Poker News

John Sargent lords over the field of the World Poker Tour Maryland Live! Main Event, as the second of two starting flights concluded on Sunday. With 324,300 chips, he is the only player over the 300,000 mark. In fact, only a few players made it over 200,000 and barely did so at that; Sargent’s lead over his closest competitor is more than 100,000 chips.

For once in his life, my colleague Earl Burton was completely wrong,* as he said yesterday that Day 1B would likely be twice as large as Day 1A.** Well, there were 250 entries on Day 1A and 280 on Day 1B, so that math doesn’t work. That said, it is a bit surprising. The overall turnout of 530 entries after the two starting flights (players can still enter or re-enter before the start of Day 2) is very good for this young event, but it is definitely unusual to see to fairly equal starting days.

Remember that we are using the term “entries” for a reason. As this is a re-entry tournament, saying “players” would fail to account for the times individuals bought back into the event. Players are allowed one re-entry per starting flight plus another before Day 2, so it is possible that some players could pay the $3,500 five times. Those who made it through Day 1A were also allowed to re-enter on Day 1B to try to finish with a bigger stack; anyone who survived a starting flight could also re-enter before Day 2 and just begin with the initial starting stack instead of what they finished the previous day with.

Of those 250 entries, 112 players made it to Day 2, so before any late entrants are counted, that’s 209 players ready to go for today’s action.

If John Sargent can use his massive stack to make a run to the money, it would automatically be his largest live cash. According to, he has just one live tournament cash: a 140th place finish in a ring event at this year’s WSOP Circuit in Baltimore, good for $1,060.

The 530 total entries prior to Day 2 means that the WPT Maryland Live! Main Event will easily clear its $1.5 million guarantee. The buy-in is $3,300 plus a $200 fee for the house. $100 of the $3,300 buy-in is earmarked for “registration staff,” thus $3,200 from each entry is put into the prize pool. Doing the math, that means the prize pool will be at least $1.696 million, eliminating the need for Maryland Live! management to have to sweat out an overlay.

Day 2 continues on Monday; the tournament structure states that the day will go for ten levels or down to 27 players, presumably whichever is hit sooner. On Tuesday’s Day 3, the tournament will play down to six players, who will meet on Wednesday for the final table.

*Just kidding, he’s always wrong.

**Actually, what he really said was “the Day 1B field is usually two times as large as the Day 1A entries,” but, like Donald Trump, I don’t have too much of a concern for facts.

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