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2021 WPT Venetian: More Than 500 Players Enter Day 1B, Dustin Dirksen Still Overall Leader

Poker News Daily - 6 hours 14 min ago

The World Poker Tour continues forward into the “brave new world” of post-COVID tournament poker, and it seems the rest of the poker community is ready to come along. The sheer number of players ended up crushing the guarantee at the WPT Venetian in Las Vegas before the dinner break on Friday night. On Saturday, it was simply a question of how high the prize pool would go.

Nearly 1000 Entry Field

378 entries came to the felt Day 1A and, as per usual on multi-Day One events, the final day turned out to be monstrous. From the start this was evident as 272 were on the tournament clock, besting the 123 that were seated for action on Friday. These numbers kept climbing as the action continued Saturday.

By the time that dinner rolled around, 448 entries were in the books for Day 1B, and they did not stop coming through the doors. When late registration/re-entry ended after Level 9, 559 entries were totaled to make for a 937-entry field. The resulting prize pool was nearly triple the guaranteed prize pool at the start of the tournament.

The total prize pool ended up at $4,333,625, a stunning total especially after the year-long slumber of tournament poker. 118 players will eventually end up with a piece of that pie and a new entry on their Hendon Mob resume, but the final table will be where the real money is at. The entirety of the six-handed final table will earn a six-figure payday, with the eventual champion walking off with their name on the WPT Mike Sexton Champions’ Cup and $752,880 in their bank account.

Danny Wong Takes Day 1B Lead, But It Isn’t Enough

With so many players in the arena (not to mention unlimited reentries), the chips were certainly flying throughout The Venetian. WPT Champions’ Club member Tony Sinishtaj took big chunks of chips off two players without a showdown as others around the room jockeyed for position. In another clash, Quorban Mirza saw his Q-J miraculously turn into two pair by the river to eliminate Jesse Lonis and his pocket Kings to shoot into the momentary lead.

Danny Wong never got on the radar of anyone in the tournament room, but he would prove to be the one people should have been watching. He gradually increased his stack through the day, instead of making flashy all-in plays that drew the attention of those around the felt. It proved to be the best course of action as he would end up the day with the chip lead as the only player over 500K in chips.

1. Danny Wong, 520,000
2. Jeff Hong, 478,500
3. Don Nguyen, 432,000
4. Ken Einiger, 391,000
5. Jose Wong, 387,000
6. Ricky Nguyen, 381,500
7. George Wolff, 378,000
8. Jack Hardcastle, 359,000
9. Alex Keating, 344,000
10. Antonios Roungeris, 338,500

Despite his best efforts, Wong will not be the overall chip leader heading to Day 2 on Sunday. That is still Dustin Dirksen, who will head our highly unofficial Day 2 leaderboard:

1. Dustin Dirksen, 566,000*
2. Danny Wong, 520,000
3. Jeff Hong, 478,500
4. Don Nguyen, 432,000
5. Ken Einiger, 391,000
6. Joseph Cheong, 390,500*
7. Jose Wong, 387,000
8. James Carroll, 386,500*
9. Dave Alfa, 382,000*
10. Ricky Nguyen, 381,500

(* – Day 1A Players)

There will be several players who will not be amongst the survivors after busting out on Day 1B. Jeremy Kottler, Jean ‘Prince’ Gaspard, Dylan Wilkerson (coolered by the pocket Queens of Chad Holloway when he held pocket Jacks), and Asher Conniff found their way to the rails late on Saturday night. But there will be plenty of competition left over the next few days.  

224 players remain from the 937-entry field and they will return on Sunday for the Day Two festivities. The first feat to achieve will be popping the money bubble at 118 players, which will earn the min-cash of $8365 for the first departures. The final table of the tournament is to be played on Tuesday, currently sans live streaming or any television taping.

The post 2021 WPT Venetian: More Than 500 Players Enter Day 1B, Dustin Dirksen Still Overall Leader appeared first on Poker News Daily.

Categories: Poker News

2021 WPT Venetian: Darren Dirksen, Joseph Cheong Top Day 1A Leaderboard

Poker News Daily - Sat, 2021-03-06 19:09

The World Poker Tour is back in action again, this time stepping back into the familiar stomping grounds of Las Vegas. The Venetian is playing host to the WPT Venetian for the next few days, marking the first major tournament schedule to resume under the COVID regulations in the city. The WPT is expecting a big crowd for this event and they have adjusted some of the terms of the event that were in effect last year, which should not slow down anyone from playing.

Kick Up the Buy-In…

When it was first announced, the WPT Venetian was set for a $3500 buy-in with unlimited reentries until the start of Level 9. The Venetian decided to change the entry fee for the tournament, however (the WPT has no call over the structures of any event on its schedule, including the buy-in), making it a $5000 buy-in event while keeping the unlimited re-entry intact. They also set a $1.5 million guaranteed prize pool, which should easily be crushed between the two-Day Ones.

On Friday, it became quickly evident that players, despite the mandated face masks and plexiglass separating the competitors, wanted to get on the felt. 123 players were on the tables when the call to action was heard and this number ratcheted up rapidly. Just before the dinner break, 327 entries were in the books, thrashing the $1.5 million guarantee and demonstrating that the WPT Venetian was going to be one for the record books.

Late registration/reentry ended with the start of Level 9 and the numbers were astounding. 378 entries were on the board, but perhaps most surprising was that there were still 176 players in their seats by Level 9. Over the final two levels of the night, however, the players began to drop by the wayside.

Stacked Leaderboard from Day 1A

Either because they could come back on Day 1B and try to run up another stack or they wanted to try to run up the one they had and failed, there were some very notable names sitting on the sidelines by the end of Friday night. Garrett Greer hit the rail late in the evening holding pocket nines, the victim of a race against Scott Stewart’s suited A♠ Q♠ when the Q♣ hit on the flop. Others who failed to reach the end of the night included PokerGO’s boss, Cary Katz and another fellow “High Roller” regular, Dan Shak.

The upper echelons of the leaderboard are replete with top professionals amongst the 79 players who will be happy with what they bagged (at least the Top Ten will): Dustin Dirksen will be the only player over the 500K mark on the Day 1A leaderboard, but there are plenty of challenges awaiting him, even without the Day 1B field added:

1. Dustin Dirksen, 566,000
2. Joseph Cheong, 390,500
3. James Carroll, 386,500
4. Dave Alfa, 382,500
5. Zhen Cai, 341,000
6. Jarod Ludemann, 335,000
7. Scott Stewart, 334,000
8. Shannon Shorr, 305,500
9. Nick Schulman, 280,000
10. Adam Hendrix, 277,000

Day 1B will go off at 11AM at The Venetian in Las Vegas with the same plan on Saturday – 11 levels of action, $5000 entry fee with unlimited rebuys. If the Day 1A crowd is any indicator, they might challenge 500 players on Saturday for the last shot at the crown, which would completely destroy the $1.5 million guarantee. With only 522 entries necessary to achieve 900 entries and an over $4 million prize pool, the only question other than who will be the champion of the WPT Venetian will be how high the prize pool will go.

The post 2021 WPT Venetian: Darren Dirksen, Joseph Cheong Top Day 1A Leaderboard appeared first on Poker News Daily.

Categories: Poker News

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The Register - Sat, 2021-03-06 08:39
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The Register - Fri, 2021-03-05 19:03
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