Having just played The Colossus tournament the first weekend of the 2015 WSOP news is about what I thought it would be. The event that started in 4-flights, 2-each on Friday and Saturday had more hiccups than anticipated but probably ran a lot smoother than many thought. With over 22,000 entrants (including all the re-buys. Most players I know bought in at least twice and some 3-4 times) it was barely controlled chaos at times but the cash-out fiasco aside, the Rio did a hell of a job with the logistics of such a big event.
View from my first table:
I couldn’t help but giggle a bit as my first table was broken about 40 mins into the event (I played the 2nd flight) and I was moved to a table where I didn’t even get to play a single hand before I was moved again. When we moved again, we moved from the Brasilia room over to the Pavillion and they moved about 4 or 5 tables worth of players at a time. This system consisted of having everyone bag up their chips and in a loose formation, follow a guy at the front of the line named ‘Toby’ who continuously waved his arms in the air so we could all see him. A Rio employee named Kim brought up the rear so that none of us could escape and the whole thing had the feel of a 3rd-grade field trip. As silly as it was, I can’t say that it wasn’t effective as we all seemed to arrive to the new room and were handed seat assignments as we walked in.
The start time of my flight was delayed by an hour which kind of sucked and from what I understand the pre-registration line for the 1st flight was rather long, but really other than that, the event went fairly smoothly. Most of the dealers we had were sharp and on point with a couple of notable exceptions who really were unsure if they were dealing cards or sleep-walking, but that is par for the course at WSOP events and over the years I have gotten use to it. Another pro at my end of the table felt the same way and he just got in the habit of collecting all the bounties from our end of the table and passing them to the dealer because if we would have waited for him to do it in addition to his already arduous task of shuffling the cards, we probably would have seen about 10-hands an hour! I had a dealer who skipped my SB two turns in a row as well, but like I said, you just learn to help the dealers out where they need it without acting like the know-it-all jerk who treats the dealer like a sub-human. You get those guys at every table at every WSOP event as well, it’s just part of the game.
I ended up making it into the 2nd day but not into the money so I didn’t have to deal with what the initial bunch of players who cashed had to deal with when they went to get paid. This was one of the biggest complaints from the Colossus event; apparently the Rio’s pay-out system went down for about 4-5 hours and many players stood in line, in the hallway for that entire time waiting to be paid. You could of course come back at any time in the next few days to be paid and I don’t think I would have stood in line more than 15 minutes, but I guess some of them had flights scheduled already and needed to be paid before they left town. It was irritating, I’m sure and I’m not condoning the Rio’s screw ups (Seriously, couldn’t they have been paid by hand? Much of the pre-registration was kept track of with pen and paper in boxes) but overall for the enormous size of this event I think they did a hell of a job.
Things are back to ‘normal’ for the WSOP now and the next month should be full of some great events and great prize pools, so I am looking forward to that and glad I was there to participate in the largest poker tournament the world has seen (off-line) to date. I’ll be going over some of the more interesting hands from my time in the Colossus in my next few articles. Good luck and see you at the tables!
Contact Chris Wilcox at: firstname.lastname@example.org