And then there were six at Choctaw. The Choctaw Casino and Resort in Durant, Oklahoma is one of the coolest gambling spots in the middle of America. Who woulda thought that Durant would be a poker hotbed, but they folks that run the poker room are great at their jobs.
The WPT Choctaw is a $3,700 buy-in affair with a pair of opening flights. This year's event attracted 577 entrants. The prize pool fell short of $2 million. Only the top 74 places paid out. Most of the cheesecake got paid out to the final table with the top two banking the bulk of it. First place will earn a payday worth $379,990, while the runner-up walks with $243,330. Not too shabby, eh?
In addition, all WPT winners on this season of the World Poker Tour earn a freeroll into the $15,000 Tournament of Champions. The Baccarat Crystal WPT TOC is scheduled for June 1. The TOC is open to anyone who has ever won a WPT title. They have to pay $15K, but the winners this season get the freeroll.
Denny Tran bubbled off the final table in seventh place.
The final table featured Nick Pupillo, Will Berry, Stacey Jones, Craig Varnell, Trung Pham, and Austin Lewis. Stacey Jones is a country singer and tavern owner from Odessa, Texas.
Will Berry heads into the finale in Las Vegas with 7.6 million or 33% of the chips in play. Craig Varnell also has a big stack with over 6.2M.
They'll be facing three medium stacks and a short stack. Austin Lewis, Nick Pupillo, and Trung Pham all have stacks between 2.5M and 3.1M.
Stacey Jones is the shortest stack remaining with a tad under 1M.
Notable names who cashed in the 2019 WPT Choctaw in Durant, Oklahoma included... David The Dragon Pham, Jason Strasser, Joe Elpayaa, Dan Kloepper, Eric Baldwin, Ping Liu, Jeff Frye, Jean Gaspard, Darren Elias, Jared Jaffee, Will the Thrill, Dylan Linde, Linda Stockstill, Blair Hinkle, Andy Hwang, Lauren Bunch, James Calderaro, Sam Panzica, Kenny Nguyen, Shawn Rice, and Brian Altman.
The final table resumes on May 31 at the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas. The HyperX eSports arena will be hosting this delayed final table.
Meanwhile, the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown has yet to play down to a champion. That delayed final table will take place on May 30. Maria Ho is the chip leader with six remaining in that one.
The Aria Casino hosts the final regular WPT event of the season. The 2019 WPT Aria Summer Championship that kicks off on Memorial Day.
2019 WPT Choctaw
Prize Pool: $1,958,915
Will Berry 7,575,000
Craig Varnell 6,230,000
Nick Pupillo 3,135,000
Trung Pham 2,600,000
Austin Lewis 2,560,000
Stacey Jones 980,000
Final Table Payouts: