Colossus II Offers More Than Money to Rec Poker Players

Andy Bloch and Phil Farbo IMG 5162
Part-time poker player Phil Farbo battles Andy Bloch.

What if you could play a poker tournament where you brought something back home with you no matter where you finished?

That’s the general idea behind the $565 buy-in Colossus II at the 2016 World Series of Poker.

“The #1 thing here — to me — is the experience,” explained WSOP TD Jack Effel.

“The money comes and goes. You can spend money but you can’t spend experiences. That’s something that’s invaluable and you keep forever.

"I want people to have stories thaT they can take to their friends back home.”

There were plenty of eyebrows raised when the WSOP announced the Colossus last year. It was the lowest buy-in ever offered in a WSOP event by a large margin.

You could argue that it cheapened the value of a gold bracelet, or that it was a money grab by Caesars, but you couldn’t debate the results: 22,374 players descended on the Rio to create a staggering $11.1 million prize pool.

Colossus Injects New Blood Into WSOP

Jack Effel on WSOP 2015 Main Event day 1b
WSOP TD Jack Effel

The inaugural Colossus attracted thousands of players who had never played a WSOP event before, including recreational players Nick Olszewski and Phil Farbo from Erie, Pennsylvania.

“My buddy told me about it when it was announced,” explained Olszewski, who works as a chemist. “We just said, ‘Hey, let’s do it. Let’s make this trip happen.’ It was as simple as that.”

Both players made the trip to Vegas and Olszewski had the fortune of making it to Day 2.

“It’s in my blood now,” joked Olszewski. “We got a chance to play with both pros and amateurs it was a great experience.”

It was an easy decision to book a return trip this year and Olszewski and Farbo jumped at the chance to once again play for a shot at serious cash and a WSOP gold bracelet.

“We’ve made a couple trips to Atlantic City and a few bigger casinos here and there but this is the biggest and best platform,” said Farbo, who works in insurance.

A Chance for Fans to Battle TV Pros

Farbo had the pleasure of sitting next to former WSOP $50k Players Championship winner Andy Bloch during today’s action.

Nick IMG 5221
Phil Farbo rails his pal Nick Olszewski

Even better, Farbo won a big pot off Bloch with pocket aces.

“I’m familiar with him just from watching TV,” said Farbo. “I was kind of nervous at first because he’s so seasoned. He’s a real nice guy though. All smiles.”

It’s clear that no matter what happens in the Colossus, Farbo and Olszewski would like to play more WSOP events.

“We’re trying to make believers out of some people and hopefully we can get some stakes for bigger games if this one doesn’t work out,” said Farbo.

A Shot at Life-Changing Money

Of course a big score in the Colossus would mean the world to Farbo and Olszewski.

“It would mean we’re coming back next year and the year after and the year after…,” said Farbo.

Field IMG 5141
The massive Colossus II field.

“It means I’m staying!” interjected Olszewski.

That’s all by design, according to Effel.

“It’s good for the game,” he said.

“We want to continue to do things that will attract more players. We want people to come check this out.”

It seems to be working as the Colossus II was already easily past 6,000 players on Day 1 of the massive event at the time this article was published.

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