That’s the one featuring a big $5 million guaranteed prize pool, which means in order to meet the guarantee at least 10,000 will be playing. Which means, in turn, if that guarantee is met it’ll be the biggest field for a live tournament ever, topping the 8,773 that played the Main Event in 2006.
From this distance of two-plus months out, that total of 10,000 seems not unlikely. But it sounds like the WSOP is expecting well over that -- like 15,000 or even 20,000 -- or at least that’s what WSOP VP of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky is saying.
Just skimming through the “basics” (as well as the structure sheet) and other tips to would-be players regarding registration is a little bit head-spinning. There will be four Day 1 flights total occurring during two days of play, with flights starting at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day and each racing through ten 40-minute levels (meaning they’ll last a little less than eight hours apiece).
There is a reentry option, although players can only enter one time per flight, and aren’t allowed to reenter if they bag a stack at the end of a flight. They can, if they wish, forfeit a stack at night’s end (say a super-short one) and play a subsequent Day 1 flight, but they have to make that choice prior to bagging. After all of those Day 1s are done, they have three more days’ of poker scheduled to complete the sucker, although in the “FYI” list of items is a note that it could well extend one extra day.
Players are advised to preregister, but there are plans in place to seat a couple of “Late Waves” in each of the four Day 1 flights. I’m not even going to start to try to summarize it all -- you can read through the explanation yourself over at WSOP.com. Suffice it to say, when Palansky refers to the event as “a big operational challenge,” that sounds like understatement.
If only there were another word for “big.”