Eli Elezra heads final five in battle for PPC win, Chip Reese trophy

Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: November 05, 2021 07:48 PDT

Four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Eli Elezra heads five players returning to Friday's live-streamed finale in Day 5 of Event #60 of the 2021 WSOP, the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. After an abbreviated Day 4 on Wednesday and a complete off day on Thursday, which allowed for opening-day festivities in the Main Event, the PPC wraps up its own chase for the Chip Reese trophy.

Besides the Main Event itself, the PPC is probably the most desired WSOP tournament to win among the game's top pros. And in what's at least a mild upset, this year's winner won't be Michael Mizrachi, who's won the PPC three different times over its past ten occurrences. Instead, Elezra returns to the live-streamed finale with a narrow edge over Paul Volpe and Chris Brewer.

Volpe is a three-time bracelet winner himself, while Brewer is a relative newcomer to the live WSOP scene. Brewer has already guaranteed himself his first live WSOP cash and his largest overall WSOP payday. Elezra, Volpe, and Brewer are tightly bunched at the top, with Daniel "Jungleman" Cates not far back and Ryan Leng also still in the hunt.

Long-time online star Cates is still searching for his first WSOP bracelet, while three-time bracelet winner Leng has been one of the hottest players at this year's series. That includes a win in Event #40, the $1,500 Eight-Game Mix 6-Handed, an event not dissimilar to the PPC. The PPC is a nine-game mixed event, offering largely the same variety of poker variants.

Despite the heavy star power on hand for Friday's Day 5 conclusion, the finale could've been even more loaded. Day 4 began with 10 players, with Mike Wattel, Daniel Negreanu, Nick Schulman, Matt Glantz, and Josh Arieh busting out in spots ten through six. With the exception of Glantz (who's still a feared player), everyone who busted on Day 4 before the PokerGO live-stream lineup finalized is also a multiple-bracelet winner.

Besides the poker-world renown that goes with taking down the PPC, there's a big payday at stake as well. Friday's winner takes home a $954,020 payday, while all five finalists are already guaranteed $211,235 each. This is the first time in several years that the PPC winner won't take home at least a million dollars, a fact attributable to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The PPC still attracted 66 elite entrants and built a $3,016,125 prize pool.

Here are the chip counts for the five players who will battle for the Chip Reese trophy later today:

  1. Eli Elezra - 4,620,000
  2. Paul Volpe - 4,360,000
  3. Chris Brewer - 4,325,000
  4. Daniel Cates - 3,875,000
  5. Ryan Leng - 1,625,000

Featured image source: Haley Hintze