One year ago, Tyler Patterson collected the biggest score of a $2 million live poker career, winning $375,270 and a World Poker Tour title at WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble in Jacksonville, Fla.
Now, he's got a shot to be the first player in the long and prestigious history of the WPT to win the same event twice in a row. After three days of play, the Washington native has punched a ticket to the televised final table of six, where he will be fourth in chips when the event resumes Tuesday afternoon.
Sam Panzica has a narrow chip lead over Richard Malone Jr.
Final Table Counts and Seats
|2||Richard Malone Jr.||2,950,000||59|
The tournament drew 379 players for the $5,000 event, which also features a number of $2,500 bounties on the heads of specially selected players, including Patterson himself. The money bubble burst in the middle of Day 2, according to the live updates, with Matt Stout walking away empty-handed.
The day ended with 25 players left and another former WPT bestbet Bounty Scramble champ, Noah Schwartz, in the lead. In the meantime, Ian O'Hara, Mike Dentale, Kunal Patel, Matt Glantz, Anthony Zinno, Olivier Busquet, Josh Beckley and Sam Soverel were some of the players busting out in the money before day's end.
Panzica put his tournament life at risk with an all-in check-raise on Day 3, shoving for 496,000 at 6,000/12,000/2,000 on a board of after Nirath Rean fired a second barrel, for 99,000. Rean called as he had turned the nut straight with queen-nine, but Panzica had outs with to a flush or a better straight. He hit the latter with a river. Panzica then dragged an even bigger pot to surpass 170 big blinds when his kings held up against the ace-king of Kory Kilpatrick after a preflop raising war.
A bit later, Panzica almost eliminated Patterson, but the latter got there with against all in preflop for his last 12 big blinds. Patterson found another lucky double with [a2c2] against the of Harvey Vandeven, flopping the nut flush after jamming 18 big blinds in the cutoff and he was suddenly healthy and primed for his final table run.
Byron Kaverman, Garrett Greer, Marvin Rettenmaier and Maxx Coleman were some of the players eliminated as the tournament reached the unofficial final table of 10. Once there, Panzica eliminated Vandeven and Jake Schwartz to maintain his lead.
Patterson picked up some chips early but ran queens into the kings of Paul Balzano.
Panzica then got back to work, picking up tens to bust Kilpatrick, who shoved over him with sevens. The final elimination came when TK Miles got his last 15 big blinds in with ace-jack against the nines of Richard Malone Jr. Miles found the ace he needed on the flop, but a nine on the river was doom for him.
The final six players return to the felt under the lights of the WPT camera crew at 4 p.m. local time.
Image courtesy of WPT