Things move awfully fast during the first two days of a large-field poker tournament. Going into Sunday’s Day 2, just 284 players remained of the original 1,165 entries in the 2021 World Poker Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Main Event. At the end of the night, that number was whittled down to only 40 hopefuls for Day 3.
Jonathan Jaffe, a very familiar name on World Poker Tour leaderboards, holds the biggest stack going into Monday’s action with 3.035 million chips. Not far behind are Peter Vitantonio with 2.735 million and Kevin Garosshen with 2.245 million.
The minimum payout for those remaining is $15,690, though most of the players have dreams of the $613,225 first prize and WPT title.
One of the more interesting hands of Day 2 was the final one of the night. With blinds at 15,000/25,000 and a 25,000-chip ante, Francisco Martinez moved all-in for 510,000. Zachary Smiley decided to do the same for 550,000. Sitting in the small blind, Martin Carnero called both of them, also putting himself all-in, for 495,000.
Martinez showed A-Q, Smiley had Jacks, and Carnero flipped over A-K. Martinez and Carnero were clearly in deep trouble, Martinez especially with his dominated Ace. The board ran out with nothing higher than an 8, meaning Smiley knocked out both opponents and more than tripled up because of the dead money in the pot.
All three players were likely looking for a spot to get all their chips in and it just so happened they all found it at the same time. Without antes, they may have had a little more time to hold on, but with A-Q, A-K, and Jacks, it was improbable that any would’ve found a better moment.
The former WPT Maryland Live! champ is in eighth place going into Day 3.
The chip leader, Jonathan Jaffe, has also won a World Poker Tour title, taking down 2014 WPT Montreal. His biggest cash was one of his first: $670,636 for a second place finish in the 2008 World Poker Finals Main Event. In all, Jaffe has just over $4 million in lifetime live tournament earnings, not counting what he has guaranteed in this tournament.
The 40 players are playing down to the six-handed final table on Monday or until 1:30am ET, whichever comes first. Regardless of how many players remain after Day 3, the tournament will finish up on Tuesday.
World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Tampa Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders
- Jonathan Jaffe – 3,035,000
- Peter Vitantonio – 2,735,000
- Kevin Garosshen – 2,245,000
- Jon Borenstein – 2,000,000
- Yuri Martins – 1,970,000
- Brian Altman – 1,880,000
- James Gilbert – 1,800,000
- Zachary Smiley – 1,705,000
- Dave Berman – 1,700,000
- Cricket Agnello – 1,680,000