I will admit, I was a little surprised to wake up this morning and not see Michael Stashin’s name at the top of the chip counts for the final table of the 2017 World Poker Tour (WPT) Choctaw Main Event. After all, he had such a gigantic chip lead going into Monday that he had more chips than the three players directly behind him in the standings combined. So forgive me if I thought he might cruise into the final table with the lead. That said, he did cruise into the final table, adding a couple million chips to his stack to end up at 7.685 million, but he is now second behind Josh Kay, who has 11.105 million after a tremendous Day 3.
Kay began Monday in ninth place with 1.26 million chips, so he wasn’t in bad shape, but that is a far cry from the 11.105 he ended with. Were it not for a bit of luck, his day probably would not have gone as well (isn’t this really the case for all of us in life?). With 20 players left, according to the WPT.com report, Kay opened the betting pre-flop at 70,000 and Jordan Cristos called. On the flop of J-3-8, Kay bet 90,000, Cristos raised to 230,000 and Kay called. Kay then called when a 7 was dealt on the turn. Cristos, needing some time to think, used a time extension chip, as the Action Clock was in effect, limiting players to 30 seconds to act, and then shoved for 1.125 million chips. Kay tanked and used FIVE time extension chips (30 seconds each) before decided to put most of his stack at risk by calling.
Kay had K-J for top pair, but Cristos had him nailed with pocket Aces. The river, though, was a King, giving the hand to Kay and eliminated Cristos in 20th place.
That hand took Kay’s chip stack up to 2.945 million and while he fell back to 1.6 million by the time there were 16 players remaining, he eventually went on a huge run, tearing through the field. If this was a bounty tournament, Josh Kay would be the undisputed king. He knocked out Blair Hinkle in 16th place, Andrew Nguyen in 15th place, Adrian Garduno in 14th place, DJ Alexander in 13th place, Jason Emmons in 11th place (come on, did you think he was really going to eliminate EVERYONE?), Kamran Munaf in 10th place, and Daniel Nakic in 8th place.
Josh Kay’s five opponents at the final table can look at him in one of two ways: they can see him as the enemy with the big stack who stands in between them and WPT glory OR…thank him profusely for doing all the work on Monday, allowing them to move up on the money ladder.
The six-handed final table of the WPT Choctaw Main Event will begin at 3:00pm CT / 4:00pm ET on Tuesday.
2017 World Poker Tour Choctaw Main Event – Final Table Chip Counts
1. Josh Kay – 11,105,000
2. Michael Stashin – 7,685,000
3. Jay Lee – 3,455,000
4. Eric Bunch – 2,020,000
5. Paul Fisher – 1,700,000
6. Jeb Hutton – 1,645,000