sixth and final flight drew 4,487, making the final total 21,613 entries, slightly off the record of 22,374 set last year.
Ultimately, a $10,806,500 prize pool was created that will pay the top 3,245 players, a number the WSOP is hailing as the most for any live poker tournament in history. The top prize will remain the $1 million originally guaranteed.
World Poker Tour Marketing Manager and PokerNews Podcast Producer Rich Ryan flirted with the flight chip lead in the late levels, taking over 300,000 into the 18th and final level of the night before ultimately bagging 289,000.
Among those failing to push through were Barry Greenstein, WSOP Circuit killer Maurice Hawkins, Mike Matusow, actor James Woods and 888poker pro Jessica Dawley.
Survivors from all six flights will return to play Day 2 beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday.
The $10K Stud Championship Begins
The $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship kicked off at 3 p.m. Saturday, drawing 87 players.
An $817,800 prize pool was created that will pay 14 spots with a min-cash ringing in at $14,500, and the winner earning $242,662 and a WSOP bracelet.
For the first time since 2010, 2000 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion and former Full Tilt Poker Director Chris Ferguson sat down to play at the WSOP, choosing this event. More on that story can be found right here.
At the end of the day, 33 players survived with Steve Weiss bagging the overnight lead on 301,500. Survivor star turned poker pro Jean-Robert Bellande currently sits second.
Among those who failed to survive were Ferguson, Daniel Negreanu, Layne Flack and Shaun Deeb.
What's On Tap for Tomorrow?
Sunday will see Day 2 of Event #2: $565 Colossus II No-Limit Hold'em go off at 2 p.m. with all the survivors from the six Day 1 starting flights combining for the first time.
Plus, Day 2 of the Event #3: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship begins at 2 p.m. local time.
Two more events will also get going with Event #4: $1000 Top Up Turbo No-Limit Hold'em set to start at 11 a.m. and Event #5: $1500 Dealers Choice 6-Handed beginning at 3 p.m.
Stay tuned to PokerNews for more coverage the 2016 WSOP, brought to you by our sponsors, 888poker.