It’s time–the moment we’ve all been waiting for. In just a few short hours, the World Poker Tour’s World Championship final table kicks off with just six players remaining from the field of 3,835 entrants. Each of them has locked up a seven-figure score–$1,207,000 to be exact–but there’s still millions more to play for.
Here’s a quick look at the players still in the hunt for the World Championship title and the $5,678,000 first place prize.
Andrew ‘LuckyChewy’ Lichtenberger
Andrew Lichtenberger enters the final table today as the overwhelming chip leader with 148,200,000 chips, good for 124 big blinds. Day 6 play saw Lichtenberger catch fire, picking up strong starting hands in big spots. The sun run–along with his wealth of experience and knowledge in multi-table tournaments–took Lichtenberger all the way to the top spot in the chip counts and he now enters the final frame of play with a massive advantage.
Lichtenberger, or ‘LuckyChewy’ as he’s known online, took the poker world by storm back in 2009 with an impressive showing at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, which included a deep run in the Main Event. In 2010, Lichtenberger followed up on his strong summer with a victory at the WSOP Circuit Main Event Championship, making one thing painfully obvious to the poker world: he was here to stay.
And stay he did. Over the course of the next decade or so, Lichtenberger went to work, amassing over $17,000,000 in live tournament earnings. Recently, Lichtenberger has become a fixture in the PokerGO Studio, one of many Las Vegas-based professionals that consider the venue their “office”.
“Chewy” @luckychewy has a massive chip lead heading into the Final SIX of the $10,000 Main Event with $5,678,000 for FIRST :sweat_smile::flushed:— Poker Org (@pokerorg) December 21, 2023
It will be on @WPT’s YouTube tomorrow December 21st at 4pm PST pic.twitter.com/qFIExeXaHg
Chris Moorman takes the second largest stack into the final table with 88,300,000 (74 big blinds) chips.
Moorman, the all-time leader in online tournament earnings, has probably played the most hands of poker out of any of the players at this final table. His experience, both online and live, should serve Moorman well through today’s navigations.
Moorman’s run through the World Championship saw him amass a big stack on Day 3 to place him towards the top of the counts. Then, a key double on Day 5 set him on course for the deep run.
Moorman’s run in the WPT World Championship, regardless of how he finishes today, will represent the largest score in his storied career. It’s been a long time since Moorman has made a deep run like this in a live event, but that won’t stop him from making the best decisions he can as play draws near to a winner.
Georgios Sotiropoulos, a professional hailing from Athens, Greece, comes into the final table smack dab in the middle of the pack with 46,200,000 chips. Sotiropoulos finds himself in a tough spot as half of the remaining players are on shorter stacks, meaning he’ll be somewhat handcuffed in his hand selection as he tries to outlast the others for the pay jumps.
Sotiropoulos isn’t the most well-known player at this final table, but don’t count him out on that basis alone. The Greek professional has three WSOP bracelets to his name, the most notable of which came in the 2021 Mini Main Event.
The sixth place money already locked up represents a new highpoint in Sotiropoulos’ career, leapfrogging his previous best cash of $959,245.
Ben Heath, one of the United Kingdom’s finest super high roller exports, enters the final table in the middle of the pack. His 36,700,000 chips give him 31 big blinds to work with, but, like Sotiropoulos, he may find himself without much wiggle room as the pay jumps loom larger and larger.
Heath typically plays tournaments with buy-ins well above the $10,000 needed for entry into this event and isn’t as used to the long grind of a six to seven day tournament. Despite that, Heath should feel relatively comfortable at the final table as several of the other players, Lichtenberger and Martirosian in particular, are familiar to him from the high roller scene.
No matter where Heath finishes, he’s guaranteed to break the $20,000,000 mark for live tournament earnings.
Dan Sepiol knows exactly what it’s like to make a deep run in the WPT World Championship–he did it last year. Sepiol’s 2022 run ended in heartbreak, losing a massive chip-lead pot to eventual runner-up Benny Glaser with less than a hundred players left, but all that pain could wash away today.
Sepiol finds himself on the bottom end of the chip counts, with 34,300,000 (29 big blinds) in chips, but he’s far from out of the running.
The resolve, skill, and luck a player needs to make just one deep run in a World Championship Event is hard to fathom. To make two deep runs is nearly unimaginable and proves Sepiol has that x-factor in these massive, open-field events.
Sepiol’s cash in the 2022 World Championship marked his previous high score in live tournaments, but this year’s run has absolutely demolished that milestone and still offers the possibility to outdo himself even further.
Artur Martirosian, the youngest player at the final table, has a shot at making history today. If the Russian professional finds a way to take his short stack to glory, he’ll join the ranks of one of poker’s most prestigious clubs: the Triple Crown winners. The Triple Crown in poker consists of a WSOP bracelet, an EPT Main Event title, and a WPT Championship Event. If Martirosian pulls off the win, he’ll become only the tenth player in history to lay claim to the Triple Crown.
Day 6 proved a tough run for the Russian, but his resilience held through the challenge and he managed to squeak his way into the final table. His 29,400,000 chips, good for 25 big blinds, may be the shortest stack at the final table, but don’t count him out just yet. Martirosian’s career began in the online streets, but in the last few years he’s branched out into the live realm–with great success already.
You can follow all the big moments and watch the live stream of the final table from 4pm today on PokerOrg Instant.