The 2023 WPT World Championship is getting bigger. It’s still not a lock to hit the $40 million guarantee, but everyone in the media room at the Wynn is fairly certain there won’t be an overlay come the end of the day tomorrow.
We predicted 1,000 players today, and we ended up with 973, which makes for a running total of 2,312 across the first three Day 1 flights. Day 1D was always going to be the biggest, and the magic number to avoid an overlay is now set at 1,770.
That means you can expect a monster day tomorrow, with the WPT looking for almost double the number from today, which itself was the biggest of all three opening flights. If you’re playing, get down early or expect a big queue.
Will Hellmuth be back?
Phil Hellmuth played today but couldn’t summon up any white magic. He’ll get another chance tomorrow, and we can’t see him not firing another bullet. Other old-school legends fired today, like Phil Laak, Mike Matusow, and Joe Hachem. Maria Ho, Chris Moorman, Martin Kabrhel, and Bryn Kenney also took their shot.
We ended up with a few familiar names at the top of the chip counts and over the magical one million chip mark.
Hossein Ensan might not be the biggest household name, but he won EPT Prague in 2015 and joined the exclusive eight-figure club when he won the 2019 WSOP Main Event for a cool $10,000,000. He might not beat that if he wins the 2023 WPT World Championship, but it would give him a trifecta of major title wins that we’d bet on never being repeated. Ensan finished with the third-biggest stack today of 1,100,000.
Chance Kornuth bust in the very first level on Day 1B, but his aggro approach to the tournament paid off in spades today. He ended with a shade more than Ensan with 1,130,000.
Ho, Ho, Ho…
Out on top, though, is Kyle Ho, who ended the day with a monster pot against Ren Lin.
With the board reading K-4-2-K-A, Lin bet 275,000 on the river, which sent Ho into the tank for around three minutes before Lin called the clock on him. Ho called fairly quickly after that and tabled nines, which were good against Lin’s J-9.
“Good call,” said Lin as he faced bagging for the night with a severely depleted, but still very healthy, 80bb stack. Ho bagged 1,211,000 and will sleep soundly tonight, knowing he has a day off before resuming battle on Saturday.