Season XI of the World Poker Tour (WPT) has reached the end of the road, and as always that road ends at the foot of The Bellagio in Las Vegas for the World Championships.
The action has reached Day Three and leading the way is the Bestbet Open Champion Mike Linster with 744,000 chips. Linster won his $25,000 seat after his impressive victory just a few weeks ago – as did 22 other WPT Champions who found success during the eleventh season of WPT action.
The first day of action attracted 113-players and the chip leader, at that time, was Will Failla. The Thrill is one of many WPT Champions Club members in the pro-heavy field after winning the 2011 Legends of Poker in Los Angeles for $758,085. He bagged up a juicy looking 276,000 and Linster was not far behind with 269,000. Former WPT London champion Jake Cody also finished at the top end of the chip counts with 250,000, extending his good form that saw him make the final table of the European Poker Tour (EPT) Grand Final in Monte Carlo, where he finished in fifth place for $329,124 just last week.
93-players ended the first day’s play, but the re-entry clause allowed players until the eighth level of play on Day Two, to re-enter the action. A further 33-players chimed in with the extra Wonga contributing to a total prize pool of $3,540,500 with the winner set to walk away with $1,150,297 when the action comes to a close on Friday 24th May.
The top ten chip counts include seven former champions: Mike Linster, Antonio Esfandiari, Amir Babakhani, Jake Cody, Chino Rheem, Rocco Palumbo and Will Failla joined by one of the in-form players in the world Dan Shak, the recent €25,000 High Roller Winner at Monte Carlo Steven Silverman and Richard Harroch.
Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu are still in the mix, as are last years champion Marvin Rettenmaier and the WPT Season XI Player of the Year leader Matt Salsberg. Salsberg would have been very pleased to hear that Paul Volpe chose to concentrate on winning SCOOP titles and skipped the WPT Championships. That means only Paul Klann can cause an upset and he too remains in the Day Three field.
One man who is not in the Day Three field is Phil Ivey. It hasn’t been a very good few weeks for the greatest player in the world. Being called a cheat by Crockford’s casino, spending €300,000 in the EPT Grand Final Super High Roller and dusting off a further $25,000 in the WPT Championships is not going to break the bank, but it’s not the greatest preparation heading into the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in under a fortnight’s time.
The third day of action is set to kick off at noon (PT).