Rayo Kniep leads Day 3 of the WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event

Rayo Kniep smiles as he collects a pot in tournament poker
Terrance Reid
Posted on: April 3, 2023 03:49 PDT

Two days of play remain before a new name is added to the Mike Sexton cup here in Northern California. Yesterday, moving day saw the field whittled down to just 44 players left in contention at the WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event at the Thunder Valley Resort Casino .

Leading the field is Andreas "Rayo" Kniep with 2,370,000 chips, good for 158 big blinds, and a decent lead over his closest challenger. A couple of days ago, Kniep showed part of his intense tournament preparation routine on Twitter.

Jokes aside, Kniep was dominant on Day 2 and looks to continue that success heading into the penultimate day today. A win, worth $361,660, would be the largest cash of his live career according to Hendon Mob.

WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event top 10 chip counts

Place Player Chip counts Big blinds
1 Rayo Kniep 2,370,000 158
2 Albert Tapia 1,830,000 122
3 Chuc Nguyen 1,800,000 120
4 Dann Turner 1,690,000 113
5 Tsz Shiraz 1,275,000 85
6 Jeremy Joseph 1,155,000 77
7 Zachary McDiarmid 1,075,000 72
8 Tony Dunst 905,000 60
9 Henry Acain 875,000 58
10 Scott Eskenazi 860,000 57

Wpt Ambassador and WPT Champions Club member Tony Dunst finds himself still in the hunt. Sitting in eighth place with 60 big blinds, Dunst looks prime to make another deep WPT run.

WPT Rolling Thunder Season 21
Joe Giron/www.pokerphotoarchive.

Working with a sub-20 big blind stack, legend of the game David "ODB" Baker looks to spin it up on Day 3. Baker won his WPT title at the WPT L.A. Poker Classic back in 2019. Landing on the Mike Sexton cup multiple times is something only a few people have done; Baker and Dunst look to enter that elite group.

WPT Rolling Thunder Season 21
Joe Giron/www.pokerphotoarchive.

Today's action

The players will return to level 19 with blinds of 10,000/15,000 and a 15,000 ante. With 44 players back in the mix starting at 12 pm local time, the plan is to play as many one-hour levels as it takes to reach the six-handed final table. It may be a long day, but six will emerge from the field for the live-streamed final table tomorrow.

You can follow WPT's live updates here for hand histories and up-to-the-minute action.

Photo credit: WPT/Joe Giron