Naj Ajez leads the WPT World Championship after Day 3

After many players breathed a sigh of relief after the money bubble burst at the end of Day 2 of the WPT World Championship, it was time to move on to Day 3 on Sunday to focus on digging deeper into the payouts. The day started with 480 players and ended with 132; Naj Ajez is the chip leader with 11.435 million chips.

The first person eliminated on Monday will receive $37,600. With a prize pool of $40 million – the field was a little short of surpassing the guaranteed $40 million – six-figure payouts extend to 48th place. The eventual winner will receive $5.678 million and the final six will all be millionaires.

Naj Ajex achieved his goal by winning the largest pot of the entire tournament. With blinds of 25,000/50,000 and an ante of 50,000 chips, Ajez raised to 250,000 preflop and Maxime Chilaud raised again to 810,000. Ajez then moved all in for 5.605 million and Chilaud called and covered his opponent.

Ajez knocked down AK Offsuit while Chilaud showed pocket queens for the lead in hand and a slight overall advantage to win it. The flop came with J-8-3 Rainbow, which changed nothing, but a king on the turn gave Ajez a better pair and another jack on the river sealed it for him.

Chilaud was still in good shape with 4.3 million chips after the gigantic hand and Ajez took the tournament's chip lead towards the end of the evening.

Interestingly, this is Naj Ajez's first live tournament money won outside of his native Australia. A look at his resume on database shows that he has scored over 50 cashes since 2012, all of them in Australia. Some even take part in WSOP and WPT events. All told, he has won around $1.2 million in prize money from live tournaments, the largest of which was $205,884 when he finished third in the 2022 WPT Australia Main Event.

Day 4 of the WPT World Championship began some time ago. It includes five 90-minute levels with no dinner break before ending.

WPT World Championship 2023 – Day 3 Chip Leaders

  1. Naj Ajez – 11,435,000
  2. Artur Martirosian – 10,930,000
  3. Andres Campero – 10,535,000
  4. Ankit Ahuja – 9,090,000
  5. Mario Navarro – 7,625,000
  6. Mark Mounsey – 7,520,000
  7. Kristen Foxen – 7,260,000
  8. Paulius Vaitiekunas – 7,240,000
  9. Chris Moorman – 7,120,000
  10. Roman Hrabec – 6,620,000

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