It was a rather audacious target to set, but they darn near hit it. The World Poker Tour’s WPT World Championship held its Day 1D action on Friday and, despite the best efforts of the WPT, Wynn Las Vegas, and the players, they came up short of their $40 million guarantee. Unlike some other entities, the WPT and Wynn viewed this as an investment and have committed to honoring the $40 million prize pool, setting up a massive holiday present for someone in the first-place prize.

Close, But No Cigar

Day 1D was facing an uphill climb to meet the guarantee that the WPT set. After Day 1C, there were only 2312 entries on the board. With a 4000-entry line to cross, that meant that Day 1D would have to have a huge outpouring of players – or players choosing to use another bullet at the proceedings – even to get close. The players did their part, but in the end, it was close but no cigar.

Once the late registration bell rang, the tournament clock read only 1523 entries for the final flight of the WPT World Championship. That brought the total count of entries to 3835, short of the necessary 4000 entries ponying up their $10,000 buy-in. That meant that, despite all their efforts, the WPT was short of their $40 million guarantee.

Now, other locations (that we will be kind and not embarrass) have had these situations come up and, per the small print on their structure sheets, utilized the “discretion of the casino” rule to NOT give the players that for which they thought they would be playing. In a refreshing and positive move, the WPT and Wynn Las Vegas decided they would honor the $40 million guarantee, pulling $2.147 million out of their pockets to make sure the players were given what they were expecting.

Adam Pliska, the President of the World Poker Tour, was surprisingly upbeat after the final bell rung. Taking to X, the former Twitter, Pliska stated, “Grateful for the historic surge of growth in WPT Prime and WPTWC (WPT World Championship). Thanks players for your support. We feel it and it matters. Inspired to keep pushing the company to do more in an effort to make the best run festival ever. Forever improving, (zero) regrets. Just the beginning.”

There Was Some Poker Played…

Of the 1523 entries that flooded the Wynn Las Vegas on Friday, 571 players emerged from the carnage to come back on Saturday for Day 2 action. Leading the way was Mateus Carrion, who bagged up 982,000 in chips for battle. There was a tie for the second biggest stack in the room between David Uvaydo and Teo Leibowitz, both of whom had 806,000 in chips. In fifth place for the Day 1D play is a dangerous man, Anatoly Filatov, who is adequately stacked with 773,000 in ammunition for war on Day 2.

With the action underway for Day 2, 1375 players are back in their chairs at the Wynn, with a leaderboard that sets up like this:

1. Kyle Ho, 1.211 million (Day 1C)
2. Chance Kornuth, 1.13 million (Day 1C)
3. Hossein Ensan, 1.1 million (Day 1C)
4. Jeff Hakim, 998,000 (Day 1A)
5. Mateus Carrion, 982,000 (Day 1D)
6. Adekunle Olonoh, 972,000 (Day 1A)
7. Alan Keating, 957,000 (Day 1A)
8. Peter Neff, 899,000 (Day 1B)
9. Matt Hunt, 863,000 (Day 1C)
10. Rudy Cervantes, 849,000 (Day 1C)

The 1375 players have a long road ahead of them on Day 2 before they can even think of cracking the money bubble. 480 players will take home a piece of the $40 million pie that the WPT World Championship is offering, with the min-cash set at $18,700. Of course, the big money is at the top of the ladder, with the entirety of the six-handed WPT final table earning a seven-figure payday. The biggest slice of the cake will go to the champion, who will take down a $5,678,000 payday and have their name etched for eternity into the Mike Sexton WPT Champions’ Cup.

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