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World Series of Poker Colossus Winner Cord Garcia Hopes To Retain Record

Defending Champ Thinks That The Colossus II Might Not Surpass Its 22,374-Entry First Year Turnout


Cord Garcia after winning the 2015 WSOP ColossusIn 2015, Cord Garcia defeated the largest live tournament field in poker history to win the inaugural World Series of Poker Colossus event. A total of 22,374 entries were made in the $565 buy-in event, but in the end Garcia was the last player standing.

For the win he earned his first WSOP gold bracelet and the $638,880 top prize. That’s a 112,976 percent return on investment for a single buy-in.

For 2016, the Colossus II has two more starting flights and an increased guaranteed prize pool, up to $7 million from $5 million in 2015. Despite these positive changes Garcia is not convinced that this year’s event will surpass last year’s turnout that put him in record books.

“I’m not sure if it’s going to be bigger,” said Garcia. “They can’t ever take away me winning that bracelet, so I’ll have that forever. But as far it breaking the record this year, I think it’s possible. I think that the long lines might discourage people from re-entering flights 3, 4, 5 and 6. Today the first flight has not even sold out yet.”

Garcia did not appear to be rooting against a bigger turnout this year, just giving his honest appraisal.

“I was one of the few people I talked to who thinks it might be smaller,” he hedged. “Obviously, there might be some wishful thinking there on my part,” he added with a hint of a smile.

Another change for this year was the addition of a guaranteed $1 million first-place prize. Last year some players reacted negatively to the $638,880 top payout, thinking that the $11,187,000 prize pool warranted a larger payday for the champ.

“I definitely think it’s good to guarantee a million to the winner,” said Garcia. “There was a big reaction from the players regarding the first-place prize being smaller than they wanted, so I’m glad that the WSOP responded to that and gave us what we wanted.”

Cord Garcia playing flight 1AThe Colossus was the first WSOP open event in the modern era to feature a buy in below $1,000. The alluring of a monstrous field building an incredible prize pool for an affordable buy-in was what drove the hype for the inaugural running.

The event is designed to attract not only the regulars of the series but also first time players, who may have plenty of experience in the poker but not in playing an official WSOP bracelet event. Garcia had some advice for players who might be playing an official series event for the first time.

“If it’s your first time, just play poker. Play your game,” said Garcia. “There are so many people and you are so far from the serious money, so just enjoy the experience and before you know it you’ll be in day 2.”

“Last year I came into day 2 with a ton and lost most of it right away. From there I just kind of survived,” Garcia said. “You need to accumulate chips for sure, but you don’t have to be out in front the whole time.”

The official numbers for the Colossus II won’t be in until Saturday evening. Whether the event surpasses last year’s incredible numbers or not, it is sure to be one of the biggest live poker tournaments in history. Garcia will take a seat among a sea of hopefuls, a defending champ starting a fresh run at making history once again.

For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2016 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.