Record-Breaking WPT Field Winding Down as $1.2 Million Payday Looms

The WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, a record-breaking tournament in South Florida, is one day away from reaching the final table. After Day 3, there are 21 players still with a chance to ship a $1,261,095 payday.

wpt seminole poker showdown

This card room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino was packed to the brims just one day ago. (Image:

The historic $3,500 buy-in World Poker Tour event guaranteed at least $2 million in prize money. That guarantee was completely shattered before play even began. A WPT record 2,482 entries took a shot at what quickly became the biggest live poker event of 2021 — at least so far.

Notable Day 3 Eliminations

  • Anthony Zinno 120th place ($9,295)
  • Jerry Wong 104th place ($10,325)
  • Mukul Pahuja 95th place ($10,880)
  • Tim Reilly 74th place ($12,625)
  • David Pham 53rd place ($16,360)
  • Tony Dunst 52nd place ($16,360)

Pressure is on

Three days of play are now complete and Albert Calderon, who locked up his first-ever WPT cash, holds the chip lead (11,450,000). The money bubble burst on Sunday (Day 2), taking some pressure off the remaining players at the time. But now, the money is starting to get serious. Each of the remaining players has a guaranteed $34,865 payout, and the pay jumps are about to become massive.

When play concludes on Tuesday, the tournament will be down to the final table of six, and each one of those players will have locked up at least $261,700. Hitting the six-figure payday requires a top 11 finish, so the pressure will be on the short stacks early on Day 4.

The final 21 players, split up among three tables, will return to action at noon ET Tuesday. They’ll play down to six for the televised final table, which will take place on May 18 at the PokerGO Studio, clear across the country in Las Vegas.

We don’t know who will come out victorious at the WPT Seminole Poker Showdown, but one thing is certain — it won’t be a past World Poker Tour champion as there are none still standing. Calderon has a fairly sizable lead heading into Day 4 while Brekstyn Schutten, who also booked his first WPT cash, sits in second place, more than 3 million chips behind (8,150,000). Viet Vo, who came one spot away from a World Poker Tour title at the 2018 WPT Choctaw, is right behind Schutten at 7,900,000.

There aren’t any high-profile players left, but there’s plenty of talent left in the field, including Blair Hinkle, who is among the big stacks (6,600,000), and Richard Alsup (4,850,000).

When play resumes, the blinds will be 50,000/75,000 (75,000 big blind ante) level. Three players — Calderon, Schutten, and Vo — all have over 100 big blinds. Frank Funaro (1,125,000) is the only player sitting under 20 big blinds, so there likely won’t be much desperation play early on.

Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.

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