MSPT Showdown Series

Long-Delayed WPT Final Tables to Run this March and May in Las Vegas

The final table of the Gardens Poker Championship will finally be played.

The World Poker Tour final tables delayed for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic will finally take place this spring, PokerNews can report.

Each final table was reached during an event from the first couple of months of 2020, with the original date for play set for March 31 in Las Vegas. Everything went on hold when the WPT dealt its last live hand of 2020 in the middle of an event in Europe, instead pivoting to a series of online events run in conjunction with partners partypoker.

Many have been clamoring for the events to be played as the WPT has returned to live stateside action as of January.

Same City, New Venue

The first final table is just one week away, as March 10 will be the date for the WPT Gardens Poker Championship.

That will be a standalone event, with three more final tables — including one from 2021 — taking place May 16-18. Last year's WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open will finish May 16, followed by the WPT L.A. Poker Classic. Then, May 18 will see the final table of the upcoming WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown played.

The Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown was just revealed last week by the venue in a Twitter announcement. It will boast a $2 million guarantee at a $3,500 price point.

Of lesser import, but still of note, is that the venue for all of these final tables will no longer be the HyperX Esports Arena at Luxor in Las Vegas. Instead, PokerGO Studio outside ARIA will serve as host.

Unfortunately for fans hoping for streamed coverage, Poker Central has confirmed to PokerNews that a film crew will be on hand but no streaming will be provided. That follows with the original plan for these tournaments to have televised final tables.

PokerGo Studio Tournament Area
The PokerGO studio will be set up for the WPT.

The WPT will have its live reporting team on hand to provide updates, though.

The change in venue comes as little surprise to many following the sale of the WPT, which saw the company separated from an esports entity with which it jointly used the HyperX venue. Whether the PokerGO Studio becomes the permanent home for filmed WPT final tables has yet to be released at this time.

All of the players will presumably be masked up for the tournaments. While the reopening process has been pressing forward and local governments will be making many of the rules as of May 1, an official "Roadmap to Recovery" document from the state government says a statewide mandate will remain in effect.

Update: The WPT has informed PokerNews of the agreed-upon rules for the March 10 final table. All players will receive COVID-19 tests and anyone who tests positive will receive the ICM payout of their stack. Again, all players agreed to this parameter, and it has been OK'd by the gaming commission for the March 10 final table only, so the situation could be different for the May final tables.

EventLast Hand DealtNew Final Table Date
WPT Gardens Poker ChampionshipJan. 13, 2020March 10, 2021
WPT Borgata Winter Poker OpenJan. 30, 2020May 16, 2021
WPT L.A. Poker ClassicMarch 4, 2020May 17, 2021
WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker ShowdownN/AMay 18, 2021

Frozen in Time

Here's a snapshot of where the three delayed tournaments left off.

WPT Gardens Poker Championship

The WPT Gardens Poker Championship will see chip leader Chance Kornuth try to add to his two WSOP bracelets with a WPT title. Kornuth has won a couple of side events at WPTs including a $25K, but he's yet to add his name to the Champion's Cup.

As a bonus, "PokerNews Podcast" fans will get a quick reaction from Kornuth, as he's scheduled for an appearance shortly after he wraps up his shot at the title and $554,495.

SeatPlayerStackBig blinds
1Straton Wilhelm435,00017
2Markus Gonsalves2,370,00095
3Qing Liu795,00032
4Tuan Phan2,070,00083
5Jonathan Cohen1,615,00065
6Chance Kornuth2,995,000120

WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open

Next up will be the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, which has an even bigger first-place prize of $674,840.

Veerab Zakarian holds the chip lead, but notable grinders Brian Altman and James Anderson aren't two far behind. Altman's looking to add to the two WPT titles he already bagged, which came in 2015 and 2020.

SeatPlayerStackBig blinds
1Nathan Russler3,990,00033
2James Anderson10,040,00084
3Andrew Hanna6,730,00056 bb
4Bin Weng8,890,00074 bb
5Veerab Zakarian11,990,000100 bb
6Brian Altman9,865,00082 bb

WPT L.A. Poker Classic

A star-studded group advanced to the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table, which features $1,015,000 up top.

Notables include Matas Cimbolas, James Carroll and Upeshka De Silva. Oh and that doesn't even include chip leader Balakrishna Patur, who amassed a monster stack of more than 150 big blinds.

SeatPlayerStackBig blinds
1Scott Hempel1,670,00042
2James Carroll4,125,000103
3Matas Cimbolas4,310,000108
4Ka Kwan Lau2,250,00056
5Upeshka De Silva930,00023
6Balakrishna Patur6,320,000158

Lead photo courtesy of WPT

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  • After a year on ice, the televised WPT final tables will be played this spring at the PokerGO Studio.

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