The World Poker Tour and its production staff are back at the Luxor at HyperX Arena in Las Vegas to tape and livestream the final tables of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, WPT Choctaw, and the WPT Gardens Poker Championship over the next three days.
Starting today at 4:30 p.m. PT, poker fans can watch every minute of the action on the WPT YouTube channel, Twitch channel, and Facebook, as well as OTT platforms WatchWPT, Plex and DistroTV. Commentating from the booth are Jeff Platt and Jamie Kerstetter.
Friday is the final table of WPT Choctaw that took place this month, and Saturday will see the conclusion of the WPT Gardens Poker Championship, which plays down to the final six today.
Bin Weng is the man everyone will have their eyes on in the first two events. He’s the first WPT player to make back-to-back appearances for delayed final tables, and is the chip leader of both the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown and WPT Choctaw.
The winners of these events will receive a seat in the 2023 WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas and have their names engraved on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup.
Oh, and also a whole lot of money.
Playing for more than a million on top
The final six of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown waited a month after making it through a field of 2,290 entries in the $3,500 main event. They all have won $238,000, but the pay jumps, as usual, are significant and staggering with the winner bagging more than $1.1 million.
Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown top payouts
- $1,128,250 (includes seat in WPT World Championship)
Bin Weng will have 40% of the chips in when the first hand is dealt. This will be his second final WPT and he is the only player who made a WPT final table out of this group.
- Bin Weng — 46,050,000 (154 bb)
- Sridhar Sangannagari — 19,100,000 (64 bb)
- Mitch Garshofsky — 18,550,000 (62 bb)
- David Mzareulov — 13,350,000 (45 bb)
- Naing Thu — 13,250,000 (44 bb)
- Rafael Farah Jarufe — 4,275,000 (14 bb)
Weng, 40, has more than $3.7 million in tournament cashes, most which came in the last three years, but he’s been consistently cashing tourneys since 2017.
But things are clicking for Weng in 2023 in a way they never had before, as he’s running hotter than a car’s dashboard after sitting out in the Las Vegas heat all day. His top three cashes came this year, starting with his first $1 million bag at the $5,300 The Return: A Borgata Championship Event in Atlantic City the first week of January.
If a disaster strikes and he ends up being knocked out first today, it’s will still be good for his second-best cash.
A month after he win the Borgata’s event, he won his first World Series of Poker Circuit Ring in Las Vegas at the inaugural Circuit series held at the newly-branded Horseshoe Las Vegas. He tool down its $1,700 headliner for $227,344.
While he didn’t make hay at the WPT Gardens Poker Championship, which plays to the final six today, he did have a good May at The Lodge Championship Series in Texas. He finished sixth in a $5,000 event for $19,965, and came one spot short of winning a $25,000 high roller event there, but being runner-up still paid the man who makes his home in Philly $145,000.
While Weng has to be the statistical favorite, all the players but Jarufe have enough chips and to stop this final table from turning into a run-away. And this group has enough talent and results to do it.
Weng sits in seat five.
With one pay jump today, Las Vegas resident Mitch Garshofsky, 63, will break the $2 million in lifetime tournament winnings. He best tourney cash came in 2022 when he won $333,329 for taking down the $1,600 event at the Wynn Poker Classic.
He sits in seat one.
Just behind Garshofsky — in chips and lifetime cashes — Mzareulov has won $1.2 million on the tournament trail since 2011, according to the Hendon Mob.
Originally from Azerbaijan, but now a resident of Houston, Texas, Mzareulov, 36, won most of that cash playing “mid-majors,” tourneys with buy-ins $2,500 or under. He’s so good at them he won the Global Poker Index’s Mid-Major Player of the Year in 2022.
He won his only WSOP Circuit ring in 2021, but only has five wins. This is is largest cash so far, and it could get a lot better if he manages to slide up a few spots.
He sits in seat two.
Sangannagari, 47, is a successful online poker player playing as “sri50k” or “sri100k” and has at least $1.7 million in lifetime online results, according to PokerStake.
He is a two-time WSOP Circuit ring winner, both coming in online events, most recently in January. His first came in 2021. This was his first WPT event, and he only fired one bullet.
He sits in seat four.
Rafael Farah Jarufe
The 55 year-old Peruvian had $84,549 in live tournament winnings before making the final six of this event, according to the WPT, and will need to quickly double-up in order to cause some chaos. He’s has some success playing in WPT events at the Hard Rock property, but never finished higher than 57.
He’s in seat three.
Before sliding into the final six of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, the biggest win of Thu’s poker career was for $19,200 in the main event of this series in 2019. He has 11 cashes according to the Hendon Mob. All but $37,000 came from this event.
He’s in seat six.
Tips, corrections, comments or kudos? CardsChatBob@gmail.com.