WPT Playground Main Event Day 3: Ema Zajmovic Seeking Second WPT Final Table

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The World Poker Tour (WPT) Playground Main Event is down to its final day, with just ten players remaining from the 28 that began Monday’s action. After Day 3, it is French-Canadian Ema Zajmovic who holds the chip lead with 2.985 million chips.

Zajmovic, a Quebec native, is apparently quite fond of Montreal’s Playground Poker Club, as this is her second straight deep run at this card room. In November, she made the final table and finished fifth in the WPT Montreal Main Event, winning CAD $102,010 (USD $76,108). That cash comprises the bulk of her $100,000 in live tournament earnings, though she did also cash in this past summer’s World Series of Poker Main Event for $15,000.

As she was last time she was in this position, Zajmovic is seeking to become the first woman in World Poker Tour history to win an open Main Event.

“Honestly, I have been running really good today,”Zajmovic told “It is a mix too because I have spots where I have the momentum. I hope it will continues [sic] tomorrow because at the last final table it was so bad because I ran so bad. I think the key is to have the momentum all the time and play the best you can with what you have. We’ll see what happens and if I can keep getting lucky.”

Very early on in Day 3, Zajmovic experienced some of that “run good.” After chip Hendrik Latz (the chip leader entering the day) raised pre-flop to 40,000 chips and Jean-Pascal Savard (second in chips) called, Zajmovic moved all-in for 330,000. Latz called and Savard folded. Zajmovic turned over A-Q suited, but Latz held A-K, dominating her hand. The flop was J-8-8 with none of Zajmovic’s suit, so her flush was out the window. She struck gold on the turn, though, with a Queen and with a low card on the river, Zajmovic survived to double-up.

Another player was an illustration of how things can go south in a hurry in poker. Henry Tran at one point had 2.330 million chips, over 20 percent of the chips in play at the time when the average stack was 3.6 percent of the tournament’s chips. He couldn’t keep it going, though, ending Day 3 with just over half a million chips. It looks like he just kept get caught up in hands where he couldn’t seal the deal, committing lots of chips and then having to bail. For instance, in one hand, he raised to 52,000 pre-flop, Savard re-raised to 139,000, and Tran decided to four-bet to 277,000. When Savard shoved, though, Tran tanked and finally laid down his hand, as he would have been risking his tournament life. That left him with 575,000 chips at the time.

Day 4 – what appears to be the final day of the tournament – is underway at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal. World Poker Tour Playground Main Event – Day 3 Chip Counts

1.    Ema Zajmovic – 2,985,000
2.    Jean-Pascal Savard – 2,095,000
3.    Tam Ho – 1,700,000
4.    Eric Afriat – 1,135,000
5.    Jean-Francois Bouchard – 1,005,000
6.    Carter Swidler – 615,000
7.    Henry Tran – 525,000
8.    Ryan Yu – 520,000
9.    Danny Li – 495,000
10.    Mekhail Mekhail – 300,000

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