The first Main tour title of the 2023 World Poker Tour season is about to be determined, as the WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event final table gets underway Tuesday afternoon. The field was a tournament-record 590 entrants, generating a $1,888,000 prize pool and a first prize of $361,660.
Alejandro Jauregui is the chip leader going into Tuesday’s action, holding 10.450 million chips. There is a sizeable gap between him and WPT announcer Tony Dunst, who has 7.125 million. Jauregui and Dunst seem to be the two in control right now, as nobody else has more than 4.5 million chips.
In third is Albert Tapia with the aforementioned 4.5 million-chip stack. The bottom half of the table is comprised of Victor Paredes (3.125 million), Scott Eskenazi (2.15 million), and Jeremy Joseph (2.05 million). Eskenazi and Joseph do have about 20 big blinds, so they aren’t in complete desperation mode yet.
WPT Rolling Thunder came to life in 2014 at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort near Sacramento. That first iteration was also the most popular until now, with 465 entries. JC Tran emerged as the champ, winning $302,750. All but one of the WPT Rolling Thunder Main Events had over 400 entries through 2018. There was a sizeable drop in participation in 2019 and 2020, with 280 and 250 entries, respectively, but that was because the buy-in rose from $3,500 to $5,000. The overall prize pool in 2019 was essentially in line with the other years, though 2020’s was a bit lower. That 2020 tournament had the dubious distinction of being the last World Poker Tour stop before the pandemic shutdowns. In fact, it was able to get in just under the wire the week that things started shutting down in the US.
This is the first WPT Rolling Thunder since that 2020 edition.
The final table was determined when Jauregui knocked out Dann Turner in seventh place. Jauregui raised pre-flop to 225,000 and Turner moved all-in for 1.275 million. Jauregui’s A-J had Turner’s K-T beat, but both of Turner’s cards were live, so there was a sweat. One of his outs, a Ten, landed on the turn, but as soon as he was relieved, he was disappointed, as a Jack fell on the river, giving Jauregui the hand and sending Turner home.
The final table is just getting started out in California as this is being posted.
2023 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder Main Event – Final Table Chip Counts
- Alejandro Jauregui – 10,450,000
- Tony Dunst – 7,125,000
- Albert Tapia – 4,500,000
- Victor Paredes – 3,125,000
- Scott Eskenazi – 2,150,000
- Jeremy Joseph – 2,050,000