The World Poker Tour (WPT) Gardens Poker Championship Main Event is down to its final 22 players as the chase for the $357,380 first prize gets down to the nitty-gritty. Ky Nguyen is the chip leader with 1.750 million chips.
As I mentioned yesterday, the chip counts at the top of the leaderboard going into Day 2 made it look like the competition was going to be fierce. My opinion has not changed going into Day 3. After Nguyen, three players – Joseph Deluca, Chris Lee, and Lam Nguyen – have over 1.4 million and two more have over a million.
The chip leader going into Tuesday, Girish Reknar, is still alive, holding 670,000 chips in 13th place.
Ky Nguyen’s most important hand of Day 2 came during the Level 20, the final level of the day. Calvin Ma bet 45,000 pre-flop with pocket Queens and Nguyen moved all-in over the top for 645,000 chips. Queens is obviously a great hand, but it didn’t feel THAT great when Ma was going to have to call for nearly all of his chips. He used a time extension and did eventually make the tough call.
Nguyen had A-Q, so it was a good call by Ma, but you know what is about to happen. An Ace flopped and another came on the turn (in addition to the case Queen on the river) to give Nguyen the suckout and the double-up to 1.3 million chips.
A bit later, he added another few hundred thousand to his stack. Nguyen raised to 40,000 pre-flop and Drew Solk shoved for 275,000. Nguyen made the easy call with Aces and hit an Ace on the flop for good measure to beat Solk’s pocket Sevens.
Nguyen pressured the 2 million-chip plateau briefly before falling back slightly to where he will start Day 3.
Day 3 begins at noon PT. Play will go for five 90-minute levels before calling it a night. The final table will be determined on Thursday (unless eliminations are fast and furious today), with the tournament concluding Saturday in Las Vegas.
2023 WPT Gardens Poker Championship Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders
- Ky Nguyen – 1,750,000
- Joseph Deluca – 1,490,000
- Chris Lee – 1,465,000
- Lam Nguyen – 1,415,000
- Jordan Reid – 1,100,000
- Calvin Lee – 1,090,000
- Steven Spunt – 955,000
- Ryan Salunga – 915,000
- Travis Egbert – 835,000
- Brad Owen – 815,000
Image credit: Flickr.com / World Poker Tour