Keith Ferrera advanced to the top of the leaderboard on Sunday at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown as the popular tournament completed Day 2 after two opening day flights. Just 90 players remain from the original field of 1,360, the third-largest SHRPS ever and the fourth-largest tournament in World Poker Tour history.
“It feels good to be chip leader,” Ferrera told WPT.com after bagging up his chips. “I ran very well today. There have been other points where I went into Day 2 with a lot of chips and ended up out, so it feels good to end the day as chip leader.”
His perspective is a wise one. As we well know, a poker tournament can turn on a single hand. It is unusual to see an early chip leader stay at the top of the heap. Even those with dominating chip stacks heading into the final table often hit a bad hand and end up in free fall.
Ferrera entered Sunday’s action with 145,000 chips, so clearly he did some quality work on Day 2. One of his most significant hands of the day was a poker player’s dream. Ferrera raised pre-flop to 9,000 chips and the accomplished Rainer Kempe re-raised to 30,000. Ferrera four-bet it up to 64,000 and Kempe kept it going to 134,000. At that point, you know what is going to happen. Ferrera went all-in for 900,000 chips and Kempe called all-in for 335,000.
Can you guess what they had? I bet you can. Ferrera had Aces, Kempe had Kings.
The flop was 5-8-A and Kempe had little hope for a comeback. He needed runner-runner Kings to win the hand and considering I prefaced this by saying it was one of Ferrera’s most significant hands, you are correct to assume the miracle did not materialize. Kempe was eliminated from the tournament and Keith Ferrera grew his stack to 1.275 million.
Ferrera has nearly $1.25 million in live tournament earnings in his career with his best live cash of $348,036 coming from a win ten years ago in the Wynn Classic Main Event. He has no major tournament victories, though he has made the final table of a World Series of Poker tournament and he did make a nice, deep run in the 2008 WSOP Main Event, finishing in 121st place.
With 90 players remaining, Ferrera and everyone else still in the tournament are guaranteed at least $7,620. The next pay increase – to $8,285 – happens at 89th place. The “real” money, though, comes when there are about two tables left. 12th place is over $50,000, while six-figure cashes will be made with seven players remaining.
2019 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown – Day 2 Chip Leaders
- Keith Ferrera – 1,905,000
- Jerry Wong – 1,470,000
- Aaron Mermelstein – 1,425,000
- Antonios Roungeris – 1,270,000
- Tam Cao – 1,200,000
- Steve Firestone – 1,175,000
- Eric Afriat – 1,115,000
- Shawn Nguyen – 1,110,000
- Kevin Andriamahefa – 1,055,000
- Dave Farah – 1,045,000