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The 48th World Series of Poker (WSOP) is set to run from May 30 to July 17 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The 2017 WSOP will kick off with the $565 No-Limit Hold’em Casino Employees event on Wednesday, May 31.

The opening weekend of the series will feature the Colossus III, the world’s largest live poker tournament. This $565 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament will feature two starting flights a day over three consecutive days from Friday, June 2 to Sunday, June 4.

Cord Garcia won the inaugural Colossus in 2015 earning $638,880. There were 22,374 entries that first year. The next year Benjamin Keeline won the Colossus II for $1,000,000.

Even though two more starting days were added in 2016, the Colossus II drew 21,613 entries, less than the record-breaking number the tournament saw the year before. It will be interesting to see how the event fares this year.

The 2016 WSOP was the largest attended in the WSOP’s 47-year history with 107,833 entries from 107 countries generating prize pools of more than $221 million.

The 2016 WSOP featured the top three field sizes of the year with the 21,613 entries for the Colossus, 7,190 entries for the Millionaire Maker and 6,927 entries for the Monster Stack.

The average WSOP gold bracelet event in 2016 featured a prize pool over $3 million with $555,475 going to the event’s winner. With the WSOP’s new 15 percent payout utilized for the first time, a record 15,767 entrants made the money last year.

From $10,000 Championship events to daily deep stack tournaments, the 2017 WSOP is sure to have something to suit every bankroll.

But of course, every player who walks the halls of the Rio during the summer dreams of winning the big one – the $10,000 WSOP Main Event, which will run from July 8 to 17 with three starting flights running from Saturday to Monday, July 8-10.

Current Champion Qui Nguyen topped a field of 6,737 entries to win the $8 million top prize in November. The Vietnam native defeated poker pro Gordon Vayo after a record-breaking, nine-hour, heads-up session to claim the championship.

The 39-year-old Nguyen won his seat to the 2016 Main Event through a $1,100 satellite.

Every player has a story. I can’t wait to write about them this summer.

Patricia Chavira is a freelance writer and social media consultant specializing in gaming. She has played poker professionally for over 10 years. Email: [email protected]

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