The most prestigious Pot-Limit Omaha tournament on the annual poker calendar is gearing up for the big showdown as the final table of Event #45: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller is set with seven players remaining. Three former bracelet winners will aim to add one more to their collection during the 2019 World Series of Poker and the lion's share of the $6,602,500 prize pool is still up for grabs in the record-breaking event when a champion will be crowned at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.
Out of 278 entries - 48 more than the previous record field in 2018 - it is Stephen Chidwick that soared to the top of the leaderboard throughout eight hour-long levels. The British poker pro headed to Las Vegas later than usual after the birth of his first child and entered his first WSOP event of the summer at the last minute in the first break of Day 2. One day later, Chidwick is in prime position to claim his maiden bracelet after bagging up 12,975,000.
Alex Epstein already knows like what it takes to overcome a tough field at the 2019 WSOP as he scored his first bracelet at the start of the series in Event #8: $10,000 Short Deck No-Limit Hold'em. He will be second in chips with 10,800,000 and a huge gap follows to third-placed Robert Mizrachi, who enters the final day with 5,525,000. Mizrachi will aim for his fifth bracelet, a feat that his brother Michael accomplished just a few days ago.
James Chen was the dominating chip leader in the first few levels of the day, but late clashes with Chidwick reduced his stack to a comparatively meagre 3,100,000. If he manages to spin up his stack, a maiden bracelet for both him and his home country of Taiwan awaits.
Wasim “Wes” Korkis (4,225,000), eight-time WSOP bracelet winner Erik Seidel (2,950,000) and Matthew Gonzales (1,100,000) round up the final table line up. Korkis is a cash game player that takes part in his first major PLO tournament and he has already locked a payday of $197,637. Gonzales will record his seventh cash of the series and he was previously featured on the final table of Event #29: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship, in which he finished 7th for $54,043.
The final table will get underway at 12 noon local time on the main feature stage, also commonly referred to as the 'Thunderdome' and two seven-figure scores, as well as the coveted gold bracelet, will be up for grabs at returning blinds of 100,000/200,000.
Among those to bust on the penultimate day were Aussie Poker Hall of Famer Joe Hachem, Dan Smith, all-time tournament money list leader Justin Bonomo, Paul Volpe, Anson Tsang and online wizards Laszlo “omaha4rollz” Bujtas and Niklas “Lena900” Astedt.
Event #45: $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller Final Table
|Seat||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|1||Erik Seidel||United States||2,950,000||15|
|3||Robert Mizrachi||United States||5,525,000||28|
|4||Stephen Chidwick||United Kingdom||12,975,000||65|
|5||Matthew Gonzales||United States||1,100,000||6|
|6||Alex Epstein||United States||10,800,000||54|
|7||Wasim Korkis||United States||4,225,000||21|
Action of the Day
The remaining 39 players were barely back in their seats when the first seat open occurred in quick succession. Joe Hachem was felted in the first hand and he was soon followed to the rail by Michael Drummond, Eddie Ochana, Dan Smith and Justin Bonomo. Lion Boulos ended up all in with aces versus aces and Joni Jouhkimainen turned a straight with his two kickers. Just a moment later, Ryan Laplante also had his aces cracked and headed to the payout desk.
Niklas Astedt saw his hopes of a deep run destroyed by pocket aces, as Alex Epstein flopped two pair and a straight draw followed by a full house on the turn. Laszlo Bujtas departed at the same time and Benoit Galland made it three casualties in two minutes to whittle the field down to the last three tables. The second level of the day had not been completed by then and the elimination of Jouhkimainen vaulted James Chen into the top spot.
Chen increased his stack to one-fourth of the chips in play after taking a big pot off Anson Tsang, and Stephen Chidwick turned a flush against Lautaro Guerra to start his rise up the leaderboard. The High Roller regulars Sean Winter and Paul Volpe vanished in quick succession and Tsang's bid of a second Omaha bracelet was cut short after he was sent to the rail by Chidwick. Tsang flopped the world with top pair, an open-ended straight draw and flush draw. However, Chidwick aces were accompanied by a five and a seven, which both hit on turn and river to give the Brit a full house.
Evan Krentzman and Ben Tollerene were joined on the rail by Veselin Karakitukov and Esther Taylor, who had previously reached the final table of this very event in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Karakitukov failed to hold up with aces versus kings and James Chen held up with a pair against the straight draw of Taylor to reduce the field to one table.
Nine hopefuls headed into the dinner break and another two would run out of chips in the following two hour-levels. Ryan Tosoc got short, doubled and then busted on his second all in showdown against Stephen Chidwick. A few minutes later, Ka Kwan Lau sent his chips over to Alex Epstein and Chidwick pulled into the lead by claiming two pots against Chen.
Tune back in when a new Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller champion will be crowned at the 2019 WSOP, as the PokerNews team will provide all the action from start to finish with six and seven-figure paydays on the line.