Yunkyu Song tops 32 remaining players to Day 3 of WPT Rolling Thunder

Paul Oresteen
Posted on: March 25, 2024 19:15 PDT

Day 2 of the $3,500 World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder Main Event returned 171 players from 376 Day 1 entrants and picked up another 91 entrants in the first two levels of play for 458 total entries. Following ten levels of play, Yunkyu Song leads the field of 32 advancing players with a stack of two million.

“I was pretty lucky today and ran it up,” Song said after he bagged. “I made a really bad call yesterday at the end of play with a set of aces against four spades last night. I came back short with just 67,000.”

“I’ll hopefully be able to sleep tonight. I was up late last night because I was so excited, so I might show up sleep deprived,” he added. “It's more chips for me to punt tomorrow.”

In the money finishers

Qualifiers Casey Sandretto and Jared Hemingway, and WPT Champions Club member Michael Kinney finished in the top ten chip counts.


Other WPT Champions club members remaining include: Nam Le, Harrison Gimbel, Soheb Porbandarwaia and 2023 WPT World Champion Dan Sepiol. Stephen Song, Brock Wilson, and Ben Ludlow also return to Day 3.

The field had a long march to the money bubble – not hitting hand-for-hand play until returning from the last break of the day. That’s also when the action clock came into play – players have five time extension chips and receive more incrementally.

Levine does ClubWPT proud

ClubWPT qualifier Gail Levine earned her first WPT cash in 34th place for $8,200. She got short and stuck her last bit all in from the small blind with 9-Ts, but unfortunately ran into pocket aces.

“I had so much fun and had a great time today,” Levine said. “I was just so card dead today, but told myself I was going to have a good time, no matter what.” Her husband Bob rooted her on all day and they’re headed to Napa after this to celebrate his birthday.


Ryan Riess had 40,000 on the bubble, with blinds at 5,000/10,000/10,000 ante, successfully survived his blinds and painfully watched as the button came back around without an elimination. He had 16,000 and watched two other players go back and forth on a hand and ultimately held jack-high and was eliminated.

Brian Altman, Bin Weng, David “ODB” Baker, JC Tran, Maria Ho, Michael Wang, Brett Murray and Jesse Lonis took to the felt for Day 2 but were eliminated short of the money.

Odds and ends

The field generated a prize pool of $1.46 million for the top 58 finishers with the min-cash coming in at $6,400. A trip to the final table locks up $35,500 and the winner earns $296,600 and a seat in the 2024 WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas.

Day 3 resumes at 11:00 am with the goal of the field playing down the final six players. Then on Tuesday, they play down to a winner on a live streamed final table.

Top Ten Chip Counts

  1. Yunkyu Song - 2,010,000
  2. Casey Sandretto - 1,895,000
  3. Jared Hemingway - 1,585,000
  4. Andrew Ostapchenko - 1,235,000
  5. Mitchell Halverson - 1,210,000
  6. Michael Kinney - 1,035,000
  7. Matthew Widdoes - 1,000,000
  8. Thomas Zanot - 955,000
  9. Eider Da Cruz - 740,000
  10. Stephen Song - 730,000

All photos courtesy of WPT - Drew Amato.