The six-handed final table has been set at the 2018 World Poker Tour (WPT) Maryland at Live! Casino Main Event (can we just call it WPT Maryland?) after 548 players have been sent to the rail. Leading the way in tight race going into Tuesday’s action is Will Givens with 6.215 million chips.
Givens is quite the dedicated tournament player, as coming from Colorado, he has to travel far and wide to participate in the various tours. Colorado is known for a lot of things, but being a hotbed of tournament poker is not one of them. Givens has amassed $1.725 million in live tournament earnings, his biggest cash coming when he won a bracelet in a $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event at the 2014 World Series of Poker ($306,634). A win on Tuesday would top that.
Oftentimes in these tourneys, we see one or two players with chip stacks that dwarf the rest at the final table, but as mentioned, this one is quite competitive. After Givens, Tony Ruberto – a former WPT winner – has 5.230 million, Shankar Pillai has 4.465 million, and Jeremy Ausmus has 3.730 million chips. Certainly, the 2.5 million chip spread between first and fourth place is large, but those second, third, and fourth place players have stack sizes that are sufficiently dangerous to keep the big stack from running over them. One big hand changes the table entirely.
Givens earned built up about half of his stack very late on Day 3. He started by moving all-in over the top of Brock Parker’s million-chip all-in (forcing others to fold). Parker had A-Q (as far as I can tell from WPT.com’s reporting, which only showed one card), while Givens had T-T. Parker was unable to improve and was eliminated in eighth place, while Givens grew his stack to 4.1 million chips.
He built it up further, well over 5 million, before giving some of it back to an Aaron Pinson double-up, though that still left him with an even 5 million.
Givens was responsible for the final elimination of the night, calling Miki Murzi’s 860,000 chips pre-flop all-in. Murzi had A-5 and Givens had Q-J, so Givens was live. A Queen flopped and that was it for either player; Murzi was out in seventh place and Givens was the chip leader going into the final table.
The six players are competing for the $344,755 first prize and though that’s a far cry from the sixth place payout, $69,609 is certainly something most of us would be thrilled to win. But that’s how it works at final tables – the pay jumps get serious.
The final table is currently underway; we’ll catch you up with what happened on the flip side.
2018 World Poker Tour Maryland at Live! Casino Main Event – Final Table Chip Counts
1. Will Givens – 6,215,000
2. Tony Ruberto – 5,230,000
3. Shankar Pillai – 4,465,000
4. Jeremy Ausmus – 3,730,000
5. Mark Sandness – 1,805,000
6. Aaron Pinson – 805,000