Daniel Smiljkovic was down to just under 30 big blinds as level l four began and had to wait until level six to find double through Erik Seidel but never looked back after that and now holds 42% of the chips in play as the 2023 PGT Championship is down to the final six.
Smiljkovic took the chip lead for good midway through level nine when he was all in for 420,000 with pocket kings against Sam Soverel's ace-queen and Ren Lin's ace-king. The board ran out jack-high, Lin was eliminated, Soverel was left with crumbs, and Smiljkovic was north of one million chips.
Joining Smiljkovic at the final table are 2023 WSOP Main Event Champion Daniel Weinman, who sits second in chips with 1,430,000, 2023 WSOP $50,000 High Roller Champion Leon Sturm, who sits in third with 1,065,000, 2023 WSOP Paradise Bracelet winner Artur Martirosyan, who sits fourth with 755,000, Dream Seat winner and Hollywood starlet Arden Cho, who sits fifth with 580,000 and rounding out the field is WPT crusher Darren Elias who sits with just 180,000 good for just twelve big blinds.
After the big hand with Lin and Soverel, Smiljkovic continued to put his foot on the gas as he went on to eliminate six of the final eleven players on the day, culminating with the elimination of Samuel Laskowitz on the money bubble when his ace-king could not run down Smiljkovic's pocket jacks as the final Dream Seat winner of the year just missed out on the min-cash of $40,000.
Also falling at the hands of Smiljkovic before the bubble burst included Seidel (17th), Soverel (16th), Nick Schulman (13th), Chris Brewer (11th), and Dream Seat winner Julio Clavell (9th). Chip Leader Coaching's Chance Konruth (10th) and Alex Foxen (19th) also made deep runs into the night but fell just short of the final table.
2023 PGT Points lead Isaac Haxton came into the day with the most chips in play, starting with 285 big blinds, but the man in the mask's 2023 season came to an end in brutal fashion when he got in his last 21 big blinds in holding king-queen against Sturm's four-three of spades. Strum turned a flush, and Ike could only shake his head as he headed to the rail.
The remaining six players are all guaranteed at least $40,000 by making the final table, but all eyes are on the $500,000 first-place prize at the end of the rainbow and the trophy.
When play resumes, 14:14 remains in level eleven with the blinds at 10,000/15,000 with a 15,000 big blind ante. The button is on Sturm with Weinman in the small blind and Smiljkovic in the big blind.
Cards are scheduled to be in the air at 12:00 pm PST, with the final table live stream commencing at 1:00 pm PST on PokerGo.com and PkerGo's Youtube page.
The PokerGo live reporting team will be on-site throughout, but to avoid spoilers, live updates will also be delayed to match the stream.
For complete PGT schedule information, check out pgt.com/schedule.
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