The World Poker Tour (WPT) Rolling Thunder Main Event is already down to just 64 players at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort as Day 3 is just getting underway. The money bubble will burst fairly quickly today; just nine eliminations are needed for everyone remaining to breathe a sigh of relief. Leading the charge – and someone who probably isn’t too worried about making the money – is Chris Hinchcliffe with 723,000 chips. Nobody else has more than 600,000 chips and only two other people even have as many as 500,000.

Hinchcliffe has won just over a million dollars in his live tournament career, with his biggest cash accounting for almost half of it. Interestingly enough, it is his first recorded cash on his page at, a third place finish in the 2004 Million III $7,000 Limit Hold’em Championship, good for $441,463.

One of the more interesting developing stories of this tournament is the presence of Derek Wolters in Day 3. Wolters has finished third in WPT Main Events twice in the last few months, doing it at WPT Montreal in November and then the WPT L.A. Poker Classic at the end of February. Wolters is currently second in the World Poker Tour Player of the Year Race with 1,800 points; Art Papazyan is first with 2,400. Wolters is not in tremendous shape to start day, but with 167,500 chips entering Day 3, he still sits squarely in the middle of the field. Seriously, he is 32nd in chips out of 64. While he is not exactly comfortable, it also won’t take much for him to push toward another final table. It is poker, after all.

The WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event drew a total of 440 entries, creating a prize pool of $1.408 million. The top 55 players will make the money with the winner receiving $295,128 and min-cash being worth $5,990.

The second place player, Rayo Kniep, knows what it’s all about. Afterward, he expressed his joy to, saying, “I’m a lucky player. Running up a ton of chips and playing with people that I know from television. That’s why you play poker. If you have a good time, enjoy it. I can’t help myself. I’m running so good so I have such a good time.”

“This is my first-ever Day 3,” he added. “My dream is to make the final table. I know it’s silly of course, as an amateur player. Telling your friends you can see me on the stream, that’s something I would look forward to.”

It’s not silly at all, man. We are you.

As mentioned, Day 3 of the WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event has just gotten started. The plan is to get the field all the way down to the final table.

2018 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders

1. Chris Hinchcliffe – 723,000
2. Rayo Kniep – 567,000
3. Django Young – 500,000
4. Joe McKeehen – 494,000
5. Sam Panzica – 460,000
6. Glenn Larson – 413,500
7. Ian Steinman – 340,000
8. Ping Liu – 322,000
9. Pat Lyons – 281,500
10. John Richards – 265,000

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