The journey from the final 28 down to the final table of six was a long one at the World Poker Tour bestbet Jacksonville Fall Poker Scramble in Florida, and there were some surprising twists and turns as the field battled to have a chance at $402,970 and the title of WPT champion. Noah Schwartz doubled up near the end of the night and scored the final elimination punch so he will take a massive chip lead into the final table on Tuesday that will begin at 2 p.m. ET.
Schwartz holds close to half of the chips in play and this will be his fourth WPT final table. Schwartz could book his first WPT title on Tuesday but he has some tough competition in WPT Champions Club member Lee Markholt, who is fourth in chips. The chip counts for the final six are as follows:
Seat 1: Lee Markholt – 1,720,000
Seat 2: Byron Kaverman – 1,075,000
Seat 3: Ryan Hartmann – 1,400,000
Seat 4: Hans Winzeler – 1,965,000
Seat 5: Brian Senie – 1,865,000
Seat 6: Noah Schwartz – 6,225,000
The final hand of the night saw Brian Senie raise from the button to 80,000, Shon Mekyten called from the small blind, and Schwartz called from the big blind. The flop was dealt A 2 2 and Mekyten checked, Schwartz bet 100,000, Senie folded, and Mekyten called.
The turn card was the T and Mekyten checked, Schwartz bet 215,000, and Mekyten check-raised all in for 935,000. Schwartz called and Mekyten revealed A T for top two pair, aces and tens. But Schwartz flipped over K 6 for a club flush, so Mekyten needed an ace, a ten, or a deuce to stay alive at that point. The river card was the 5, and Schwartz won the pot to eliminate Mekyten in seventh place and bring Day 3 to a late close around 2 a.m. ET.
Perhaps the most surprising elimination on Day 3 came quite early in the proceedings and the fact that Day 2 chip leader Joe Elpayaa fell in 25th place is what made it unexpected. In the hand Ryan Hartmann raised from middle position to 22,000, James Calderaro called on the cutoff, and Elpayaa reraised from the button to 67,000. Hartmann thought for a while before he moved all in for 540,000 and Calderaro folded.
Elpayaa tanked for a while before he called with T T. Hartmann turned over A K, and it was a race situation between nearly identical chip stacks. The board was dealt Q Q 5 A A and Hartmann won the pot with a full house, aces full of queens. The chip stacks were counted down and Elpayaa was covered by just 3,000 – less than a small blind. Elpayaa was eliminated from the tournament and took home $10,685 in prize money.
The other notables that joined Elpayaa in the cash column on Day 3 included Joey Weissman (23rd place – $10,685), Todd Terry (19th place – $10,685), Jonathan Aguiar (16th place – $12,211), Darryll Fish (15th place – $14,501), James Calderaro (12th place – $18,317), Mohsin Charania (11th place – $18,317), John Racener (10th place – $18,317), and Justin Zaki (Ninth place – $24,422).
Check back in with BLUFF at the conclusion of the tournament on Tuesday night to see who will become the newest member of the WPT Champions Club. Here is the prize money they will be playing for at the final table:
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