Eric Afriat Chasing Back to Back WPT Titles, Leads WPT Championship

Eric Afriat is in great shape to win another WPT title.

Eric Afriat is in great shape to win another WPT title.

Just one week ago Eric Afriat was skipping his family’s Seder to win the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown. Now he’s found himself in position to become the first player to win back-to-back WPT titles in the same season. Afriat finished Day 2 of the WPT World Championship as the overwhelming chipleader, bagging up 1,003,000 – while the next biggest stack at the end of the day was just 567,000.

Five players, including two former WPT champions, finished play with at least 500,000 chips. Anthony Gregg sits second with 567,000 while Athanasios Polychronopoulos is right behind him with 560,000. Scott Seiver, who won the Season IX WPT World Championship, is right there as well after finishing with 539,500.

Afriat picked up a big chunk of his chips in a hand with Harrison Gimbel. With Afriat, Gimbel and one other player in the pot and the board showing K T 6 Afriat bet 24,000, the other player folded before Gimbel raised to 64,000. Afriat responded to a re-raise to 130,000 and Gimbel responding by moving all-in for just roughly 280,000. Afriat called and tabled A A while Gimbel was on a draw with 7 6. The 8 turn and J river failed to help Gimbel and sent him to the rail and pushed Afriat into the massive chiplead that he protected until play ended for the day.

The final payouts were announced on Wednesday with 36 players cashing. The eventual winner takes home $1,310,146 while a min-cash is worth $30,085.

Phil Hellmuth highlights the list of notable players still in contention. The 13-time WSOP bracelet winner finished with the third shortest stack of the remaining 68 players, 54,000. Justin Young (372,000), Jeff Madsen (281,000), Loni Harwood (225,500) and Jeff Gross (221,500) are also still alive. The average stack is 241,176.

Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin also lasted through the six levels, finishing with 74,500.

Included amongst the 132 players who busted on Wednesday were Greg Merson, Marvin Rettenmaier, Matt Salsberg, Chris Moorman and newly minted WPT Player of the Year Mukul Pahuja.

Action gets underway at Noon ET on Thursday and players will play down to 27 players.

Top 5 Chip Counts

  1. Eric Afriat – 1,003,000
  2. Anthony Gregg – 567,000
  3. Athanasios Polychronopoulos – 560,000
  4. Scott Seiver – 539,500
  5. Ryan D’Angelo – 519,500
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Lance Bradley

Editor in Chief at BLUFF.com
Editor in Chief: Lance Bradley began working with BLUFF in March 2008 and was named Editor in Chief in August 2009. Prior to joining BLUFF Bradley launched an independent poker blog, ThePokerBiz.com in 2006. Before entering the world of poker media he was the Poker Room Manager for Bodog from January 2004 until June 2006. He graduated from the Applied Journalism program Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, Canada.
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