The big event almost every poker player had circled on the calendar in the wake of the 2016 World Series of Poker is World Poker Tour Choctaw, and the $3,700 reentry event is down to an official final table of six players after three days of play. The tournament drew 1,066 entries total, down a bit from last year's 1,175.
It will be German Bastian Fischer leading the way when the final six convene for the televised final table at 4 p.m. local time in Durant, Oklahoma, on Tuesday. Bracelet winners James Mackey, Ben Zamani, and Jack Duong also made the final table, along with Matthew Smith and Craig Varnell, who won last year's WPT500 at ARIA.
Here are the remaining chip counts with blinds and antes currently at 60,000/120,000/20,000:
A potential final table headliner went bust in seventh place, when Olivier Busquet fell on the bubble of the final table. Busquet, who was seeking his third WPT final table and second title, came out on the wrong end of a race in a four-bet pot with Varnell, according to the live updates.
The action began with Busquet opening to 250,000 in the cutoff and getting action from Smith on his left. Varnell made it 900,000 in the small blind and called when Busquet jammed for 1.8 million.
The board ran out , giving Varnell an ace-high flush to send Busquet packing.
As for Fischer, he was grinding a stack of a little over 30 big blinds when his big moment came, finding in the big blind with cutoff Alex Rocha and button James Mackey both all in ahead of him. Fischer called and found himself against the of Mackey and of Rocha. A clean board later, the German found himself with a big stack, and he proceeded to knock out a number of players en route to the final table chip lead.
Fischer has career live cashes of more than $570,000 but he has already guaranteed himself a personal best payout. The first player eliminated Tuesday will earn $134,720, almost double the $71,310 Fischer earned for fourth in the Wynn Summer Classic Main Event back in 2014. Fischer hit a nice score at the WSOP this summer when he came in 23rd in the Colossus II for $35,584.
A total of 40 players started out with chips on Day 3. In addition to Busquet, other notable eliminations included Jeff Gross (13th), Connor Drinan (17th), Harrison Gimbel (22nd), and November Niner Jerry Wong (26th). Players cashing among the 109 places prior to Day 3 included Steve Gross, Rex Clinkscales, Joe Kuether, Kathy Liebert, Bryan Campanello, and Mohsin Charania.
The final six players duke it out Tuesday for a first-place prize of $681,758, which includes a $15,000 entry into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.