2016 World Series of Poker Update:  Colossus Chases Record, ‘Jesus’ Returns

June 5th, 2016 | by Brian Corlisse
Chris Ferguson World Series of Poker

Chris Ferguson was back at the 2016 World Series of Poker for the first time in six years. (Image: WSOP.com)

Saturday, June 4 at the 2016 World Series of Poker was quite the eventful day. A legend returned and a record was broken, but not the record some had hoped.

Let’s get started with the last of three Day One flights in Event #2 Colossus II. This $565 buy-in tournament saw 22,374 players register a year ago. That was the most ever in a live poker tournament. The WSOP staff hoped to break that record this year.

Unfortunately, the 2016 edition came up just a little bit short. The tournament had 21,613 players, which is good for second-most all-time. Although Colossus II didn’t break the entrants record, the event did have more players cash (3,245) than any poker tournament ever has.

Flights 2E and 2F each surpassed 4,000 players on Saturday. The Rio was jam packed with Colossus and $10,000 Stud action running at the same time.

Norman Michalek, a New Jersey native, holds the chip lead in the Colossus with a 531,000 stack. He bagged that stack in the tournament’s final Day One session. In second place, England native David Polop has 513,000. There are 847 players left, all fighting for the $1 million first-place prize.

A (Maligned) Legend Returns 

Jesus is back! Like it or not, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson is back at the WSOP. For the first time since 2010, he entered a WSOP event on Saturday in the $10,000 Stud tournament.

Ferguson still has his critics and has yet to issue any sort of apology for his actions leading up to Black Friday in 2011. Since then, Ferguson has essentially gone into hiding, avoiding the poker rooms he once dominated.

Many poker fans on social media were upset that he came to play and don’t want him anywhere near the Rio. But others suggested it’s time for everyone to move on and let him play in peace and quiet. 

Ferguson’s arrival drew some dirty looks but no incidents were reported. Unfortunately, for Jesus, he wasn’t among the 33 players returning for Day Two.

Plenty of Stars in $10,000 Stud

There were 87 players, including Ferguson, who ponied up $10,000 to enter Event #3. This stud tournament featured some of the greatest players in the game today and all-time, again, including Ferguson.

Daniel Negreanu played in his first event of the summer but was unsuccessful in moving on to Day Two. But arguably the best stud player ever, Ted Forrest, was. Forrest is middle of the pack in chips (126,000).

Phil Hellmuth also advanced to Day Two, bagging one of the smallest stacks (65,000). The Poker Brat was up to his usual bratty behavior at times on Saturday.

In a field full of big names, a lesser-known player by the name of Steve Weiss sits atop the leaderboard with 301,500 chips. Weiss is a Las Vegas poker regular.

Jean-Robert Bellande had an excellent Day One and has the second largest stack (282,500). Other big stacks include George Danzer, Jason Mercier, and Max Pescatori.

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