The returning field of 54 played deep into the money on Day 3 at the WPT Gardens Poker Festival on Tuesday. Eric Hicks became the first player to surpass three million in chips when he busted the final WPT Champions Club member in the field James Calderaro in 12th place on the final hand of play. Hicks bagged up 3,060,000 after the hand, and we caught up with him right after he handed his bag over to the dealer.
“Yeah man, it was a crazy ride. I came in with about 500,000, and then I went down to 300,000, but it was pretty consistently up from there. My idea is to get a good stack from the beginning so that I can take all the short stack all ins. I had an easy day accumulating chips, I took my shots early today, so I broke a million mid-day, and once I broke a million it was pretty cozy from there,” said Hicks about his journey through Day 3.
“From the beginning I just wanted to final table this thing, that’s my goal. I never thought about winning anything like this, but the BMW has me thinking about it, because I would just love to throw the money in the car and just drive off with it. My goal throughout this thing has just been to make the final table, so I try to keep my expectations on that. I’m pretty happy, and whenever I go deep in anything I’m thankful, I’m thankful for all of this. Being the chip leader for a second when I’m not one of these professional players, this means a lot to me,” said Hicks.
Laszlo Molnar is a distant second with 2,235,000, and rounding out the top three is Roger Teska, who is the only other player to bag up more than two million. All three of these players surprisingly all ended the night seated together at the same table.
Maria Ho will be looking to add to her impressive poker resume tomorrow, and continues her drive to the final table after bagging up a stack 1,070,000. If she can make the final six, Maria will have a chance to add a WPT Main Tour title to the WPTDeepStacks title she already owns on Thursday.
Cord Garcia also survived with a stack of 735,000, and he likely will have an eye on the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race points available considering that he has made some bets on the race. He is currently guaranteed at least 100 points, but he could claim as many as 1,000 at the final table. Garcia also likely has an eye on the BMW that will go to the winner considering that he tweeted out earlier today that he doesn’t have a car, and would certainly like to win a new ride.
The money bubble burst around 2 p.m. this afternoon, and WPT Champions Club members that joined Calderaro in the money today included Viny Lima (15th), Adam Weinraub (19th), Daniel Strelitz (33rd), and Jared Jaffee (34th).
The full list of chip counts can be found here. You can also see the full list of players that finished in the money today here.
Day 4 will be starting at 12 p.m. local time and the Action Clock will be in play from the start. All remaining players have six time chips, and will be reset to eight upon reaching the final table.
As always, stay tuned to WPT.com for complete coverage of the World Poker Tour.
Photography by Joe Giron / PokerPhotoArchive.com
Looking to win your way to a World Poker Tour event for your shot at becoming a WPT champion? Play for your chance on ClubWPT.com, where eligible VIP Members can play for over $100,000 in cash and prizes each month, including seats to WPT events, no purchase necessary