Days 3 and 4 played down to the final six at WPT Gardens Poker Championship

Mo Afdhal
Posted on: May 25, 2023 08:00 PDT

Day 3 at the World Poker Tour Gardens Poker Championship began yesterday with only 22 players remaining, each guaranteed $13,420 for their efforts.

Enrique Malfavon

Ky Nguyen, perhaps better known as Suited Superman, came into the day as the chip leader with 1,750,000. It didn't take long before players began to bust out as the short stacks had to either double up or move along.

Hathi Hosseini was the first casualty of the day when her king-high holding failed to improve against the ace-high holding of her opponent in a blind vs. blind confrontation.

As players continued to fall, visions of the final table inched closer to reality. Chris Lee scored a double knockout mid-way through the day when his pocket queens held in a three-way all-in scenario against Peter Mugar's pocket sevens and the ace-king of Jeremy Eyer.

WPT's own Brad Owen scores massive double up

Enrique Malfavon

As players continued to fall, visions of the final table inched closer. For WPT Ambassador Brad Owen, the quest for a first WPT Main Event final table appearance took a major turn in the right direction.

In a 4-bet all-in showdown, Owen's ace-king offsuit managed to outdraw Travis Egbert, who had the same holding. The wild hand saw Owen make a king-high flush on a four-diamond board to score a massive double up late in the tournament.

After suffering that brutal runout, Egbert had only only fifteen big blinds and soon found himself eliminated in 10th place to bring the field down to nine remaining players. Tournament staff then paused play to re-draw for the unofficial final table.

Calvin Lee failed to hold on when he moved all-in with pocket threes and went up against Ryan Salunga's ace-four suited. A four on the river spelled the end for Lee and, just like that, the field was down to eight.

For a moment, it looked like the final six combatants would emerge without the need for a Day 4, but after five 90-minute levels of play, still eight hopefuls remained.

Day 4 plays down to final six

Day 4 action resumed today at 12:00 pm local time with the remaining eight players all hoping to make the final six. Ryan Salunga began the day with a sizable chip lead over the rest of the field, but Chris Lee was not far behind him.

Enrique Malfavon

With only two eliminations left before the final six, it took less than an hour of play for the final bust-outs to come.

Funnily enough, Brad Owen managed to score both knockouts on Day 4, with one of them coming via his signature "pocket jiggities". In a classic coin flip situation, Owen's pocket jacks held up against the ace-king of Steve Spunt.

Thomas Choi fell next after moving all-in from under the gun with ace-king. Owen called in the small blind with the ace-seven. The familiar adage of "always coming seven" held true as Owen connected with the flop, pairing his side card. Choi's holding failed to outdraw Owen on the turn and river. Owen had kind words for Choi after the elimination. “Tom played so well, he should be really happy with himself. To be down to one big blind when we had 14 players, for him to make it this far says a lot about his resilience.”

The final six players will reconvene on May 27th at the Hyper X Arena in Las Vegas to play down to a winner.

The chip counts for the final six are as follows:

  1. Ryan Salunga - 7,275,000
  2. Chris Lee - 3,975,000
  3. Brad Owen - 3,350,000
  4. Ky Nguyen - 1,700,000
  5. Joey Deluca - 875,000
  6. Joshua Lachman - 225,000

With the official final table set, play at The Gardens Casino concluded just in time for everyone to tune in to the live-stream of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown final table.