Only two tables remain in the Season XII WPT World Championship at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, and once again the overnight chip leader is Eric Afriat. Afriat, who became a member of the WPT Champions Club just over a week ago at the penultimate stop in Hollywood, Florida, bagged 2.029 million chips after another productive day on the felt.
The French-Canadian’s biggest hand came in Level 19, when Blake Bohn five-bet shoved for over 50 big blinds with and Afriat snapped him off with . The pocket rockets held up, and Afriat added to his already monster stack.
Afriat is the only player with over two million chips, but four players joined him in the seven-figure club; Abraham Korotki (1.616 million), Tony Gregg, (1.499 million), Ryan D’Angelo (1.369 million), and Curt Kohlberg (1.097 million). Korotki, the winner of the 2014 Borgata Spring Poker Open Championship Event, eliminated 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event runner-up Jesse Sylvia in a big cooler in Level 19. Sylvia open-shoved with top two pair on the turn, and Korotki called with bottom set. The river was a brick, and Sylvia was eliminated.
Gregg, like Afriat, is a member of the WPT Champions Club, winning the Parx Open Poker Classic in Season XI. He too was on the positive side of a cooler, eliminating Scott Eskenazi with aces against kings in Level 19.
Also among the final 18 players are Justin Young, Byron Kaverman, Keven Stammen, Brock Parker, and WPT Raw Deal Analyst and Champions Club member Tony Dunst. Both Kaverman and Stammen are making their sixth cash of Season XII, tying the record for most cashes in a single WPT season.
Final 18 Players
The day started with 68 players, and the bust outs were fast and furious as the money bubble approached. Among the players who exited with no money were NFL free agent wide receiver Miles Austin and 13-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth. Austin found himself in a three-way all in with pocket fives against George Kelly’s pocket kings — Austin wasn’t fortunate enough to hit a two-outer — and Hellmuth ran into Kaverman’s .
Right as the dinner break was starting, the bubble burst in a very unique way. There were 38 players still alive — 36 would earn a minimum of $30,085 — and most of the players were exiting the room to wine and dine for 75 minutes. While they were filing out, Nick Schulman and Michael Lavoie were eliminated at the exact same time on two different tables. Some short-stacked players, like Cathy Dever, were elated the find out they were in the money after the surprise, concurrent eliminations.
After dinner break, it only took three hours for the field to halve from 36 to 18. Among the post-dinner, in-the-money causalities were Athanasios Polychronopoulos (34th, $30,085), Brian Yoon (33rd, $30,085), Jason Koon (32nd, $30,085), Matt Stout (30th, $30,085), Loni Harwood (29th, $30,085), Jonathan Tamayo (28th, $30,085), Cathy Dever (24th, $33,967), Club WPT winner David Daggett (22nd, $33,967), Scott Seiver (21st, $33,967), and Jeff Madsen (19th, $33,967).
Tamayo, who won his way into the WPT World Championship thanks to DraftKings.com and a game-winning home run from New York Mets backup catcher Anthony Recker, lost a race with the against the of Ray Qartomy.
The final two tables will return at 12 p.m. local time on Friday to play down to an official final table of six. PokerNews will be on hand for all of the updates, so be sure to check back then.