The journey to find the next World Poker Tour champion is down to its final leg, with the Season XVI WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship final table set on Thursday night. Leading the way into Friday’s finale is Matt Parry (pictured) with a stack of 9.11 million.
Parry’s stack put him more than 2.1 million ahead of Gregory Weber’s 6.99 million, and this is his first WPT final table, televised or not. Parry is making his third World Poker Tour cash with this result and will move to more than $1 million in live tournament earnings if he survives past one bustout on Friday, which is very likely to happen.
En route to his final table chip lead, Parry busted three players on Day 4. He first busted Jason Gooch in 17th place, and then he finished Josh Kay in 11th. Kay’s elimination was particularly of note because he had already finished third in the Season XVI WPT Choctaw Main Event and was fighting to make a big move to the top of the Hublot WPT Player of the Year leaderboard. With his third-place finish at Choctaw and 11th-place finish at Borgata, Kay moved into third place in the Season XVI Hublot WPT Player of the Year race with 1,100 points total, but his standing is subject to change with the conclusion of this event.
After that, Parry went on to take out Muarem Kica in seventh place to conclude play for the day with just six players remaining.
On the final hand of the day, Parry opened to 200,000 on the button with the blinds at 40,000-80,000 with a 10,000 ante. Kica reraised all in from the small blind for roughly 1 million, and Parry called with the . Kica had the , but did not come from behind.
Weber, the player in second place heading into the Season XVI WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship final table, is a firefighter by trade who plays poker in his spare time. Weber actually had to find someone to cover for him with his deep run in this event, but right now all of his focus is on chasing the $789,058 top prize in this event.
After Weber, you have Thomas Paul, Jia Liu, and Guo Chen before Cliff Josephy brings up the rear. Paul, a former member of the world famous MIT blackjack team, is making his first WPT cash. Liu has had success at Borgata before with a victory in the 2012 Borgata Spring Poker Open for $312,483. He also took sixth in the Season VI WPT Legends of Poker Main Event for $137,175 and won the 2013 DeepStacks Poker Tour World Championship at Mohegan Sun for $129,663. Chen hails from Portsmouth, Virginia, and this is his first World Poker Tour cash. Chen does have numerous results from lower buy-in events at Borgata.
Josephy is a player who needs little introduction, if any, these days. This is Josephy’s second career WPT final table, but he’ll be looking to improve upon his last one when he took sixth in the Season XV WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Finale. With the shortest stack returning at 2.95 million, Josephy will have his work cut out for him.
Each of the remaining six players have locked up a minimum of $161,247 in prize money, but it’s the $789,058 first-place prize they’re all chasing. The winner will also take home a luxurious Big Bang Steel watch from Hublot, official timekeeper and official watch of the WPT, and a $5,000 membership to JetSmarter, the official private jet partner of the World Poker Tour. First place also includes a $15,000 seat to the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.
The fifth and final day of play will see the cards in the air at 3 p.m. ET from Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey. You’ll be able to find hand-for-hand coverage of the event right here on WPT.com, or you can watch the final table stream over on PokerGO, which will come with a 30-minute delay. If you’re new to PokerGo, don’t forget to use the code “WPT” when you sign up for $10 off a yearlong subscription.
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.