Jonathan Little Bags Day 2 Chip Lead in Quest of Record-Tying Third WPT Title

May 21, 2018

Jonathan Little

Day 2 of the Season XVI WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic has concluded with two-time WPT Champions Club member Jonathan Little (pictured) bagging the chip lead with 763,000 after five 90-minutes levels of play.

After Day 1 saw 150 players take to the felt, an additional 12 would take advantage of late registration to take their seats at the start of play. Two-time WPT Champions Club member Sam Panzica, WPT Raw Deal host Phil Hellmuth, Brandon Adams, Keith Tilston, Eli Berg, Ben Yu, Sean Winter, Jhonny Diaz, and Sam Soverel all took a seat for the first time, while Cary Katz, John Hennigan, and Larry Wright were opting for a second bullet.

As players jostled for position on the leaderboard, many found their way to the rail as the tournament quickly approached the Action Clock period one table off the money bubble. Then, play hit a halt as the money bubble loomed. Players were given an option to play through until the bubble burst, but after an anonymous vote yielded objections, the standard draw for hands was conducted and play continued for five more hands.

Unfortunately for Darryll Fish, on the penultimate hand at his table, he would earn the moniker of WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic “bubble boy” after he was all in holding the Club KClub 8 against Day 1 chip leader Kevin Eyster’s Club ADiamond Q on a board reading Heart 8Diamond ADiamond 8Club 6. For Fish, he would see the devastating Spade A complete the board on the river to fall in 22nd place and leave the remaining players guaranteed a $19,990 payday. The next hand would see Terry Fleischer eliminated in 21st place, and just 20 players would bag their chips to head into Day 2.

WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic Day 2 Top 10

1. Jonathan Little – 763,000
2. Stephen Chidwick – 576,500
3. Sam Panzica – 411,500
4. Bryan Piccioli – 395,000
5. Joe McKeehen – 332,500
6. Kevin Eyster – 259,000
7. John Krpan – 230,000
8. Ralph Perry – 226,000
9. Dietrich Fast – 225,000
10. Rex Clinkscales – 222,000

Day 1 saw one two-time WPT champion bag the chip lead, and on Day 2 it would be another as Little emerged as the overall leader looking for his record-tying third World Poker Tour title.

Little won the Season VI WPT Mirage Poker Showdown for $1.091 million and the Season VII WPT Foxwoods World Poker Finals for $1.12 million. In those two events, Little topped fields of 309 and 412 entries, respectively. Should Little emerge victorious in the inaugural WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic, he would join the likes of Carlos Mortensen, Gus Hansen, Anthony Zinno, Chino Rheem, and Darren Elias who all have three WPT titles. Interestingly enough, Elias is also through to Day 3 and could set a new record as the first player with four WPT titles. He’s a bit off the pace, though, with 135,500 in chips heading into Day 3.

For Little, the biggest pot of the day came when he eliminated Andrew Lichtenberger in 23rd place. All the chips went in on a board of Spade 4Heart 3Spade 10Heart 9, and it was Little holding the Heart 10Club 10 against Lichtenberger’s Club JDiamond J. There was no jack on the river to save Lichtenberger, and with that pot, Little soared into the chip lead with 620,000 at the time. Little dropped some chips to Tim Reilly before winning another big hand late against him when he turned a straight holding the Club 10Club 9. That inevitably sent Little to the end-of-day chip lead with 763,000.

In addition to Little, Panzica and Eyster are the other two-time champions left in the field with a chance at a record-tying third WPT title.

First place is set at $387,580, including the final automatic $15,000 seat to the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions. Plus, the winner will walk away with 1,000 points in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race, with second worth 800 points. Joe McKeehen, who finished Day 2 fifth in chips, is 800 points behind Art Papazyan, the current Hublot WPT Player of the Year frontrunner. If McKeehen wins, he would pass Papazyan and grab Hublot WPT Player of the Year honors for Season XVI. If McKeehen finishes second, he’ll tie Papazyan with 2,450 points in the race, but Papazyan will hold the tiebreaker with most money won.

Elsewhere on the leaderboard are WPT Champions Club members Dietrich Fast (225,000) and Jared Jaffee (103,500).

Day 2 of the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic starts at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday with the goal to play down until the final table of six is reached.

Stay tuned to for continued coverage of the World Poker Tour.

Photography by Joe Giron /

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