Viet Vo and Albert Calderon are at the same World Poker Tour final table for the second time in three months. The $3,700 buy-in WPT Choctaw tournament in Durant, Oklahoma began on Friday with 964 players and, following Monday’s session, is down to the final six, all hoping to get a piece of that $558,610 championship prize.
Vo will enter the final table, which begins at noon CST on Tuesday, with the chip lead at 97 big blinds (9,750,000). But every player remaining has a big enough stack to make some noise early on. The blinds will resume at 50,000/100,000 (100,000 big blind ante), and Michael Perrone is in last place with a respectable 2,225,000 chips (over 22 big blinds).
Competition near the top
Calderon will begin play at the final table second in chips at 8,425,000 (84 big blinds), not far off Vo’s pace. Dapo Ajayi is right behind him with 8,075,000, and is followed by Will Nguyen (6,225,000), and Hunter Cichy (4,200,000).
Cichy is the author of a poker strategy book titled “Advanced Concepts in No-Limit Hold’em: A Modern Approach to Poker Analysis,” which is available in paperback form on Amazon. The Minnesota native has just over $800,000 in live tournament cashes coming into the WPT Choctaw event, but just locked up his first World Poker Tour cash.
Terry Presley bubbled the final table on Day 3 and took home $91,010. Each remaining player is guaranteed a minimum $118,090 payout. But the massive scores will go to the winner ($558,610) and runner-up ($372,415). So, the players will be taking huge potential pay jumps into consideration when making decisions on Tuesday.
Getting over the hump
Vo and Calderon have a bit of history against each other. At the $3,500 buy-in WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in Hollywood, Florida back in April, they both reached the final table.
Calderon took fifth place for $326,750, while Vo finished in third place, good for $593,140. Brek Schutten ended up winning the 2,482-player tournament, the largest field in World Poker Tour history, for a whopping $1,261,095, one of the largest payouts ever in a WPT event priced under $10,000.
Two of the players from that final table are back at a final table, this time in Northern Oklahoma at the WPT Choctaw tournament. Although none of the players left have previously won a WPT tournament, there’s plenty of tournament experience and talent at the upcoming final table.
Dapo Ajayi came just one spot shy of the October 2019 WPT Montreal. He lost a heads-up battle against Geoffrey Hum and received $255,034 for second place. Will Nguyen, Hunter Cichy, and Michael Perrone have a combined three previous World Poker Tour cashes for a combined $20,000, and zero final table appearances.
Vo and Calderon, given their chip stacks and past WPT final table experience, are clearly the favorites. But anything can happen when the cards are in the air.
Exactly one month after the WPT Choctaw concludes on Tuesday, the World Poker Tour will head to Jacksonville, Florida for the Bestbet Scramble August 27-31, a $5,000 buy-in tournament. This year’s Bestbet Scramble will differ from year’s past. Players should be aware the tournament won’t have bounties in play and instead will be of the traditional format.
Featured image source: World Poker Tour