After Day Two at the partypoker WPT Caribbean $5,000 buy-in at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, Troy Quenneville has the chip lead (302,000). There are 75 players out of the original 323 left in the field following two days of play.
Quenneville, a native Costa Rican, has very little live tournament experience. The only recorded cashes he has include a pair of wins for less than $400 in two $50 buy-in tournaments earlier this year. WPT Caribbean pays its winner $335,000. The Costa Rican will be using his “just one time” these next two days.
Being that this is a World Poker Tour event, there are many big names in the field, not just amateurs. Kevin Stammen has 234,000 chips and is a member of the WPT Champions Club. He has nearly five million dollars in lifetime winnings, including a WPT and Hollywood Poker Open title.
Right below Stammen on the leaderboard is Ema Zajmovic (230,500). She is fresh off of her 5th place finish at WPT Montreal last week. Ankush Mandavia is another big stack with a big bankroll. He has more than $3 million in lifetime winnings and will begin Day Three with 215,000.
Other Players to Watch
A chip and a chair is all some players need to make a deep run. Michael Gathy has more than one chip, 158,500, to be exact. He doesn’t have any career WPT cashes, but is coming off of an impressive run at the 2016 World Series of Poker. The Belgian won a bracelet and finished runner-up twice. He also finished 107th in the Main Event.
Thomas Muehloecker is another player left in the field (104,500) who doesn’t have much WPT experience. But he does have nearly $3 million in overall winnings.
Aaron Mermelstein, a two-time WPT champion, will begin Day Three with 90,000. If he runs it up and makes the final table, watch out. He’s batting a thousand on winning the title when he makes a WPT final table.
Kristen Bicknell (82,500), a Canadian pro, became the talk of the Rio in Las Vegas this summer when she won Event #46, the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Bounty in late June. She was the first woman to win a bracelet in 2016.
Two Days Left
Of the 75 remaining players, only 36 of them will go home with money. The top four finishers will all receive a six-figure paycheck.
Quenneville is the only player heading into Day Three with more than 100 big blinds (101). Players will drop like flies as the blinds are getting pricey (1000-3000 with a 500 ante).
Play resumes at 2 pm EST on Tuesday. The tournament will conclude on Wednesday.