The 2021 Wynn Millions is heading into its next to last day of action, but not before a day of carnage to set it up. Day 4 would see plenty of top pros hit the rail and the field was not able to get down to the final table of players. They did get down to the last two tables of action, however, with World Series of Poker bracelet winner Clayton Maguire lording over the field with his 4.93 million chip stack. The field is tightly bunched, however, with three other players over the four million mark in chips and plenty of other contenders within shooting range.
More than Two-Thirds of Field Eliminated
61 players would start the day, safe in the knowledge that they would earn at least $41,997 for their return to the Wynn Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon. Andrew Marquez had the chip lead when the cards hit the air, but Ralph Perry, Maria Ho, Ari Engel, and Toby Lewis were all in the Top Ten looking to run him down. In fact, it would only take a one hand for Marquez’s lead to disappear.
On the very first hand of play on Thursday, Phillip Shing opened up the betting and saw one of the WSOP bracelet holders left in the field, Derek McMasters, move all in against him. Shing would ponder the situation for a moment before making the call and tabling an A-Q for the battle. McMasters did not come with junk with his A-J, but it was vastly behind Shing’s holdings. A blank board kept Shing in the lead all the way, earning him the chip lead and sending McMasters out in 61st place.
Shing’s newfound position did not last long, either. Perry would lock into an all-in battle against Aram Zobian, with both holding Kings but Perry with the better kicker (Ace versus Jack). A ten-high board didn’t hit anyone, making Perry’s Big Slick the best hand and sending Zobian to the rail. The chips formerly held by Zobian would boost Perry’s stack over the two million mark, making him the first player to crack that mark in the tournament.
That was the consistent throughout the day – the rapid pace of eliminations in the 61-player field. The $12 million-plus prize pool was chipped away as Thursday afternoon worked into the evening, with some prominent names falling by the wayside. At nearly the same time, two-time Global Poker Index Poker Player of the Year Alex Foxen and former World Poker Tour Player of the Year Art Papazyan both were eliminated in 57th and 56th places, respectively. Farid Jatten, Kristen Bicknell, Kevin Eyester, Tom Marchese, and Engel all were done before the tournament reached three tables remaining.
Three Tables Become Just Two
At this point, the three tables that were in action had dangers aplenty. Lewis had surged into the lead while Maguire had worked his way up to be amongst the contenders. Another player who made some noise in the tournament was Women in Poker Hall of Famer Maria Ho, who once again demonstrated why she is one of the best in the game, regardless of gender.
Ho started the day in the Top Ten, but she was on the bottom of the ladder when the redraw at three tables took place. That did not faze Ho, however, who would battle down to the final 20 players. With only slightly more than 300K in chips, Ho would push them in with an A♠ 3♠; Maguire was the only one to look her up with his pocket tens and they would stand, sending Ho from the tournament as the “last woman standing” in 20th place.
Because of the pace of eliminations through the day, Wynn officials decided to halt action with the final 18 players. Maguire’s outstanding play through the day earned him the top slot on the leaderboard, but there is a host of players who are more than able to short-circuit his run to the title.
1. Clayton Maguire, 4.93 million
2. Salim Admon, 4.575 million
3. Phillip Shing, 4.32 million
4. Dylan Smith, 4.14 million
5. Julian Millard, 3.865 million
6. Sandeep Pulusani, 3.845 million
7. Jaime Cervantes, 3.72 million
8. Santiago Soriano, 3.685 million
9. Yiming Li, 3.605 million
10. Andrew Moreno, 3.255 million
11. Toby Lewis, 2.665 million
12. Ilyas Muradi, 2.3 million
13. Anthony Huntsman, 2.1 million
14. Jesse Yaginuma, 1.915 million
15. Valentyn Shabelnyk, 1.72 million
16. Hyon Kim, 1,18 million
17. Joe Kuether, 825,000
(tie) Anthony Marquez
With even Kuether and Marquez only two double ups from getting into the Top Ten, this tournament is far from being a done deal. While Maguire has been playing well throughout the event, a player to watch may be Lewis, who has hovered in the Top 25 since the opening acts of the event. The next player eliminated will also be the last to receive less than a six-figure payday, the inaugural champion of the 2021 Wynn Millions is set to earn $2,018,866, with even second place taking home more than $1 million.