Those concerns ended up being anything but an issue, as it took just six hours to trim the field from 19 players to the six-handed final table. The eliminations began with the ousting of one of the two former Southern Poker Champs left in the field. Hoyt Corkins hit the rail in 19th place shortly after Shannon Shorr took a chunk of his chips. Beginning of day chip leader Ryan Hughes got the rest in a coinflip situation, leaving Allen Carter as the only WPT winner remaining in the field.
Notables like Jordan Smith (17th), Chad Brown (16th), and Hilbert Shirey (15th) were just some of the eliminations over the course of Day 4 of play. While they failed to make the final table, Carter found himself steadily chipping up. The Season VII champ jumped to the chip lead after doubling through Shorr in the biggest pot of the tournament thus far. Shorr moved all-in over the top of a big bet from Patrick Mahoney on an A42 flop and Carter was waiting behind him with bottom set. Shorr held just 55 and Carter doubled up to become the first player over 2 million chips.
Carter’s bounty was Shorr’s misery as he went from chip leader to one of the shortest stacks in the field. Shorr was not the only player to ascend to the chip lead only to end up in the middle of the pack. Hughes came into the day with the chip lead and a seven-figure stack, but ended with less than he started with at 840,000. Both will be present at Thursday’s final table. Hughes will begin third in chips, while Shorr starts fifth in chips.
Hughes’ 840,000-chip stack pales in comparison to the two chip leaders headed into the final table, Carter and Alexander Kuzmin. Kuzmin is the chip leader with 1,969,000 and Carter is hot on his heels with 1,928,000. Those two have more than twice the chips of their next closest competitor and will begin the final table with over 190 big blinds apiece. Friends Leif Force and Pat Mahoney round out the final table. Force will begin play fourth in chips, while Mahoney is the short stack.
Even though we have two monster chip leaders, there is still plenty of play for everyone at the final table. As the short stack, Mahoney is beginning with a more than workable stack of 40 big blinds. While Day 4 was a speedy affair, many are predicting a long final table, even though a number of the players in the line-up have a reputation of being aggressive players.
Should Carter win this event, he will become the first player in WPT history to win the same event twice. Nick Schulman came close to achieving that feat at Foxwoods in Season VI, but ended up just shy of the win, finishing runner-up to Mike Vela.
Here are the chip counts and seat assignments for Thursday’s final table. When play resumes, blinds will be at 5,000-10,000 ante 1,000:
Seat 1: Alexander Kuzmin – 1,969,000
Seat 2: Pat Mahoney – 394,000
Seat 3: Leif Force – 674,000
Seat 4: Ryan Hughes – 840,000
Seat 5: Shannon Shorr – 663,000
Seat 6: Allen Carter – 1,928,000
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