With three overlapping World Poker Tour (WPT) events being held this week at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, it can be hard to keep track of what exactly is going on. Right now, the focus is on the $10,000 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale, which completed Day 2 on Monday while the $3,500 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown is on a break before Wednesday’s final table. A total of 342 players joined the fray for the Finale and now just 27 remain. Two-time WPT winner and infamous poker debtor Chino Rheem is the chip leader with 1.205 million chips.
The top of the leader board going into Tuesday’s action is quite interesting, as it is one of tightest races you will ever see at this stage in the World Poker Tour event. After Rheem, there are three players above the one million chip plateau: David Paredes (1.1 million), Dietrich Fast (1.02 million), and Adrian Mateos (1.016 million). Then, just below them are Jared Jaffee with 925,000 and Aditya Prasetyo with 906,000. There is a huge chip gap after the top six, as nobody else has more than 700,000.
Additionally, four of the top five players – Rheem, Paredes, Fast, and Jaffee – have notched WPT tournament wins, so that should add even more spice to the stretch run.
And then there is Cate Hall, who we mentioned yesterday. She will be appearing at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown final table in a bid to become the first woman to win an open World Poker tour event. She is ninth in chips out of ten, so it will be an uphill climb, but that is better than not even having the chance. Hall finished 41st in the Finale, cashing for $16,525 and earning 50 points towards the WPT Player of the Year race. The latter tidbit is significant because in addition to having a shot at an historic WPT win tomorrow, she also has a chance to move into the overall lead for Player of the Year.
Hall entered Monday’s play in sixth place in the POY race with 1,550 points. With her cash in the Finale, she earned 50 more (moving into a tie for fifth with Jake Schwartz), which on the surface does not seem significant, but it could turn out to be the difference between winning Player of the Year and not. If she had stayed at 1,550, she would have needed to finish first or second in the Showdown to overtake Mike Shariati for the Player of the Year lead (he has 2,450 points). Those extra 50 points she gained from her cash in the Finale, though, allow her to take the POY with a third place finish in the Showdown, as well. Certainly, she is aiming for a victory, but a top three finish and the POY lead after starting the final table in ninth place would be a solid consolation prize.
Of course, Dietrich Fast wants to change the standings, too. He is currently third in the POY rankings and is obviously guaranteed to add to his 1,800 point total. Depending on how he does in the Finale, he could put the POY out of reach for Hall, regardless of what she does tomorrow. The WPT Tournament of Champions also awaits, so Fast and others in contention could tack on even more points.
Day 2 of the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Final is about to begin. The plan is to play down to the six-handed final table.