It was moving day Wednesday at the 2015 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open. The first few hours of the day were dedicated to bursting the money bubble, and as soon as the final 90 were reached it was a matter of jockeying for position going into the playdown day on Thursday.
As the last couple hours of the night ticked away in the pursuit of making it down to the final three tables, Shawn Cunix first separated himself from the pack and then blew the rest of them away. It resulted in a stack of 4,195,000 once the bags came out, and Cunix is positioned well for a run at his second career WPT title if things go well on Day 4.
Cunix’s previous experiences should suit him well on Day 4.
“If you’ve never made a final table before, I think it’s on you mind way heavier than a guy or gal who’s already made it before,” said Cunix. “Because I’ve made several already, and won a title, for me it’s about the win. I won’t be showing up tomorrow to sit back, and not put myself in a position to be lucky and win the whole thing.
If things work out the right way, he could be joined at that final table by James Calderaro – the man he beat heads-up to win the 2012 WPT Jacksonville bestbet Open. After the pair joked with each other for much of Day 3 Calderaro finished the night in fourth with 2,222,000 – just behind Randy Pfeifer (2,493,000) and Philippe Belley (2,260,000), and just ahead of Justin Liberto (2,051,000)
For Cunix, there would be no better pairing to make this final table.
“I think it’d be one for the history books if James and I made it again,” said Cunix. “He’s a wonderful person, and I know that we would light up the TV just like we did the last time. Who knows, maybe this time he might beat me.”
There are a number of other pros who also have their eyes on making that final six. Loni Harwood, Aaron Massey, Eugene Todd, Aaron Steury and Esther Taylor-Brady each made the final 27, but each of them will have to fight back from a below average stack to start Day 4.
More than 100 other players who started Day 3 wish they were in such a position after falling over the course of the day Wednesday. John Racener, Jamie Kerstetter, Joe Kuether, Mukul Pahuja, Byron Kaverman, Cliff Josephy, Shannon Shorr and early chipleaders Andy Hwang and Matt Itkin failed to even reach the money.
Shaun Deeb was one of the first to squeak into the money in 89th place, and the pace of eliminations moved even more quickly than the typical speed of exits. Zo Karim (87th), Tyler Kenney (77th), Athanasios Polychronopoulos (71st), Vinny Pahuja (68th), Jared Jaffee (67th), Mike Sexton (66th) and Shankar Pillai (64th) were all out in a matter of a couple hours following the bubble bursting.
Ravi Raghavan (63rd), Eric Blair (62nd), James Woods (59th), Tom McCormick (57th), Tim West (46th), Eric Afriat (41st), Andy Frankenberger (40th), David Tuthill (37th) and Chris Klodnicki (34th) made it deeper into the money, but couldn’t quite reach Day 4.
Things move from the Borgata’s Event Center to the Poker Room for Thursday, and they’ll play as long as they have to in order to reach a final table of six. Action resumes at 12 pm ET.
2015 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open – End of Day 3 Chip Counts
- Shawn Cunix – 4,195,000
- Randy Pfeifer – 2,493,000
- Philippe Belley – 2,260,000
- James Calderaro – 2,222,000
- Justin Liberto – 2,051,000
- Joshua Lawson – 1,624,000
- Aaron Mermelsetein – 1,460,000
- Michael Wang – 1,360,000
- Eugene Todd – 1,075,000
- Aaron Steury – 1,030,000
- Asher Conniff – 986,000
- Bruce Yamron – 943,000
- Matthew Alexander – 938,000
- Aaron Massey – 852,000
- Loni Harwood – 797,000
- Casey Yontz – 774,000
- Dan Wach – 761,000
- Kevin Calenzo – 562,000
- Esther Taylor-Brady – 551,000
- Barry Leventhal – 500,000
- Joseph Renzi – 493,000
- Justin Lunin-Pack – 442,000
- Norman Michalek – 366,000
- Vladimir Dobrovolskii – 320,000
- Mitchell Nong – 309,000
- Joseph Opie – 282,000
- Nicholas Petitti – 73,000
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