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  1. [caption width="680"] WPT500 is coming to Gardens Casino from May 21-31. (WPT photo)[/caption] The success of the WPT500 has been immense since first being introduced at Aria Casino and Dusk Till Dawn, in Nottingham, UK in 2014. Now another venue is set to host the budget-minded event as WPT announced WPT500 Los Angeles was coming to the Gardens Casino. Starting on May 21, players will have the opportunity to enter in one of 14 starting flights. The $1,000,000 guaranteed prize pool features a buy-in of $565 and will use the Action Clock by Protection Poker once the field narrows down to 54 players remaining. “We are excited to welcome the World Poker Tour to The Gardens Casino for WPT500 Los Angeles,” said Ron Sarabi, Casino General Manager, The Gardens. “With a $1 million guaranteed prize pool at an accessible price point of $565, WPT500 Los Angeles is the perfect main event for The Gardens Poker Festival and a must-attend tournament for all players.” From May 21-24, one starting flight takes place each day starting at 11:00 am PT. All Day 1 flights carry eight levels of late registration and re-entry. Starting on May 25 and ending on May 29, there will be two starting flights on each day. The first flight will start at 11:00 am PT and the 5:00 pm PT flight carries a more fast-paced structure. All of the 14 starting flights are to play down to the final eight percent of the field before all remaining players return on Tuesday, May 30, to play to the final table. May 31 marks the date of the final table and will have a live stream. The best stack forward format will be used and any player who bags chips is allowed to enter another starting flight. Should a player bag in multiple flights, the lesser of his or her chip totals will be forfeited at the start of Day 2. “The World Poker Tour couldn’t be happier to partner with The Gardens Casino to bring the WPT500 to California for the very first time,” said Angelica Hael, WPT VP of Global Tour Management. “The WPT500 is a tremendous addition to the state’s robust and vibrant poker landscape, and Memorial Day Weekend in Los Angeles is the perfect time and place to host this historic event. With fantastic onsite amenities, a world-class poker room, and genuine hospitality from The Gardens team, the World Poker Tour is very excited about hosting the first-ever WPT500 in California.” The WPT500 is running as part of the Gardens Poker Festival, which is running from May 15-31, at Gardens Casino. There will be satellites for the WPT500, starting at the low price point of $65, with 40 seats guaranteed.
  2. The World Poker Tour will be in Las Vegas on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for three consecutive final tables at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. The first is the finale of the WPT L.A. Poker Classic on Monday, and it will be followed by the conclusion to the WPT Gardens Poker Championship on Tuesday. We previously previewed the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table, and now we’ll do the same for the WPT Gardens Poker Championship that features Shannon Shorr, Steve Sung, and Brent Roberts. This inaugural event featured a $10,000 buy-in and took place back in January. When the final six from a 253-entry field return to action on Tuesday, it will have been 55 days since they last played. Frank Stepuchin has the chip lead, and along with Shorr, Sung, and Roberts, Ray Qartomy and Jonathan Abdellatif make up the final six. Click here to read how the WPT Gardens Poker Championship final table was reached. What Are They Playing For? Up top is a $548,825 top prize that includes a $15,000 seat into the season-ending Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions. The final six are guaranteed at least $110,225. As this event is also a televised WPT event, the winner will also score a luxurious Hublot Big Bang timepiece. 1st Place: $548,825 2nd Place: $355,885 3rd Place: $259,880 4th Place: $192,465 5th Place: $144,595 6th Place: $110,225 How To Watch the Season XVII WPT Gardens Poker Championship Final Table The final table for the Season XVII WPT Gardens Poker Championship will play out on March 12, starting at 4 p.m. PT at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The event originated at the Gardens Casino in Southern California and will be filmed for broadcast as part of the WPT’s televised schedule of events. You can wait for that airing on FOX Sports Regional Networks, or you could tune in live to the stream of the events that 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. Let’s meet the Season XVII WPT Gardens Poker Championship final table. [caption id="attachment_623054" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Shannon Shorr (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 1: Shannon Shorr - 1,710,000 Shannon Shorr recently moved to Las Vegas and will now get to play for this first World Poker Tour title in the comfort of his new hometown. Shorr’s career had him at $6.744 million in live tournament earnings entering the final table, but that’s really $6.854 million with the sixth-place payday worked in. Shorr has been on the cusp of joining the WPT Champions Club before. His best WPT finish was a second-place result in the Season XII WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open. In a field of 415 entries, Shorr finished runner-up to James Calderaro and took home $190,039. Shorr also placed fourth in the Season IX WPT Southern Poker Championship and fifth in the Season VII WPT World Championship for $144,985 and $408,550, respectively. “Winning a WPT title would be incredible,” Shorr previously told PocketFives. “I’ve had tons of final tables in big events worldwide but haven’t won a ‘major.’ Maybe this is the one.” Shorr comes into the WPT Gardens Poker Championship second in chips with 1.71 million. [caption id="attachment_623050" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Frank Stepuchin (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 2: Frank Stepuchin - 4,065,000 Frank Stepuchin is the final table chip leader. Much like Darren Elias’ chip lead entering the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table, Stepuchin’s lead is sizable. He holds just more than 40% of the chips in play entering the finale and has more than 2.3 times the second-biggest stack held by Shorr. Stepuchin hails from Park City, Utah, and entered this event with $354,625 in live tournament earnings. He was the big stack of the tournament right out of the gate, finishing atop Day 1a with the chip lead, and is now in line for his first WPT title. The largest live tournament score of Stepuchin’s career isn’t too far off either. Previously, his best cash was for $149,220. Finishing fifth will be less than $5,000 short of that and finishing fourth or better will give him a new career high. Stepuchin enters the WPT Gardens Poker Championship final table with 4.065 million in chips and is the chip leader. [caption id="attachment_623049" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Brent Roberts (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 3: Brent Roberts - 1,385,000 Brent Roberts comes into this final table with just more than $2 million in live tournaments earnings. Like Shorr, he’s been close to a WPT title before. His best WPT Main Tour finish was in the Season XIV WPT Legends of Poker. In that event, he placed third from a field of 786 entries to win $251,035. Roberts does have a WPTDeepStacks title that he won in 2016. In the WPTDeepStacks event he won, Roberts topped a field of 696 entries at Parx Casino to win $205,944. Also on Roberts’ record is a WSOP Circuit gold ring when he won the $5,150 Championship Event in Atlantic City in 2008. That win was the largest live tournament score of Roberts’ career, but he does have a chance to better that at the WPT Gardens Poker Championship final table. Roberts enters the WPT Gardens Poker Championship final table fourth in chips with 1.385 million. [caption id="attachment_623052" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Jonathan Abdellatif (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 4: Jonathan Abdellatif - 555,000 Jonathan Abdellatif hails from Belgium and will bring some international flavor to the WPT Gardens Poker Championship final table. He’s the shortest stack left, though, so he’ll have some work to do when play resumes on March 12. Ahead of his run in this event, Abdellatif had three WPT Main Tour cashes. His highest result of those three was a 17th-place finish in the Season XV WPT Montreal Main Event. He also has a pair of fourth-place finishes that came from a WSOP event in 2018 and the PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event in 2017. Those finishes netted Abdellatif $163,404 and $119,480, respectively. The largest live tournament score of the young Belgian’s career is a victory from 2017 when he won the £2,700 8-Max tournament at the partypoker MILLIONS in Nottingham. For that victory, Abdellatif earned $275,655. Again, he’s the shortest stack returning for this final table with 555,000 in chips. [caption id="attachment_623053" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Ray Qartomy (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 5: Ray Qartomy - 820,000 Ray Qartomy is a fixture on the World Poker Tour. He can be seen at almost every stop on tour, but he’s yet to win a WPT title. That could all chance on Tuesday, but, like Abdellatif, Qartomy is going to have a bit of an uphill battle ahead of him as he enters the final six in fifth chip position. Qartomy has 12 cashes and three final tables on the WPT Main Tour. His three final tables came in the Season XIII WPT Borgata Open, the Season XIII WPT World Championship, and the Season XVII WPT bestbet Jacksonville. However, his largest live tournament score doesn’t come from one of those events. His largest live tournament score of $639,925 came when Qartomy took fourth place in the $5,300 buy-in Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open in 2013. Qartomy will almost never be found without a smile on his face. Come Tuesday, that smile will be behind 820,000 in chips to start the WPT Gardens Poker Championship final table. [caption id="attachment_623055" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Steve Sung (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 6: Steve Sung - 1,580,000 Steve Sung has more than $5.5 million in live tournament earnings, two WSOP gold bracelets, and three WPT Main Tour final table appearances. He’s never won a WPT event, though, but that could all change on Tuesday. Sung’s best WPT result coming in the Season VI WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star event when he took second to Brandon Cantu and won $585,000. Sung also has a pair of fourth-place finishes on the World Poker Tour, first in the Season VI WPT Spanish Championship for €117,400 ($164,943) and then in the Season VII WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $396,205. The largest live tournament score for Sung came in 2013 when he won the $25,000 Six-Max Championship at the WSOP for more than $1.2 million. His other bracelet came in 2009 when Sung topped a huge field of 6,012 entries in a $1,000 event for $771,338. “Winning a WPT title means that my goal has been finally accomplished,” Sung said when asked what a winning a WPT title would mean to him. “I’ve expected to win one over a decade ago and had to come back from self-inflicted setbacks in multiple aspects of my being.” Sung enters the WPT Gardens Poker Championship final table third in chips with 1.58 million. [caption id="attachment_623036" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Hublot WPT Player of the Year and Baccarat Crystal (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Hublot WPT Player of the Year Implications With a prize pool of $2.428 million, the winner gets 1,200 points in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race, with the rest of the point earnings for the final table as follows. 1st Place: 1,200 points 2nd Place: 1,000 points 3rd Place: 900 points 4th Place: 800 points 5th Place: 700 points 6th Place: 600 points The points could mean the most to Qartomy, who already has 650 points on the season. Sung also stands to benefit well from the Hublot WPT Player of the Year points earned at this final table. Entering the final table, Sung has 500 points. Roberts enters this final table with 175 points, Stepuchin 100 points, Shorr 100 points, and Abdellatif 50 points. At the end of Season XVII, the Hublot WPT Player of the Year will win a $15,000 WPT Passport that can be used as buy-ins to any Season XVIII global WPT event. Second place in the race earns a $7,500 WPT Passport and third place gets a $2,500 WPT Passport.
  3. The first World Poker Tour event of 2020 reached its final table on Monday. Now, just six players remain in the Season XVIII WPT Gardens Poker Championship, with Chance Kornuth leading the way. The final six will be on hiatus until Tuesday, March 31, when they will resume play at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The final six come from a 257-entry field and are guaranteed $111,795 in prize money. First place takes home $554,495, including a $15,000 buy-in into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions, and a Hublot watch. Joining Kornuth at the final table are Markus Gonsalves, Tuan Phan, Jonathan Cohen, Qing Liu, and Straton Wilhelm. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] WPT Gardens Poker Championship Final Table Seat 1: Straton Wilhelm - 435,000 Seat 2: Markus Gonsalves - 2,370,000 Seat 3: Qing Liu - 795,000 Seat 4: Tuan Phan - 2,070,000 Seat 5: Jonathan Cohen - 1,615,000 Seat 6: Chance Kornuth - 2,995,000 How the Final Table Was Reached The Season XVIII WPT Gardens Poker Championship had a field of 257 entries. It wasn't the largest turnout for a WPT Main Tour event, but the $10,000 buy-in attracted some of poker’s biggest names and generated a prize pool of $2.467 million. Among those to compete were Darren Elias, Anthony Zinno, Maria Ho, and Phil Laak, but none of them made the money. Entering Day 3 of the tournament, 48 players remained. The top 33 places paid, which meant whoever finished in 34th place would win the unwanted title of 'bubble boy.' The player to fall in 34th was former WPT Player of the Year Joe Serock, who couldn't win a flip with the [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Kd"] against the pocket queens of Gonsalves. After the money bubble burst, WPT Champions Club member Larry Greenberg was the first player to bust. Others followed him to the payout desk, including David Peters (30th - $18,825) and David 'ODB' Baker (18th - $25,130), before Day 3 ended with 14 competitors left. Among the final 14 returning for Day 4 was Jared Griener, who ultimately finished in 13th place for $35,720. Griener is no stranger to WPT success in the Southern California region. He’s cashed seven times in WPT Main Tour events in Southern California, and that’s the region where all of his WPT final tables have taken place. Additionally, Griener has a deep run in a WPTDeepStacks event in San Diego and two deep runs in WPT500 LA. On Day 4, Ali Imsirovic busted in ninth place to take home $53,950, and then Sebastiaan de Jonge finished in eighth for $67,790. One more player needed to be eliminated to set the official TV final table, and it happened when Phan knocked out Qi Hu in seventh place. Kornuth the One To Beat With a stack of 2.995 million, Kornuth is the player to catch at the final table. He's been one of the big stacks throughout the event, including finishing atop the field after Day 3. Kornuth came into this event with more than $7.4 million in live tournament earnings and one previous WPT final table under his belt. That previous final table was a sixth-place finish in the Season XII WPT Seminole Hard Rock Showdown for $247,954. Kornuth has several other deep runs in World Poker Tour events, including a handful that have come at the $10,000 buy-in level, but his first WPT title has eluded him. Closest to Kornuth on the leaderboard is Gonsalves, who bagged 2.37 million in chips for the final table. Like Kornuth, Gonsalves has been close to a WPT title before, but he's also yet to win one. Gonsalves' deepest run in a WPT event came in the Season XIV WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event, where he took fourth and picked up a payday of $91,616. Gonsalves also has a 10th-place finish in the Season XIV WPT Five Diamond for $68,181. The final six will now wait until the end of March to play for the title in Las Vegas, as the event moves from the Gardens Casino to the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. There is no former WPT champion in the final six, which means there will be a brand new member of the WPT Champions Club when this one is all said and done.

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