With the World Poker Tour (WPT) Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown paused before the final table, the $10,000 buy-in WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale was into its second day on Monday. When registration closed at the start of Day 2, there were 349 total entries, up seven from last year, and 193 players ready to go. When the smoke cleared at the end of the night, just 27 players remained with Alan Sternberg emerging as the chip leader.
Though Sternberg is out in front, it is really nearly a dead heat, as he has 1.6 million chips on the nose while Terry Schumacher is less than a big blind behind with 1.591 million. 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event champ Ryan Reiss has also eclipsed the million chip mark, starting Day 3 with 1.056 million.
Speaking with WPT.com after he had bagged his chips, Sternberg said that his road to the chip lead was “a pretty steady build.”
“There was about an hour in the middle of the day where I lost a third of my stack, but outside of that it was a pretty steady crawl up,” he added. “My biggest hand was I five-bet all in against Jonathan Little with A-K suited, and he had kings. The flop card was an ace, and that gave me the chip lead, and I just went from there.”
Hey, nobody said poker tournaments didn’t require a little luck.
Sternberg also employed what looked to be a wise strategy when the tournament was on the money bubble and action slowed way, way down. Noting that his table was stuffed with strong players like Jake Cody and Marvin Rettenmaier, Sternberg said he just sat back and tried not to engage if he didn’t have to.
“I just kind of took it easy, played my hands,” he said. His stack was still more than double the average when he finally got away from the table.
Sternberg is familiar with this territory, deep in a major live tournament. Though this will only be his tenth recorded live cash, he has one gigantic one on his resume: a million dollar win at the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Championship in 2011. All told, he has about $1.2 million in live earnings.
With the 349 entries for the tournament, the prize pool ended up at $3,315,500. Payouts go down to 44 places, so everyone playing today has already made the money. The winner will walk away with $716,088.
Day 3 is just getting started at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale and will play down to the six-handed final table.
WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale – Day 2 Chip Leaders
1. Alan Sternberg – 1,600,000
2. Terry Schumacher – 1,591,000
3. Ryan Riess – 1,056,000
4. Josh Kay – 842,000
5. Tim West – 828,000
6. Cliff Josephy – 746,000
7. Pat Lyons – 656,000
8. Marvin Rettenmaier – 611,000
9. Alex Keating – 608,000
10. Noah Vaillancourt – 500,000