WPT Choctaw Final Table Preview: Berry Leads, Varnell Seeks Redemption

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Will Bery
Will Bery (photo: WPT)

The World Poker Tour is back in Las Vegas to close out Season XVII, and the grand finale includes the final table of WPT Choctaw. Headed up by chip leader Will Berry, just six players remain from the 577 entries.

What’s Up for Grabs?

The winner of the Season XVII WPT Choctaw will receive $379,990, a seat into the season-ending Baccarat WPT Tournament of Champions, and a luxurious Hublot Big Bang watch. Each player in the final six has locked up at least $76,890

1st Place: $379,990
2nd Place: $243,330
3rd Place: $179,430
4th Place: $133,770
5th Place: $100,850
6th Place: $76,890

Click here to read about how the WPT Choctaw final table was reached.

Of note, this is the second WPT Choctaw event of Season XVII. Back in August 2018, Brady Holiman topped a field of 755 entries to win $469,185. Also at that final table were WPT Champions Club members Tony Ruberto and Anthony Zinno.

How To Watch the WPT Choctaw Final Table

The final table for the Season XVII WPT Choctaw is May 31. If you’re in the area, you’re able to head over to the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to view the conclusion of the event in person, but of course not everyone is within reach of Sin City. For those looking to tune in as it’s happening, the final table can be viewed on PokerGO. If you don’t have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code “POCKET5S” for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan. You can also follow along with written coverage on WPT.com. The event is also being filmed for broadcast as part of the WPT’s televised schedule of events that you’ll be able to catch later on FOX Sports Regional Networks.

Nick Pupillo
Nick Pupillo (photo: WPT)

Seat 1: Nick Pupillo – 3,135,000

Making his first WPT Main Tour final table, Nick Pupillo has quickly made a name for himself on the poker scene. His first live tournament cash was recorded in 2013 and he’s had a fair amount of success since. In 2015, Pupillo won his first of two Heartland Poker Tour titles for $120,537, with the second coming in 2019 for $194,478. In 2017, he won a WSOP Circuit title for $170,286. He nearly won a Hollywood Poker Open title in 2015 but had to settle for second place, and his largest live tournament score was in 2017 for $217,535 from a second-place finish in a preliminary event at the Season XVI WPT Borgata Poker Open.

All told, Pupillo currently has more than $2.5 million in live tournament earnings. A second-place finish or better in this event would give Pupillo the largest live tournament score of his career.

Will Bery
Will Bery (photo: WPT)

Seat 2: Will Berry – 7,575,000

The chip leader for the WPT Choctaw final table is Will Berry. Berry ran deep in the first WPT Choctaw tournament this season on the World Poker Tour, but ultimately finished in 38th for $11,995. This time, he’s found his way to the final table and could very well be on his way to the largest live tournament score of his career and first WPT title. Berry’s career-best live tournament score was a WSOP Circuit win in 2017 for $180,806. Berry also has a final table in the WSOP Circuit Choctaw Main Event back in 2016 to his credit. There, he took fourth for $136,812.

On the WPT Main Tour, Berry now has three cashes. He had yet to make a final table, but Berry did take 15th in the Season XVII WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in December for a score of $85,542.

Stacey Jones
Stacey Jones (photo: WPT)

Seat 3: Stacey Jones – 980,000

With a big cowboy hat and an even bigger smile, Stacey Jones worked his way to the WPT Choctaw final table. He’ll be the short stack when play resumes on Friday, but what his stack may lack he’ll be making up for in entertainment value. Jones is one who always looks to be having fun at the poker table, which is a nice carryover from his business life where he’s a nightclub owner.

Although he only has $119,366 in lie tournament earnings when you include the $76,890 he’s already earned in this event, Jones isn’t one you should sleep on. He’s been playing poker for decades, so there’s plenty of experience within his arsenal.

Craig Varnell
Craig Varnell (photo: WPT)

Seat 4: Craig Varnell – 6,230,000

Second in chips, Craig Varnell has been in this position before. In Season XV, Varnell reached the WPT Choctaw final table and finished third for a little more than $300,000. He’s back again and looking to end with an even better result that includes his first-ever WPT Main Tour title. Earlier this season, Varnell finished fourth in the WPT Gardens Poker Festival Main Event for north of $200,000.

In 2015, Varnell won the huge WPT500 Las Vegas event for $330,000. In that tournament, he topped a field of 5,113 entries to take home the title. He won another large-field tournament in 2018 when he topped 2,419 entries in the $565 Pot-Limit Omaha event at the World Series of Poker.

All told, Varnell has nearly $2 million in live tournament earnings.

Austin Lewis
Austin Lewis (photo: WPT)

Seat 5: Austin Lewis – 2,560,000

Austin Lewis’ first WPT Main Tour cash has turned out to be quite the impressive run, as it’s this one and turned into a final table appearance worth at least $76,890. Coming out of Texas, Lewis has had plenty of success on the Oklahoma tournament scene. Earlier in 2019, he took fifth in the WSOP Circuit Choctaw Main Event for $84,375.

Another bit of poker success in Choctaw for Lewis came when he won the 2014 CardPlayer Poker Tour Choctaw Championship Event for $183,025.

Trung Pham
Trung Pham (photo: WPT)

Seat 6: Trung Pham – 2,600,000

Rounding out the WPT Choctaw final table is Trung Pham. He’s another player from Texas making his first WPT final table. It’s the second WPT Main Tour cash for Pham. Pham’s best live tournament score came in 2018 when he won a $360 preliminary event at the Season XVII WPT Seminole Rock N Roll Poker Open. For that win, Pham scored $123,364. He also has three WSOP Circuit gold rings and a fourth-place finish in a WSOP Circuit main event in Choctaw.

Pham’s only other WPT Main Tour cash came during the Season XVI WPT Borgata Poker Open, when he took 33rd from a field of 1,132 entries to win $14,132.