The World Series of Poker Colossus, which starts Friday with the first set of flights, will likely go down as the largest-field live tournament in history. Reportedly, we could see as many as 20,000 entrants at $565 a pop. The tournament has a $5 million guaranteed prize pool and, after seeing a ton of buzz on PocketFives, we caught up with Caesars Interactive Entertainment Vice President Seth Palansky to give you a leg up when it comes to navigating the melee.
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PocketFives: Can you share any pre-registration numbersand give us your expected field size?
Seth Palansky: We’re still loading pre-registrations in. Until that’s all complete, we won’t know. We need to marry people’s payment with their paperwork. That’ll take until Thursday and there are people who registered for multiple flights too, so it’s not easy to give you an exact number. We’re definitely confident this will be the largest live tournament ever held.
Each flight is sort of its own animal. If you start with X people and you have a percentage of them bust in certain levels, we can add another 2,000 into that wave if it starts full. If it doesn’t start full, it changes the number of entrants we can have. To reach the absolute largest field possible, we’d need to sell out every flight.
Seth Palansky: The Rio cage has been open since March 1. The WSOP cage opens on Wednesday at 9:00am. Starting Wednesday, you can only register for the Colossus at the WSOP cage.
PocketFives: What can out of state players do to avoid long lines?
Seth Palansky: My advice would be to try to get it done the day before you intend to play. The busiest times are going to be from 8:00am to 8:00pm. If you come during hours that are outside of those peak hours, it shouldn’t be an issue. The pre-registered players are taken out of that equation as well.
Your time in line is about coming prepared with the right buy-in amount in cash or casino chips, a Total Rewards card, and a valid ID. If you come to the window with all of those, the transaction itself will take 90 seconds.
We’re going to open the Pavilion windows for registration too. We’ll have a lot of additional staff to manage lines and flow. We don’t expect it to be that bad, though. If you think 50% of the field will have already pre-registered, they’re all going to a will call line. That makes the registration process manageable.
I think the Friday 10:00am flight will have the most people waiting for it and you’d expect the last flight to sell out. We will go online and say when a starting flight is sold out if it’s selling out. We’ll then say we’re seating late wave 1 and give you the time that will occur.
We will start these flights on time too. People should get themselves here early enough to be seated.
PocketFives: Why was there a cutoff for online registration for the Colossus?
Seth Palansky: You have to send your paperwork to one place and your finances to another. The finances have to go to a bank, get cleared, and then get married up with your paperwork. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t follow these instructions exactly. Also, the Memorial Day weekend meant banks weren’t open, so we had to cut it off in time for Friday’s start to the Colossus.
PocketFives: We understand you’re expecting a lot of newcomers?
Seth Palansky: We’re going to have more first-time players for this event than we’ve had in a long time. PocketFivers are versed in poker, so it’d be helpful to have your smiling faces on and support the newcomers we do get. Have a fun, jovial time at the tables. That will go a long way to help us operationally and help the game.