Postponed WPT Gardens Poker Championship final table finally has a restart date

Jon Sofen
Published by:
Posted on 10/21/2020

The World Poker Tour finally has a start date for its postponed Gardens Poker Championship. Chance Kornuth, who reached the final table, said on Twitter he received the call from the WPT to be in Las Vegas on December 3 to compete.

Three WPT events from around the country were scheduled to conclude with the final table in Las Vegas at the Luxor’s HyperX Esports Arena in early April. But the coronavirus forced the World Poker Tour to postpone the events, leaving the players hanging.

It now appears the WPT is ready to soon restart the events. Kornuth’s tweet indicates the final tables will take place at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas instead of at the Luxor. They will be streamed live on the PokerGO app.

The Gardens Poker Championship, which began at the Gardens Casino in Los Angeles way back in January, isn’t the only WPT Season XVIII final table still hanging in the balance. Six players in the L.A. Poker Classic and Borgata Winter Poker Open are also waiting to compete for a World Poker Tour Title. No date has been officially announced for those two events, however, but it’s likely they’ll be scheduled around the same time as the Gardens Poker Championship.

What’s at stake?

The $10,000 buy-in Gardens Poker Championship is one of the most prestigious events on the World Poker Tour schedule. Six players — including Kornuth — are all vying for the $554,495 1st place prize. Each remaining participant has already been paid $111,795, the payout for 6th place.

Kornuth is the highest profile player left in the field, and he also holds the chip lead entering the final table (2,995,000). Markus Gonsalvez is in 2nd place (2,370,000), followed by Tuan Phan (2,070,000), Jonathan Cohen (1,615,000), Qing Liu (795,000), and Straton Wilhelm (435,000).

These players have been waiting for quite some time — the tournament played down to the final table on January 13 — to finish it off. They’ll finally get their wish on December 3. None of the players at the final table have ever won a WPT title, so we’ll soon have a new member in the World Poker Tour’s Champion’s Club.

Kornuth has another major poker competition on his plate. He’s currently competing in the Galfond Challenge — a high-stakes pot-limit Omaha online poker battle against Phil Galfond.

WPT Player of the Year Update

COVID-19 put a halt on the 2019-2020 WPT season, forcing the cancelation of a few events and the postponement of three final tables and the WPT Tournament of Champions. One other issue still left to settle is the season’s Player of the Year, although that winner is a virtual lock.

Brian Altman currently leads the Season XVIII POY race with 2,100 points, 400 more than Eric Afriat (2nd place). When the Borgata Winter Poker Open finally concludes, he’ll tack on additional points to that lead.

Altman reached the Borgata final table in New Jersey back on January 30, but has since been waiting to play it out. He’s guaranteed at least another 800 POY points, and would receive 1,400 points if he wins the tournament. The two-time WPT champion enters the final table with 9,865,000 chips, good for 3rd out of six. Veerab Zakarian leads the way with 11,990,000 chips. The winner of this $3,500 tournament is set to receive $674,840.

Featured image source: Flick