The $15 million guaranteed prize pool for the WPT World Championship was ambitious, hyped as the largest-ever guarantee for a live poker tournament. Tournament organizers needed 1,531 entries in order to avoid overlay, which in certain timelines could be a tough ask. Not many $10,000 ($10,400 in this case) tourneys outside the World Series of Poker Main Event attract over a thousand players. In our current universe, though, it looks like this isn’t going to be a problem. There were 615 entries on Day 1A and another 1,052 on Tuesday’s Day 1B, meaning the guarantee has already been smashed with another starting flight to go on Wednesday. As it stands, the prize pool is over $16.3 million; if Day 1C follows the pattern of most major tournaments, it could be bigger than each of the other two starting days.
Aryan Oliveira has a dominant lead over the 438 players who emerged from Day 1B, bagging 1.551 million chips. Not only is he the only Day 1B player with over a million (Justin Bonomo, the Day 1A leader, just made it over a million), he has nearly double the chips of his closest competitor.
Oliveira was already over the million-chip mark near the end of the night when he won two healthy pots to really separate himself from the pack. According to WPT.com, the board read Q♣-J♣-5♠-Q♠-K♣ and with 140,000 chips in the pot, he bet 90,000 and was called by one player. Oliveira had T♣-5♣, good for the second-nut flush, and his opponent had to be dismayed to find out his pocket Aces had been cracked.
A few hands later, the same opponent, now quite a bit poorer, moved all-in with 9♠-6♠ on a flop of 9♣-8♦-7♦. Not bad: top pair and an open-ended straight draw. Oliveira, though, had 7♥-7♠ for bottom set. The turn produced the 8, which gave him a full house and removed all hope from his opponent. It also removed all of their chips and put them in Oliveira’s stack.
Day 1C begins at 11:00am Las Vegas time as another huge group of players gathers at the Wynn Las Vegas to try to get a strong start on their chase for the WPT World Championship. Anyone who busted out of the first two starting flights can give it another shot on Wednesday. Additionally, a single re-entry is permitted each flight. Those who made it through Day 1A or 1B have to stick with the chips they bagged up and cannot retry on Day 1C.
2022 WPT World Championship – Day 1B Chip Leaders
- Aryan Oliveira – 1,551,000
- Andrew Crookston – 879,000
- Gin Tillman – 825,000
- Nick Yunis – 782,000
- Dan Smith – 746,000
- Scott Wellenbach – 660,000
- Matt Stout – 657,500
- Kharlin Sued – 652,500
- James Carroll – 610,000