Heng Zhang leads local-heavy WPT bestbet Scramble final table

Paul Oresteen
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Posted on: November 13, 2023 10:31 pm EST

Day 3 of the $5,000 World Poker Tour bestbet Scramble returned 17 players to action and play didn’t stop until the field was trimmed to a TV-ready final table of six players. Leading the field is one of bestbet’s top cash players Heng Zhang after finishing the day with 5.7 million.

On his heels is Frederic Normand with 5 million and he’s the lone Canadian in an otherwise local-heavy final table. Michael Frierson sits third in chips after satelliting in for only $120 and already locked up his career-best cash.

Local players dominate final table

“I’m still going to play one hand at a time,” Zhang said. “I’m not really thinking about it too much. Tournaments can change in a short period of time, so I’m not trying to force anything. I just want to play my game.”

“I came in today and lost a third of my stack and then I doubled up with queens against jacks,” Zheng added. “I feel like a lot of players play way better than me and tournaments have a lot of luck involved. I tried to improve my tournament game since I’m most a PLO cash player. I might play ten tournaments a year.”

Frierson moved up the counts and hit a dramatic double up with pocket sixes against ace queen to move up the counts. “It seemed like I had the right stack to just jam it in,” he said. “He called, my sixes held and I’m super happy.

“I caught a couple hands after that and knocked a guy out with jacks versus tens,” said Frierson. “Everything seems to be going my way, so I’m pretty stoked and excited.”

The bottom half of the counts have Toby Boas (1.9 million), Ian O’Hara (1.05 million) and Brian Senie (995,000). Boas’ original home casino was bestbet Jacksonville before he relocated to mountains.

Toby Boas hitting his card to stay alive. Photo c/o WPT

“I got very lucky in two big hands back-to-back and that’s the reason I’m here,” Boas said. “I shoved 15 big blinds with ace five offsuit and got lucky against pocket tens. The very next hand I shoved tens against aces and hit a ten. You have to get those big spots to go deep I guess.”

“The staff is great and I know everybody here,” he said. “I feel welcome here; it’s easy for me to play my best here.”

Main Event action

We took a snapshot of the action with 15 players remaining between chip leaders and short stacks as they faced a pay jump. See how Manuel Fritz laddered up with less than half a big blind.

Carlos Guerrero (17th) was the first player eliminated on Monday with Fritz (14th), Farhad Jamasi (12th) and Tom Wheaton (11th) next out. Day 2 chip leader Gege Gocaj narrowly missed the final table in ninth place.

Each player has $70,400 locked up when they return Tuesday at 2:00pm ET. The live stream will be on a 30-mintue delay, six-figure payouts start at fourth place and the winner earns $351,650 plus a seat to the WPT Championship at Wynn Las Vegas in December.

Final Table Chip Counts

  1. Heng Zhang – 5,780,000
  2. Frederic Normand – 5,000,000
  3. Michael Frierson – 3,460,000
  4. Toby Boas – 1,960,000
  5. Ian O’Hara – 1,055,000
  6. Brian Senie – 995,000