World Poker Tour history was made earlier this week. Darren Elias won a record-breaking 4th title on PokerGO, beating Kitty Kuo heads up for the Bobby Baldwin Classic title. While ending the week with more history isn’t guaranteed, the WPT Tournament of Champions has plenty of interesting storylines to follow heading into Day 2.
80 WPT Champions Club members took their seats during Day 1, but only 29 survived the opening session to advance to Day 2. When the dust settled, LAPC winner and Super High Roller Bowl participant Dennis Blieden held a massive chip lead. Blieden bagged just shy of 600,000 chips, which is nearly double JC Tran’s stack. The former WPT Player of the Year and November Niner finished Day 1 one spot behind Blieden, with just over 300,000.
Erik Seidel, Marvin Rettenmaier, and Asher Conniff round out the top-ten. Seidel is currently 2nd on poker’s all-time money list, while Conniff is the last player to win the WPT World Championship. Rettenmaier is a two-time WPT champion, who is looking to make his second final table of Season XVI.
Darren Elias and Legends of Poker champion Art Papazyan, who won two titles this year and Player of the Year honors, are inside the top-ten.
The top-ten will get paid in the third edition of the WPT Tournament of Champions. Nearly $1.4 million is up for grabs, with $463,375 up top. The winner will also receive a luxurious Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic watch, a $50,000 membership to JetSmarter, and the gold WPT Tournament of Champions trophy.
Updates from Friday’s Day 2 session can be found on WPT.com and the field is scheduled to play down to a final table of six tonight. That final table will then play to a winner live on PokerGO, with the final WPT broadcast of Season XVI beginning at 4:30 PM PT.