The WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown is on to Day 3 after a record-setting weekend that saw 2,482 players enter the $3,500 buy-in event. Not only did the World Poker Tour surpass its $2 million guarantee, it smashed it.
The prize pool after two Day 1 starting flights nearly hit the $8 million mark. In the process, the event set a record for the most entries in a World Poker Tour event. The previous record was set in May 2020 in the WPT Online Championship when 2,130 players competed in the online poker tournament.
When the Seminole Poker Showdown concludes, the champion will take home more than $1.2 million. But that won’t happen until May 18. On April 27, the tournament will play down to the final six players. Those six individuals will hold off for a few weeks and then travel from South Florida to Las Vegas for the final table, which will be held at the PokerGO Studio on the Las Vegas Strip. The Fox Sports TV crew will be on hand to record the final table.
There is a chance that the lead WPT commentator on Fox Sports won’t be available to announce this event, however. That is because Tony Dunst is among those still standing in the tournament. If he were to reach the final table, the WPT would use a replacement announcer. That happened in 2016 when the late Mike Sexton, the lead announcer at the time, was competing in the WPT Montreal, an event he ended up winning. Sexton was replaced in the booth by Dunst, who would later replace him permanently after Sexton resigned.
Dunst’s stack was at risk late on Day 2, but he got his money in good with pocket fives against pocket fours. The flop was a dandy for the WPT commentator. It came out 6-5-5, giving Dunst quads, and leaving his opponent drawing dead. He advanced to Day 3 with around 420,000 chips, which is a bit below the average stack.
Oulmakki tops all
At the end of Day 2, which concluded around 1 in the morning, Salim Oulmakki had the biggest stack with 2,930,000 chips. He had a sizable lead over his nearest competitor, Mike Liang, who bagged 2,330,600 chips. Only 120 players advanced to Day 3, which begins at 11 am ET on Monday from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Each of the remaining players is guaranteed at least $9,295. But everyone left in the field is chasing the $1,261,095 1st place prize. By the end of Monday’s session, there will only be a few tables remaining of what was a massive field over the weekend.
During Sunday’s 12-hour session, seven former World Poker Tour champions busted but finished in the money. That includes Milan Stefanov (302nd place for $6,195), Ravi Raghavan (294th place for $6,195), Erkut Yilmaz (257th place for $6,355) Nitis Udornpim (239th place for $6,675), Jared Jaffee (213th place for $6,830), Dylan Wilkerson (180th place for $7,225), and Dylan Linde (144th place for $8,180).
Blair Hinkle, Tim Reilly, Barry Hutter, and Christian Harder were among those who advanced to Day 3.
Featured image source: Twitter