Ben Jacobs tops final 16, Moorman in hunt for WPT World Championship

Dave Woods
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Posted on: December 20, 2023 3:46 am EST

We highlighted five to watch on Day 5 of the WPT World Championship. Six if you split husband and wife, Alex and Kristen Foxen. They were part of the 45-strong group of players in the hunt for the $5,678,000 top prize at Wynn Las Vegas. One of them, Mark Mounsey, was top of the pile.

We lost two in the very first level.

Princess Love was first to go. She got short and did what she had to do—she got her chips in good. Unfortunately, her A-Ks couldn’t fade the A-T of Mateus Carrion, despite a clean flop.

She squeaked a pay jump, though, and the $132,500 payout for 40th more than doubles her previous career winnings of $110,568. Hopefully, her 3.8 million Instagram followers will be tempted to take the game up now. Either way, her deep run is great for the game.

Love was followed straight out the door by Alex Foxen.

He got his last 1.625 million in with A♠6♠ and got all the way round to Maxime Chilaud in the big blind, who decided to flip with threes. 

The 9♠-6♣-4♦️ flop was great for Foxen, but Chilaud picked up outs when the 5♠ dropped on the turn. Less when you factor in Foxen’s flush draw. But the 2♣ river was the wrong shape of black and Foxen was out in 39th.

Chilaud the killer

Chilaud took the next player out as well – Roberto Romanello was his next victim. Jason Min raised under the gun with A♣-9♣. Chilaud called in the hijack with A❤️Q♦️ and Romanello popped it for his last 3.85 million with pocket jacks. The 3♣-Q❤️-4♦️-5♦️-K♦️ runout was not good for the Welshman, who got $132,500 for 38th.

Roberto Romanello WPT World Championship
Roberto Romanello picked up a nice pre-Christmas payout of $132,500

That left Chilaud as the chip leader with a stack of 24,700,000. He was followed closely by two Bens, Jacobs (23,400,000) and Heath (20,400,000).

WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage was very happy with how things were progressing and he expected the field to be thinned to 18 for Day 6. He might have been revising that as play slowed to a crawl for the next hour with a big pay jump of $27,000 on the players’ minds.

Ren Li picked up a big pot just before the break with quad aces: “just quads,” he joked as he dragged his new stack in. That was good for 20.8 million, the fourth biggest in the room.

Mounsey was back on top with 25,000,000 and by the end of Level 27 we were still at 33 players with three 90-minute levels left.

Last Foxen down

Then we lost another of our five to watch. It was Kristen Foxen who won the Foxen’s last longer, but she took home the same amount of money as Alex after missing out on the pay jump. She got her remaining 3.7 million in with A-7 from the cut-off only to run into Artur Martirosyan’s A-Q. Picking up a gutshot on the turn was as good as it got for Foxen.

Chris Moorman
Chris Moorman still in the hunt for the huge first prize

Chris Moorman was doing his bit to keep our picks alive. He took out end of Day 3 chip leader Naj Ajez in 24th spot with kings over tens. Ajez got $193,100. That’s over $30k more than Alex Jauregui got for his 25th-place finish.

Then a monster pot saw Maxime Chilaud take the chip lead. He came out on top of a massive hand with Mounsey. Strange things can happen between the button and the blinds, and huge stacks can be obliterated in an instant. Watch what happened below.

We got one more elimination before the final break of the day, and it gave us a big new chip leader. John Richards spiked a king on the turn with his A-K to send Jason Navarro’s queens to the rail in 23rd.

18 or under?

Savage had predicted it would end with a smooth 18 today, and with one level left, he was looking bang on the money. There was a big pay jump coming, though, worth over $40,000. That’s what the short stacks had their eyes on, and it saw play slow down again.

And then the dam burst. In the space of 30 minutes, we saw three players eliminated.

Eric Blair
Eric Blair was railed in 22nd place for a payday of $193,100

Ben Heath took out Eric Blair in 22nd, needing to spike a set on the turn to beat Balir’s A-Q. Then came the battle of the timebanks. First, it was Mounsey who just pushed all of his in the middle, hoping for a double-up or a pay jump. At the same time, Cedric Schwaederle was doing the same on the feature table. He had more time banked and managed to outlast Mounsey, but all for naught. Mounsey doubled with his decues, while Schwaederle watched Daniel Sepiol flop a set of eights to send his K-Q crashing out in 21st for $193,100. Ren Lin called for his one time, but it wasn’t granted, and he dropped in 20th.

Noel Rodriguez, Ardit Kurshumi and Andrei Boghea were the final eliminations of the day. It meant we ended the day with 16 players and two from our five to watch: Moorman and Mounsey. We’ll take that and move onto Day 6.

WPT World Championship final 16

  1. Ben Jacobs – 46,400,000 (77bb)
  2. Maxime Chilaud – 38,200,000 (64bb)
  3. Artur Martirosyan – 36,200,000 (60bb)
  4. Carl Shaw – 29,000,000 (48bb)
  5. Daniel Sepiol – 27,900,000 (47bb)
  6. John Richards – 26,400,000 (44bb)
  7. Georgios Sotiropoulos – 24,600,000 (41bb)
  8. Ben Heath – 22,300,000 (37bb)
  9. Chris Moorman – 21,200,000 (35bb)
  10. Andrew Lichtenberger – 19,500,000 (33bb)
  11. Jason Min – 19,200,000 (32bb)
  12. Henrique Zanetti – 17,300,000 (29bb)
  13. Ade Olonoh – 15,500,000 (26bb)
  14. Raphael Blouet – 15,400,000 (26bb)
  15. Mark Mounsey – 14,000,000 (23bb)
  16. Paulius Vaitiekunas – 10,000,000 (17bb)

Day 6 starts at noon on Wednesday, when the final 16 will play down to six. All of these six players will be guaranteed a seven-figure payday. You can catch all the big moments as they happen on PokerOrg Instant.