Brandon Guzman leads the World Poker Tour (WPT) Choctaw Main Event heading into Monday’s Day 3, as just 28 players remain. Holding 3.600 million chips, he is just one of two players with over 3 million; the other is Alex Foxen, who has 3.380 million.
Just behind the two chip leaders is Bing Weng with 2 million. Weng could be a very interesting story today. Just last week, he closed Day 4 of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown with a tremendous lead heading into the final table, which will be played later this month at the HyperX Esports Arena at Luxor in Las Vegas. The final table of WPT Choctaw is also time-shifted to Las Vegas, so it is entirely possible that Bin Weng could be playing WPT final tables on consecutive days in just a couple weeks.
A total of 187 players made it through the two starting flights to Sunday’s Day 2; Guzman sat in a comfortable 14th place. As the tournament paid to 77 places, it was fairly slow going for much of the day, as players both positioned themselves for a deep a run and didn’t want to be eliminated so close to the money.
While we don’t have exact details on all of his hands, it seems as though Brandon Guzman bided his time, not really making his big move to the top of the leaderboard until after the dinner break.
And it was likely a tense dinner break for those at the bottom of the chip counts, since there were 79 players remaining at that point. Two more eliminations needed to burst the bubble. Once Daniel Rodriguez was knocked out in 79th place, hand-for-hand play began so that nobody could stall their way into the money (not that you couldn’t do that at least somewhat with 79 or 80 players remaining).
As it turned out, three players hit the rail on the same hand-for-hand round, meaning that they tied for 76th place and split the 76th and 77th place prize money. In all three hands, the best starting hand lost. Ashkan Massahi was down to 38,000 chips and went all-in pre-flop with A-J against Mo Arani’s A-2. Arani hit a 2 on the flop to win. In the other hand, Joey Gargiulo had no choice but to put his last 4,000 chips in the pot, but fortunately, he had pocket Kings. Unfortunately, Nam Phan had J-3 with a heart and four hearts appeared on the turn to knock out Gargiulo. In the third hand, Megan Moore had two black Aces and felt good on the flop of 7-7-4, but her all-in move was thwarted by Justin Lapka, who had 9-7 for trips. Lapka’s lead held and that was it for Moore.
Massahi, Gargiulo, and Moore all won $4,653, so they at least came away with more than the $3,800 buy-in ($3,500 + $300 house fee).
Day 3 begins at noon CDT from the Choctaw Casino & Resort Durant and will go until the six-handed final table is determined.
WPT Choctaw Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders
- Brandon Guzman – 3,600,000
- Alex Foxen – 3,380,000
- Bin Weng – 2,000,000
- Christopher Moon – 1,500,000
- Spencer Champlin – 1,495,000
- Andrew Ostapchenko – 1,365,000
- Lawrence Chang – 1,310,000
- Ash Raney – 1,280,000
- Emmanuel Ignacio – 1,275,000
- Phu Vo – 1,100,000