Thursday, February 9, 2017

The WSOP Takes a Giant Leap

The WSOP announced their full schedule a couple of weeks ago, earlier than usual. In addition to my professional interest, I was eager to look over the schedule as a player and see what they had to offer.

Last year, I didn’t play a single hand of poker at the Rio during the series. Nada.  Will this year be different?

Very possibly.  Two years ago I played in the inaugural Colossus tournament.  I didn’t have much success and it was a bit of a fustercluck (see here) so I decided not to play in it last year.  I guess it’s sorta tempting to try it again this time.  It seemed like last year’s version ran much smoother than the first one.  Part of that was due to the WSOP adding two more starting flights.  The other reason was that they likely learned a lot from the first one and figured out how to make things go more smoothly.

But I don’t really plan on being in Vegas that early this year.  And I figure I have only one $565 buy-in tournament in me for the summer, so I think I’d rather play in the WPT 500 at the Aria again (although they haven’t announced it yet, I’m assuming it will be there).

However, there is a new event they are running for the first time that really caught my attention when they announcement came.  It’s called “The Giant” and it has a $365 buy-in.  Yes, that’s right, only a $365 buy-in, making it the lowest buy-in ever for a bracelet event.

It has an unusual format, one that I find intriguing.  You can see the structure sheet for it here. There are five starting flights, running on consecutive Friday evenings beginning June 9.  The last starting flight is therefore on July 7 and days 2 & 3 are on the 8th and the 9th.

Each individual flight will play down past the money bubble (you know I like that). The downside is that, for the Day 1’s, the levels are only 20-minutes.  But since the tournament starts at 7PM, that’s understandable.  And the starting stack is a nice $20K.  If you look over the structure, you see it is a nice, slow progression.  The levels on days 2 & 3 are 40-minutes. 

I saw some posters on 2+2 complaining that it was a turbo tournament. But of course, the easiest thing in the world to do is find people complaining about something on 2+2.  It doesn’t strike me as a turbo.

I expect this tournament to get a huge turnout.  A bracelet event at that price point will be so enticing.  And the payout formula is attractive as well.  Since players will be paid on Day 1, people who are not 100% sure they will still be in Vegas (or can get back) for Day 2 might still play in the early Day 1’s.  I’m not suggesting that anyone will play it knowing with complete certainty that they can’t make show up for Day 2 if they qualify.  But if someone is not 100% certain they can make it for Day 2 (and 3), they still might play because they know they can cash on the day they play.  And if there are any no-shows for Day 2 (and I imagine there will be a few), that is just extra money thrown in the prize pool for the qualifiers who do show up, making the tournament even more attractive.

What do you think?  Is this something that you might want to plan your summer trip to Vegas around?  Or do you think I’m overselling it?  As of now, I would say it’s very likely I’d play in one of the Day 1 flights.

Speaking of WSOP, I have a bit of a warning for anyone that is on  Are you aware of their “dormant account procedures”?  I wasn’t.

I deposited a couple of hundred bucks a few years ago.  I only played on it a few times.  The money is still there.  So the other day I got an email from them saying that inasmuch as it had been nine months since I logged into it, they were initiating their dormant account procedures. 

They went on to explain that this meant they would be charging me $4.99 a month for keeping my money!  Such a deal.  What will they think of next?  Charging for parking at one of their casinos?  Oh, wait.

They said once that happens, you have to call them or email them to get them to reactivate your account or they will keep dinging you the five bucks a month until all your funds are gone.  I couldn’t even log into my account from my desktop—I never bothered to download the software on it since I can’t play from California and my desktop stays in the golden state.

I emailed them right away to get reinstated.  In the meantime, I fired up the laptop and logged into  As far as I could tell they hadn’t deducted any funds from my account, but I can’t be sure.  There’s no deposit/withdrawal history available.  But the balance I see is actually a bit more than I assumed I had, so I guess it’s ok.

They emailed me back and said that since I had logged in recently (like that day), my account was no longer in danger of becoming dormant—at least for the time being.  But if you have money on, it’s something to be aware of.


  1. inasmuch as it had been nine months since I logged into it, they were initiating their dormant account procedures.

    Is Poker Stars the only one that knows how to run a poker site? Unbelievable.

  2. Those kind of fees are extremely standard in the online gaming business. I would guess most sites (apart from PokerStars) have dormant fees if a player has been inactive too long.

    1. Now that I think of it, I believe banks will sometimes charge fees on dormant balances. Good reminder for all of us. Thanks.

  3. I'm definitely playing in "The Giant" this year. Found out about it a couple of days ago. Love the structure and the 20 minute blind levels are no different than the $70 tournaments I have played at The Golden Nugget and historically done pretty well in. I am so looking forward tomy first actual WSOP experience.

    Question. When do you think you can buy-in to this event and in your opinion when would be the best time to do so to avoid long lines if it's even possible to avoid them. With a fracture in one of my lower vertebra hours in line is not something I relish.

    1. How about right now, FD? According to their online notice, they are accepting registration at the Rio main cage right now. When I played Colossus two years ago, I bought in when I was up there in March, a couple of months before the series even started.

      If you want to wait until it's closer so you don't tie up the funds, I would check the schedule and make sure you go over there between bracelet events, when there are no big events (like the big weekend events) about to start. Mid week should work and in the middle of night would also work.

      Yeah, I'm used to 30-minute levels, didn't really like it when I only played 20-minute levels last year, but I think it's an acceptable trade off for the value and the potential payout. Obviously you should have no issue if you're used to those levels at GN.

      Good luck!

    2. Thank you very much for the info and advice. It is much appreciated.