They are down to the six-handed final table at the 2017 World Poker Tour (WPT) Maryland Live! Main Event in Hanover after 23 players were eliminated on Day 3. Day 2 chip leader Grigoriy Shvarts is no longer on top, but with 2.490 million chips, he is still in contention in fourth place. It is Tom Reynolds with 4.395 million chips who leads as he aims for his first WPT title.
Reynolds got there thanks to a huge double-up during Level 26. Randal Heeb raised to 110,000 pre-flop and after using one of his time extension chips, Reynolds moved all-in for 1.575 million chips. Everyone folded to Heeb, who made the call with pocket Jacks. Unfortunately for Heeb, Reynolds had pocket Kings and when nothing greater than a Nine showed up on the board, Reynolds had doubled to 3.250 million to take over the chip lead. Heeb looks no worse for the wear, as he is currently second in chips at the final table.
The big story of the final table, though, is arguably the presence of Art Papazyan. Only last month, Papazyan cashed for the very first time on the World Poker Tour and what a cash it was, as he won the WPT Legends of Poker Main Event. Thanks to this deep run, he is atop the WPT Player of the Year race.
Now, I will admit that I never really though poker players cared about these Player of the Year contests. I figured they just wanted to win poker tournaments and make money and if doing so earned them an extra award, then great! But Papazyan debunked my theory, telling WPT.com early in the tournament, “The WPT Player of the Year is one of the main reasons why I’m here.”
Though he just made his first WPT cash, Papazyan isn’t some poker noob. He just focuses on cash games, playing in Southern California card rooms.
When asked about his thoughts on tournaments, Papazyan told WPT.com, “They’re fun, they’re really enjoyable. Especially when you make it deep [writer’s note: well, yeah]. I feel like these tournaments with the longer levels, 60 and 90 minutes, if you’re a cash game player, you can use your post-flop skills to really have an edge.”
Clearly, anyone at the final table has a chance to take down the title and with 2.920 million chips, Papazyan is in pretty decent shape. But he likes his chances even more if the poker gods keep smiling on him, telling WPT.com that he has been on a “pretty sick heater.”
We’ll see what happens. It is poker, after all.
2017 World Poker Tour Maryland Live! Main Event – Final Table Chip Counts
1. Tom Reynolds – 4,395,000
2. Randal Heeb – 3,970,000
3. Art Papazyan – 2,920,000
4. Grigoriy Shvarts – 2,490,000
5. Timothy Chang – 2,010,000
6. Zachary Donovan – 1,195,000