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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.
August is the time to go 'Big' or go home. The 2019 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open takes place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL and will run from August 1-13 with a 27-event schedule culminating in the return of their four featured tournaments, dubbed ‘The Big 4’. The schedule gets off to a fast start with a multi-flight $1 million guaranteed $600 DeepStack and is followed by a full slate of tournaments with wide-ranging variants and buy-ins that will attract every level of player, leading up to the starting dates of The Big 4. The Big 4 Since 2015, the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open has hosted The Big 4, four individual tournaments that all play down to a final table together so they can be live-streamed on the same day at the same time. This year the Big 4 include: $5,250 SHRPO Championship - $3 million guarantee $2,650 NLHE - $1 million guarantee $1,100 NLHE - $500,000 guarantee $25,500 High Rollers - $2 million guarantee. Since 2013, SHRPO has been a favorite destination for poker pros from all over the world. Headed into their fifth year of the The Big 4 promotion, organizers are looking forward to making 2019 the biggest Big 4 yet with all eyes on the $5,250 Main Event. $5,250 SHRPO Championship In 2014, the year before SHRPO Championship was a part of The Big 4, Daniel Colman took down the $5,300 tournament for $1.44 million. The $5 million guaranteed SHRPO Championship event drew 907 runners in 2015 and the big story was that Colman returned to the final table, looking to go back-to-back and defend his 2014 SHRPO Championship title. In the end Colman couldn’t get there, falling in third place for $310,000 as Omar Zazay went on to win the $1,000,000 first-place prize for a career-high score. Pennsylvania’s Paul Volpe also made an appearance at this final table, but he ended up hitting the rail in eighth place for $100,000. Even though registration dipped in 2016, the tournament still held a $5 million guarantee. That meant there was a healthy overlay for the field of top-tier players who made the trip. Ryan Fair and Joe Serock joined regular high rollers Seth Davies and Jason Koon at the final table where Koon ended up taking home the title and his very first seven-figure score of $1 million. In 2017, the tournament reduced the guarantee to $3 million when Australia’s Martin Kozlov picked up the largest cash of his career by winning the $754,083 first-place prize. Matt Berkey finished in third place this year while Aaron Mermelstein, Adam Levy, and Joe Kuether all also had a seat at the final table. Then, just last year, Brandon Eisen denied Jeremy Ausmus the title in 2018, taking home $771,444 for the win. Familiar faces Joseph Cheong, Jared Griener and Ryan D’Angelo also made the final table in what was the largest SHRPO Championship field in The Big 4 era with 914 runners. Big Buy-In, Big Moments The Big 4 have had plenty of standout performances outside of the Main Event over the years. As one might expect, the $25K High Roller has always been flush with big-name pros looking to take home six-figure scores. In 2015, Florida’s All-Time Money List leader, Jason Mercier, took down the $25K High Roller for over $517K in his own backyard, surviving an all-star final table that included runner-up Ian O’Hara, Sean Winter, Ankush Mandavia, Barry Hutter, David ‘Doc’ Sands, and Phil Laak. One year later, Marvin Rettenmaier denied Daniel Colman another SHRPO title by taking first place and over $787K. John Andress took home the High Roller title in 2017 and then in 2018, Jake Schindler topped the 123 player field for a score of over $800K after defeating Shaun Deeb heads up. Another amazing Big 4 feat has been the performance of the GPI #1-ranked player Alex Foxen who, in 2017 took down the $2,650 NLHE for $204,600 and then followed that up by defending his title in that even in 2018 for another $208,452. All the action from the 2019 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open begins on August 1 with all four of the Big 4 set to be live-streamed on August 13. 2019 SHRPO Schedule of Events DATE EVENT # EVENT TIME BUY-IN 8/1 1A Deep Stack NLH Flight A (Re-Entry) - $1,000,000 GTD 11:00 AM $600 8/1 1B Deep Stack NLH Flight B (Re-Entry) - $1,000,000 GTD 6:00 PM $600 8/2 1C Deep Stack NLH Flight C (Re-Entry) - $1,000,000 GTD 11:00 AM $600 8/2 1D Deep Stack NLH Flight D (Re-Entry) - $1,000,000 GTD 6:00 PM $600 8/3 1E Deep Stack NLH Flight E (Re-Entry) - $1,000,000 GTD 11:00 AM $600 8/3 1F Deep Stack NLH Flight F (Re-Entry) - $1,000,000 GTD 6:00 PM $600 8/4 1 Day 2 1:00 PM -- 8/1 2 Omaha 8 Or Better (Re-Entry) - $30,000 GTD - One Day Event 12:00 PM $400 8/2 3 H.O.R.S.E. (Re-Entry) - One Day Event 12:00 PM $400 8/3 4 PLO 8 (Re-Entry) - One Day Event 12:00 PM $400 8/4 5 Deep Stack NLH (Re-Entry) - $50,000 GTD - One Day Event 12:00 PM $400 8/4 6 Purple Chip Bounty (Single Re-Entry) - $100,000 GTD 3:00 PM $1,700 8/5 6 Day 2 2:00 PM -- 8/5 7 Seniors 50+ (Re-Entry) - One Day Event 11:00 AM $400 8/5 8 Big Stack Black Chip Bounty NLH (Single Re-Entry) - $50,000 GTD - One Day Event 12:00 PM $400 8/5 9 PLO (Re-Entry) - One Day Event 3:00 PM $400 8/5 10 Big Stack NLH (Re-Entry) - $30,000 GTD - $5,250 Championship Seat Added - One Day Event 6:00 PM $150 8/6 11 Six-Max NLH (Single Re-Entry) - $100,000 GTD - One Day Event 11:00 AM $600 8/6 12 Big O (Re-Entry) - One Day Event 12:00 PM $400 8/6 13 Omaha 8/Stud 8 (Single Re-Entry) - One Day Event 3:00 PM $400 8/6 14 Eight-Handed Turbo NLH (Freeze-Out) - One Day Event 5:00 PM $1,100 8/7 15 Eight-Handed NLH (Single Re-Entry) - $200,000 GTD - One Day Event 12:00 PM $2,200 8/7 16 Jeff Conine Celebrity Poker Classic - One Day Charity Event 7:00 PM $300 8/8 17 Six-Max Big Stack NLH (Single Re-Entry) - $100,000 GTD - One Day Event 12:00 PM $1,100 8/8 18 Super High Roller NLH (Single Re-Entry) - $1,000,000 GTD - Held In Salon East 1:00 PM $50,000 8/9 18 Day 2 1:00 PM -- 8/8 19 Six-Max PLO (Single Re-Entry) - One Day Event 3:00 PM $400.00 8/9 20A SHRPO Championship Day 1A (Single Re-Entry) - $3,000,000 GTD 11:00 AM $5,250.00 8/10 20B SHRPO Championship Day 1B (Single Re-Entry) - $3,000,000 GTD 11:00 AM $5,250.00 8/11 20 Day 2 12:00 PM -- 8/12 20 Day 3 12:00 PM -- 8/13 20 Final Table Televised And Live Streamed As Part Of The Big 4 1:00 PM -- 8/11 21 NLH (Single Re-Entry) - $1,000,000 GTD 2:00 PM $2,650 8/12 21 Day 2 12:00 PM -- 8/13 21 Final Table Televised And Live Streamed As Part Of The Big 4 1:00 PM -- 8/12 22 NLH (Re-Entry) - $500,000 GTD 11:00 AM $1,100 8/13 22 Final Table Televised And Live Streamed As Part Of The Big 4 1:00 PM -- 8/12 23 High Roller (Re-Entry) - $2,000,000 GTD - Held In Salon East 12:00 PM $25,500 8/13 23 Final Table Televised And Live Streamed As Part Of The Big 4 1:00 PM -- 8/11 24A NLH Day 1A (Re-Entry) - $50,000 GTD 5:00 PM $150 8/12 24B NLH Day 1B (Re-Entry) - $50,000 GTD 5:00 PM $150 8/13 24 Day 2 - Held In The Poker Room 5:00 PM -- 8/12 25 PLO (Re-Entry) 6:00 PM $2,650 8/13 25 Day 2 - Held In The Poker Room 3:00 PM -- 8/13 26 Deep Stack Turbo (Re-Entry) - $30,000 GTD - Held In Salon East - One Day Event 11:00 AM $400 8/13 27 NLH (Re-Entry) - $500,000 GTD - Held In Salon East - One Day Event 12:00 PM $10,000