The Season XVI WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship is down to 14 players. Leading the way in crushing fashion is Scott Margereson (pictured) with a stack of 9.21 million in chips. The final 14 players come from a 1,309-entry field – the fifth largest field in history for a WPT Main Tour event – and are all guaranteed a minimum payout of $43,445. The group will return on Tuesday to play down to the televised final table of six as they chase the $696,740 first-place prize.
Just how big is Margereson’s chip lead? For starters, he has 9.21 million and the next closest player has 4.06 million. There are also 39.270 million chips in play, meaning Margereson has almost 25% of all the chips in play with 14 players left.
Margereson is an English player who entered this event with more than $570,000 in career live tournament earnings, according to HendonMob.com. His best score was for $107,723 and he’s making his first-ever World Poker Tour cash. Margereson needs to reach the final seven to achieve a new career-best score.
Margereson padded his lead when he knocked out Roberto Alberro in 15th place as the last elimination of Day 3. Alberro moved all in on the board and Margereson called with the . Alberro had the and was eliminated when the finished the board on the river.
The man with the second-place stack of 4.06 million is Joey Couden, and then it’s Tanner Millen in third place on the leaderboard with 3.825 million. Those two names may not ring too loud of a bell to you, but the names taking up spots four and five will. In fourth place overall is Brian Hastings with a stack of 3.375 million. Then in fifth chip position, it’s Joseph Cheong with 3.3 million.
Cheong entered Day 3 with the chip lead and tweeted “Let’s see if I can do something with this, this time.” If things go according to plan for Cheong, he’ll earn the best WPT finish of his career. His previous best was a 13th-place result from the Season X WPT Amnéville Main Event. Sitting in fifth on the leaderboard, there’s a very good chance Cheong will survive past 13th place, but of course, anything could happen.
Faraz Jaka, Season VIII WPT Player of the Year, was in eighth place to finish out Day 3 and he’ll take a stack of 2.36 million into Day 4. Jeff Fielder, a two-time WPTDeepStacks champion, will look to become the first player in WPT history to win both a WPT Main Tour and WPTDeepStacks titles. Fielder bagged 2.095 million on Day 3. Then there’s Matt Stout, who finished Day 3 with 1.79 million and is looking to reach his third WPT final table.
Victor Ramdin is 13th in chips and the only WPT Champions Club member remaining in the field. He’ll have his work cut out for him, though, as he will bring just 775,000 in chips to Tuesday’s Day 4.
As for Hublot WPT Player of the Year implications, Zach Donovan could make the most notable climb. Donovan entered this event with 1,050 points in the race and could jump all the way to second place with a victory. A win in the Season XVI WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship is worth 1,400 points and would put Donovan in a points tie with Art Papazyan at 2,450, but Papazyan would hold the tiebreaker of most money won. Interestingly, Papazyan did cash in this event, but it was a small cash worth the minimum 50 points. Those 50 points could become very important as they would now allow Papazyan to still hold the lead even if Donovan wins this tournament.
Eighty-one players returned to action on Day 3. Busting during the course of action were WPT Champions Club members Aaron Mermelstein (23rd – $23,928), Dylan Wilkerson (24th – $23,928), Ravi Raghavan (51st – $12,590), Brian Altman (53rd – $12,590), and Daniel Weinman (67th – $9,773).
Day 4 of the Season XVI WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship begins at 12 p.m. local time on Tuesday. Stay tuned to WPT.com for continued coverage.
Photography by Joe Giron / PokerPhotoArchive.com
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