Just 32 players are still alive at the 2018 World Poker Tour (WPT) Maryland at Live! Casino Main Event (is that as awkward to say as it is to write?) as the tournament heads into Day 3. Andrew Crookston is the chip leader with 1.415 million chips, but it is a crowded house at the top of the standings as five other players have over a million.
Crookston has less than $200,000 in live tournament earnings, with his best live cash ($45,410) coming just this August when he finished ninth in the WPT Choctaw Main Event. So, he certainly has experience going deep in a major tournament, but at the same time, he is positioned to achieve a serious score compared to what he has done previously.
And should Crookston hold onto that chip lead and go all the way in the Main Event, he will win more money than he has in the entirety of his career: $344,755. That first place purse is the result of 554 entrants producing a prize pool of $1,757,800. The top 70 players are making the money, so everyone who is returning for Day 3 is already in the money., guaranteed at least $10,547. The min-cash is $5,801.
As mentioned, though Crookston is in the chip lead, he is not running away with it by any means. After him, Ping Liu has 1.235 million, followed by David Stefanski (1.115 million), Tony Ruberto (1.105 million), Will Givens (1.065 million), and Aaron Pinson (1.010 million). Three other players have over 900,000 chips.
Crookston wasn’t always sitting so pretty. He began the day with just 78,000 chips, not anywhere close to the chip lead, and well into Day 2, he had even fewer chips than that and was all-in for his tournament life. After Joey Weissman shoved from the small blind, Crookston figured A-7 was good enough to call all-in himself from the big blind. A-7 isn’t an amazing hand to risk it all with, but if you have to make a move, might as well. Plus, with the small blind being the one to make the initial move, Crookston probably figured he was live. And he was right: Weissman only had T-5.
An Ace flopped and Crookston doubled-up to 103,000. Yada yada yada…he now has 1.415 million.
Also of note in this tournament is Erkut Yilmaz, who was eliminated on Day 2 in 41st place, earning $7,910. Yilmaz just won the WPT Borgata Poker Open on the Friday night, so traveling from the Borgata to the Maryland Live! Casino (which isn’t really all that far – only about a three hour drive or thereabouts) in time to register and then cashing is a heck of a feat. That finish put him into first place in the World Poker Tour Player of the Year race.
The plan for Monday is to play down to the six-handed final table.
2018 World Poker Tour Maryland at Live! Casino Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders
1. Andrew Crookston – 1,415,000
2. Ping Liu – 1,235,000
3. David Stefanski – 1,115,000
4. Tony Ruberto – 1,105,000
5. Will Givens – 1,065,000
6. Aaron Pinson – 1,010,000
7. Hiren Dharani – 940,000
8. Brock Parker – 935,000
9. Gloria Jackso – 915,000
10. Richard Kirsch – 895,000