The inaugural Wynn Millions has certainly made waves over the past few days. Additionally, it is making its way towards crowning its first champion. Two more Day Twos over the past couple of days have taken the field down, but it has yet to crack the money bubble. Someone who is certain of a cash – in theory, as we will see – is the overall chip leader, Frank Funaro, who will enter Day Three action on Wednesday with 953,000 in chips.
Stunning Knockout Highlights Day 2A/B Play
240 players came back for action on Monday with the gleam of the opportunity at a $2 million-plus payday in their eyes. The competition was savage throughout the day’s action, however, whittling the field down only 76 players who would have to wait until the conclusion of play on Wednesday to find out if they were even in the money. Along the way, there were some stunning hands that highlighted the play.
Perhaps the biggest hand of the day was a clash between the start of day chip leader, Bryn Kenney, and the reigning two-time Poker Player of the Year Alex Foxen. In a hand that will go down as one of the best in recent memory, both Kenney and Foxen showed tremendous heart, but only one could walk away the victor. The way the hand played may be the textbook definition of the term “cooler.”
With both men roughly equal in chips, you would think they would stay away from clashing with each other. The opposite proved to be true, however, after Kenney opened the betting and Foxen called off his opening bet. The button and big blind joined in on the party to see an A-A-3 flop hit the table, with the action checked to Kenney. He would fire a bet, only called by Foxen, and another trey would come on the turn.
Kenney dropped 10K into the center and Foxen called once again, sending the duo to see a Queen on the river. Kenney slowed down at this point, with a simple check, and Foxen (as it would be seen) baited him with an overbet of the pot to the tune of 112,000 chips. Kenney powered in the remainder of his chips and, just as quickly, Foxen would snap him off with the call.
Kenney seemingly had the goods with his A-Q for a boat, Aces over Queens, but Foxen had outflopped Kenney and added insult to injury on the turn. The defending POY felted his pocket threes for the flopped boat and turned quads and the winning hand. After the chips were counted down, Kenney was found to have been the player at risk and was eliminated while Foxen raked in the 650K chip pot.
Those chips would drive Foxen to the Top Five overall of the 76 who made it through Monday’s action at the 2021 Wynn Millions:
1. Dominique Mosley, 933,000
2. Pavlo Vekster, 797,000
3. Alex Foxen, 787,000
4. Russell Thomas, 760,000
5. Anthony Huntsman, 747,000
Funaro Takes Overall Lead, But Money Bubble Still Intact
246 players came back to the fray on Tuesday to work their Day 2C field down to a more manageable number. The prize pool of $12 million-plus was in the minds of the field, but another number was also a reality – 134, which is where the money bubble would be popped. With the 76 players who came out of Day 2A/B already waiting, that meant the Tuesday action had to bring the survivors down to 58 players, an audacious task for those involved.
That does not mean they didn’t try. Former World Champion Johnny Chan, was chopped down in the early going and he would have plenty of company on the Wynn rail. Noted author Maria Konnikova, eight-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Erik Seidel, and Matt Stout would find comfy chairs on the sidelines to watch the remainder of the event. The most painful departure might have been that of Bryan Piccioli, however.
On one of the last hands of the evening, Piccioli pushed in his sizeable stack on a 6-6-3-3-x board and Funaro, the only stack at the table to contend with Piccioli, made the call. Piccioli had pocket Kings and might have been thinking he would get someone on an Ace to make the call. Funaro did indeed have an Ace, but he also had a six in the pocket to give him a flopped set and a turned boat that crushed the three pair that Piccioli had. Funaro would use that 500K-plus pot to drive his way to the Day 2C and overall chip lead of the 2021 Wynn Millions:
1. Frank Funaro, 953,000
2. Thomas Boivin, 926,000
3. Dylan Linde, 849,000
4. Bin Weng, 788,000
5. Ramiro Petrone, 782,000
The highly unofficial leaderboard for the 2021 Wynn Millions looks like this:
1. Frank Funaro, 953,000
2. Dominique Mosley, 933,000
3. Thomas Boivin, 926,000
4. Dylan Linde, 849,000
5. Pavlo Vekster, 797,000
6. Bin Weng, 788,000
7. Alex Foxen, 787,000
8. Ramiro Petrone, 782,000
9. Russell Thomas, 760,000
10. Anthony Huntsman, 747,000
There are plenty of notable names down the leaderboard who will be looking to make some moves on Day 4. Cliff Josephy (394,000), Chris Moorman (359,000) Kristen Bicknell (244,000), Maria Ho (500,000), Daniel Negreanu (621,000), and Matas Cimbolas (518,000) are just some of the names that will be looking to move up the leaderboard on Wednesday afternoon. They first, however, will be worried about making the money, with the 162 returning players having to whittle the field down to the 134 survivors. Those players who eke their way into the money will earn a little over $25,000 for their efforts, but the eyes of all in the Wynn tournament room will be on the $2,018,866 first place check that awaits the inaugural champion of the 2021 Wynn Millions.