WPT: Dempsey and Failla Keeping WPT POY Race Interesting

Last week, Joe Serock took control of the World Poker Tour Player of the Year race with his third place finish in the Seminole Hard Rock Showdown. However, now the ball might not be in Serock’s court much longer. There are only 55 players left in the WPT’s Jacksonville bestbet Open $5,000 Main Event and there are more than a couple players in the field who can overtake Serock with a final table appearance.

One of those players is James Dempsey and he spent Day 2 of the event working his way up the counts. Dempsey began with an above average stack and steadily won chips throughout the day, ending with 404,500, which is enough to put him in the top five chip counts. Dempsey can tie for the lead with Serock with a sixth place showing. Will Failla is another player who can make up ground in Florida. He only needs a seventh or better to retake the lead. Failla is not too far behind Dempsey in the counts, having ended the day with 355,000. Others with potential to make an impact on the race include Fred Goldberg, Matt Giannetti, Dan Buzgon, and Darren Elias, who began Day 2 action as chip leader.

Elias started the day on top of the 160 Day 2 players and he ended the day in a similar spot. Elias is second in chips with 636,000 and trails only chip leader Farrid Jattin, who finished with 718,000. Jattin eliminated Day 1B chip leader Amine Chabane midway through the day to jump to the top spot and held on to the chip lead the remainder of the day. Chabane was just one of a long list of casualties that also included Mike Sexton, Matthew Waxman, Matt Stout, Shannon Shorr, WPT Jacksonville winner Tony Ruberto, Lisa Hamilton, Abbey Daniels, John Racener, and Jonathan Little.

On Day 3, the final 55 players should burst the 36-person money bubble. A min cash in this event is worth $9,610 and the winner will be taking home $400,600 worth of the $1.5 million prize pool. Some of the notables still in contention include Byron Kaverman, Brian Hastings, Darryll Fish, Tony Dunst, Matt Marafioti, Allen Kessler, Taylor von Kriegenbergh, and Andy Frankenberger.

Day 3 is set to get underway at 2pm ET on Monday. Here are the top ten unofficial chip counts from the end of Day 2:

1. Farid Jattin – 718,000
2. Darren Elias – 636,000
3. Shawn Cunix – 411,000
4. James Dempsey – 404,500
5. David Tuthill – 381,000
6. Peter Campo – 341,500
7. Will Failla – 335,000
8. Byron Kaverman – 292,000
9. Barrty Hutter – 275,000
10. Matt Giannetti – 274,500

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