With tournaments having great success in both Las Vegas (the WPT World Championship) and Rozvadov (the EPT Prague), the World Series of Poker schedule at the Atlantis Resort Spa in the Bahamas was somehow overlooked. The WSOP Paradise Main Event, as announced, has determined its final table, and popular pro Matt Glantz is in the hunt for his first bracelet. However, he has his work cut out for him as he stares at several larger stacks on the leaderboard.
Close call for warranty
The WSOP Paradise was more of an adventure for the tournament organizers than they could have imagined. Some of the events struggled to get beyond their guaranteed prize pools, with the first two events coming in just over a guaranteed prize pool of $5 million. The $15 million Main Event of the WSOP Paradise schedule narrowly topped that total with 3,010 entrants and a $15,050 million prize pool.
That didn't seem to matter to the 59 players who returned Wednesday to determine the final nine entrants for the inaugural WSOP Paradise Main Event bracelet. Leading the way was Henrique Lessa of Brazil, who collected 8.64 million chips for the fight on Day 3. He was followed by a familiar name to poker fans, Adam Walton, a finalist in the 2023 WSOP Championship Event who finished third in the $10,000 Championship Event this summer. Walton had a stack of 8.48 million, surpassing Rui Sousa, Stanislav Zegal and Troy Quenneville at the start of the day.
Walton made moves to take the chip lead early in the day. He would eliminate Jose Zurita after overtaking him 5-2 against Zurita's Pocket Kings (5-3-2) and breaking the ten million chip mark. Walton wouldn't receive a challenger until Sousa eliminated David Petters and also passed the ten million chip mark.
For his part, Glantz was brought back into the field before a big double-up against Quenneville. Glantz fought with pocket tens (with his tournament life on the line) against Quenneville's AQ, and the eight-high board cooperated with Glantz's pair to shake his hand. That was a key moment for them Creator of the Charity Series of Poker as it doubled to 4.8 million; The news wasn't so good for Quenneville as he only reached 725,000.
The “good run” would continue for Glantz. In another big matchup, Glantz would find just the right moment to have pocket aces against Siarhei Chudapal's Big Slick. Chudapal would find a king on the board, but it came on the river and wasn't enough to beat Glantz, who rose to 9.1 million chips, while Chudapal was left with only scraps, which went to Michael Skienicka.
Three tables for a final table
When the field reached the final 24 players after the evening break, only three players – Zegal (14,475 million), Sousa (12.8 million) and Jacopo Achille (11,225 million) – surpassed the ten million mark, but there were several lurking Competitors Glantz. Bryce Yockey, Walton and Timothy Adams were all involved, with Adams only having a short stack. Adams was unable to move this pile up and was eliminated in 20Th Place to Walton after the 2023 WSOP Championship Event player took bullets against Adams' pocket eights.
It would take about six hours to determine the final table, but it was the last few hands of the evening that would prove interesting. Walton was not in the final eight and was eliminated in twelfth, and after Luke Graham retired in eighth place, Glantz was in the lead. However, that changed when Daniel Neilson was able to push through pocket fours against Glantz's AK after Glantz made a pair and Neilson hit a set on the K-2-4 flop. Although Nielson would give up some chips to Sklenicka in a double, it was still enough for Nielson to have a significant lead heading into the final table.
1. Daniel Nielson, 37.4 million
2. Stanislav Zegal, 28 million
(Draw) Gabriel Schroeder, 28 million
4. Rui Sousa, 20.7 million
5. Michael Sklenicka, 16 million
6. Matt Glantz, 15.5 million
7. Montgomery McQuade, 4.9 million
The final table for the WSOP Paradise is scheduled for this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. and will be played for the champion. This lucky person will win the first-ever (and unique) WSOP Paradise Main Event bracelet and secure the $2 million first place prize.
(Photo courtesy of WSOP.com and Tomas Stacha)