While the World Poker Tour gets ready to stage three final tables beginning next week (more on this in a bit), the regular tour is going on at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Northern California. The WPT Rolling Thunder, now in its sixth year, has finished off its two-Day Ones and currently is looking a bit short compared to 2018.
Another Multi-Entry Tournament…
The WPT Rolling Thunder charged a $5000 buy-in this year, but they didn’t change their rules regarding their reentry policies. A player is allowed one reentry for each of the two-Day Ones and, if they fail to build a stack off of that, they would be allowed to put out another entry prior to the end of registration at roughly the midpoint of Day 2. Thus, a player could rack up as much as $25,000 in buy-ins, significant since the tournament used to be a $3500 buy-in tournament.
The increased buy in may have had an effect on the entries for the event. On Friday, only 80 entries were received for the event and only 42 of the combatants would make it through the day. Once the stacks were counted, it was Sean Marshall who had eked out the chip lead, but it wasn’t without a couple of tests against some quality opposition.
In a hand during the next to last level of the day, Marshall flopped an A-Q into a full house to the Queens, which was more than enough to defeat veteran pro Blake Bohn. Then, in one of the final hands of the night against Miguel Capriles, Marshall’s pocket Aces were able to stand up against Capriles’ pocket treys to give him the final chips to push him into the Day 1A chip lead.
1. Sean Marshall, 173,000
2. Bin Duan, 162,800
3. Brian Altman, 158,100
4. Peter Cross, 146,700
5. Dilip Das, 143,800
Saturday Brings More Entries, Still Not to 2018 Levels Yet
More players showed up on Saturday, but there still wasn’t enough to make it to the numbers from the 2018 running of this tournament. By the time the end of the road came on Saturday night, 165 more entries were totaled for the tournament. Along with the 80 from Friday’s skirmishes, that brings the number to 245 entries, far short of the 440 entries that were brought in when David Larson claimed the championship.
Official counts are still being rung up, but it looks as if 99 players have been able to survive from the 165 entries that have been received on Saturday. If this holds true (and it is very possible it could go down as players try to build a viable stack late), then there will be 141 players remaining for action on Day 2 Sunday. At this mark, these are the unofficial leaders of the Day 1B field:
1. Brett Murray, 206,300
2. Jasthi Kumar, 172,500
3. Jarod Minghini, 152,700
4. Bryan Piccioli, 142,100
5. Joseph Cheong, 141,300
But Wait…There’s More to Come!
There is still time for the 245 entries to run up some more. Registration is open for the WPT Rolling Thunder until the start of Level 11 on Sunday afternoon. Players such as Dan Shak (who ripped through two buy-ins on Saturday), Blair Hinkle, Joseph Capello and Candace Collins will have one final chance to reenter the tournament before the end of late registration on Sunday, at which point the final prize pool will be set.
The WPT Rolling Thunder is going to have to vie with three WPT final tables for attention from poker fans, however. Beginning Monday, the WPT Gardens Poker Championship, the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open and the WPT L. A. Poker Classic will all play out their final tables in Las Vegas at the HyperX Esports Arena. This will run while the WPT Rolling Thunder, which will NOT get televised treatment, is determining its champion on Tuesday, perhaps not fantastic timing for the WPT.