History in the making?

The World Poker Tour (WPT) Venetian Main Event is down to its six-handed final table, with Mike Liang entering Wednesday’s action as the chip leader. Holding 18.225 million chips Liang is in a two-man race with Chad Eveslage, who has 17.725 chips.

But perhaps “man” is not the correct word to use there (ok, technically it is), as something special is brewing at this final table. Of the six people remaining in the tournament, half are women, something that likely has never been seen before on the World Poker Tour. Only two women have ever won WPT titles: Van Nguyen captured the 2008 WPT Celebrity Invitational and in 2017, Ema Zajmovic won the partypoker.net WPT Playground Main Event, becoming the only female player to win an open WPT championship.

It will be an uphill battle for Kitty Kuo, Kyna England, and Daniela Rodriguez, though, as Liang and Eveslage are miles ahead of the pack. Kuo, England, and Rodriguez, have just 2.700 million, 2.575 million, and 2.250 million chips, respectively, so it will take several massive hands for any of them to catch up to the chip leaders. Tim McDermott enters the final table in third place, still way behind Liang and Eveslage, as well, with 4.500 million chips.

Chip leaders kicked it into gear late

Day 3 began with 39 players remaining, but interestingly, neither Liang nor Eveslage began their runs to the top of the leaderboard in earnest until after the dinner break. Going into the “unofficial” nine-handed final table, Liang had 5.900 million chips and Eveslage had just 2.800 million. England was the chip leader with 12.275 million.

On the twelfth hand, Liang doubled through Nacho Barbero (great wrestling name) to climb to 10.550 million. On Hand #28, he eliminated a short-stacked Michael Mizrachi to move up to 13 million flat. A few hands later, Eveslage pinned Barbero in eighth place to get his stack up to 5.875 million and on Hand #40 of the final table, he forced both England and Liang out of a pot on the river to grow his stack to 8.600 million (Liang dropped to 11.05 million).

Two hands later, Liang took a huge pot from England with a flush over a straight, sending her tumbling toward the bottom of the leaderboard while jumping up to 17.300 chips himself.

Liang and Eveslage finally became the leader duo when Eveslage doubled through Liang, pulling them virtually even at about 13 million chips. Though Liang’s stack shrunk, he and Eveslage now lorded over the rest of the table together. From there, they took chips from their opponents to get to six-handed in command.

The final day of the WPT Venetian Main Event begins at 1:00pm Pacific with the three men and three women remaining fighting for the $910,370 first prize.

2021 World Poker Tour Venetian Main Event – Final Table Chip Counts

  1. Mike Liang – 18,225,000
  2. Chad Eveslage – 17,725,000
  3. Tim McDermott – 4,500,000
  4. Kitty Kuo – 2,700,000
  5. Kyna England – 2,575,000
  6. Daniela Rodriguez – 2,250,000

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