The World Poker Tour World Championship resumed on Thursday with 18 players hoping to make it to the final 10. It took under two levels of play to get this done, and the chip counts looked quite different at the end of the day than they had when it started. Emerging at the head of the chip counts was John O'Shea and he will lead the field into Day 6 as they play down to the TV final table.
O'Shea's rise to the top of the counts came without him eliminating a single person in today's action. One of his key hands came at 12,000/24,000/3,000 against David Williams. O'Shea made it 64,000 to play from the cutoff, and Williams called out of the small blind. The flop came down and Williams check-called 80,000, leading to the turn. Both players checked and the followed on the river. Williams bet 150,000 and O'Shea raised it to 420,000. Williams called and O'Shea tabled for a seven-high straight. Williams showed the for a lower straight and O'Shea won the key pot, en-route to his ending the day as chip leader with 3,174,000.
Scotty Nguyen started the day in ninth position and ended the day in second place. Nguyen had a huge double-up at 15,000/30,000/4,000 against the aforementioned Williams. Under the gun, Williams raised to 80,000 and Nguyen called from the cutoff. The flop came and Williams bet 100,000. Nguyen popped it to 300,000 and Williams shoved with the bigger stack. Nguyen called for the rest of his chips with , having outflopped Williams' . Nguyen's set held up, and he vaulted into second place, ultimately ending the day with 2,637,000.
A stacked lineup is returning on Friday, looking to accumulate chips and make it through to the TV final table. David Benyamine is in third place, Williams is in fifth position, Eric Baldwin is in sixth, and Phil Hellmuth is the short stack. Hellmuth and Baldwin tangled in a hand late in the day's action when Hellmuth flopped broadway, but it was an all spade flop and Baldwin had flopped a flush. They got it all in on the turn and Hellmuth was drawing dead, dropping to the bottom of the counts.
Faraz Jaka began the day as the chip leader but busted in 14th place. He lost a few sizable pots to Billy Baxter but kept his stack strong by eliminating Robert Cooper and Josh Arieh. He was overtaken by Williams, however, and then lost a monster pot to Benyamine, ending Jaka's tournament. Jaka is stil the current leader in the WPT player-of-the-year race. Jaka's under-the-gun preflop raise was called by Williams in the cutoff. Jaka put a continuation bet out on the flop and was called by Williams. The hit the turn and this time Jaka check-called 300,000 from his opponent. The river was the and Jaka checked. Williams shoved and Jaka called all in with , but had been run down by Williams' to be sent to the rail.
Here is the seat order and chip counts heading into Day 6.
Seat 1. Scotty Nguyen - 2,637,000
Seat 2. Phil Hellmuth - 839,000
Seat 3. Nikolay Evdakov - 922,000
Seat 4. John O'Shea - 3,174,000
Seat 5. Billy Baxter - 2,429,000
Seat 6. Eric Baldwin - 2,130,000
Seat 7. David Williams - 2,454,000
Seat 8. David Benyamine - 2,561,000
Seat 9. Shawn Buchanan - 1,087,000
Seat 10. Cliff Josephy - 1,269,000
Play resumes tomorrow at noon in Las Vegas where the schedule is to play until the final six are determined. Follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.