By Donnie Peters
Day 3 of the Season XVII WPT Choctaw Championship is in the books and the event’s final table is set. Leading the way is Brady Holiman with 10.84 million, as Anthony Zinno (pictured) goes for his record-tying fourth World Poker Tour title.
Holiman and Zinno are joined at the final table by Timothy Domboski, Viet Vo, Christopher Smith, and Zinno’s fellow WPT Champions Club member Tony Ruberto.
WPT Choctaw Final Table
Seat 1: Brady Holiman – 10,840,000
Seat 2: Christopher Smith – 4,495,000
Seat 3: Timothy Domboski – 5,300,000
Seat 4: Tony Ruberto – 2,675,000
Seat 5: Anthony Zinno – 2,245,000
Seat 6: Viet Vo – 4,770,000
Holiman applied continuous pressure throughout the later stages of Day 3. His aggressiveness allowed him to secure a wide gap over the rest of the field, and he’s more than double the chip stack of anyone else. Domboski is closest to Holiman with 5.3 million.
Entering the WPT Choctaw Championship, Holiman had nearly $42,000 in live tournament earnings. Already guaranteed more than $95,000, he’s set to earn by far the largest live tournament score of his career. Holiman, a Texan, is making his first World Poker Tour cash.
For Zinno, he is the shortest stack returning with 2.245 million, but his experience and success are without question. Zinno is making his 22nd cash and boasts more than $2.64 million in earnings on the WPT Main Tour. He has three WPT titles to his name, to go along with his Hublot WPT Player of the Year award, and a victory would tie Zinno with Darren Elias for the most World Poker Tour titles in history at four.
Ruberto is the other WPT champion to reach the final table. After winning the Season X WPT bestbet Jacksonville event, Ruberto is in line for his second WPT title. Like Zinno, Ruberto will have to come from the bottom of the pack to claim victory, as he has 2.675 million in chips. Ruberto entered Day 3 as the chip leader atop the final 31 players and will now be in fifth position heading into the final six.
Of Domboski, Vo, and Smith, Vo is the most accomplished player with more than $1 million in live tournament earnings. In this Season XVII WPT Choctaw Championship, Vo was the Day 1a chip leader.
Day 3 saw notable players Men Nguyen (11th), Joseph Elpayaa (12th), Jeff Banghart (13th), Alice Zheng (16th), Ben Mintz (19th), Bryan Piccioli (22nd), and Nick Pupillo (30th) all hit the rail. For Nguyen, his run came after he opened Season XVII of the WPT Main Tour with a third-place finish in the WPT Gardens Poker Festival Main Event. Through two events, Nguyen sits second in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race with 1,100 points.
The final player to bust on Day 3 was Jacob Haller. With a stack of less than 10 big blinds, Haller called all in for 930,000 from the big blind after Ruberto shoved all in from the button. Ruberto had the against the for Haller. The board ran out to bust Haller in seventh place.
The final six players will return on Tuesday, August 7, to play for the $469,185 first-place prize. Those six are guaranteed at least $95,780, and action will resume at 12 p.m. local time at Choctaw Casino & Resort.
Stay tuned for more coverage of the World Poker Tour, as the WPT looks to crown its second champion of Season XVII.
Photography by Joe Giron / PokerPhotoArchive.com
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