Championship Day 1B: Ryan Dersch Knocks Out a Player

$3,500 WPT LHPO Championship
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 4:  300/500 with a 500 ante
Day 1B Entries:  802

Ryan Dersch

A player raised from middle position to 1,200, Ryan Dersch called from the button, and the player in the small blind reraised to 7,500. The original raiser called, and Dersch reraised to 22,500.

The small blind five-bet all in for 22,800, and both players called. Any additional betting would create a side pot.

The flop came 10s4h4d, the middle-position player checked, Dersch bet 12,000, and the middle-position player folded.

The player in the small blind turned over JhJd for an overpair, but he was drawing thin against Dersch’s QsQh.

The turn card was the 2c, the river card was the 3c, and Dersch won the pot with his pocket queens to eliminate the player in the small blind.

Ryan Dersch  –  145,000  (290 bb)

The tournament clock shows 802 entries so far here on Day 1B, for a two-day total of 1,695. Registration remains open with unlimited re-entries until the start of Level 9, around 9:15 pm. The total prizepool is already worth more than $5.42 million.

There will be a 90-minute dinner break after Level 6, around 5:30 pm, and action is scheduled to continue tonight until the end of Level 10, around 11:15 pm.

Championship Day 1B: Tony Sinishtaj Eliminated by Michael Tait

$3,500 WPT LHPO Championship
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 4:  300/500 with a 500 ante
Day 1B Entries:  765

Michael Tait
Michael Tait

Michael Tait limped from middle position for 400, the player in the hijack raised to 1,600, and Tony Sinishtaj reraised from the button to 5,000. Tait and the hijack both called.

The flop came 5x4x3x with two hearts, and it checked to Sinishtaj, who bet another 5,000. Tait check-raised to 15,000, the hijack folded, and Sinishtaj moved all in for about 35,000.

Tait called with KxKx, and Sinishtaj turned over QxQx, needing to improve.

The turn card was a 9x, the river card was a Kx, and Tait won the pot with an unnecessary set of kings to eliminate Sinishtaj.

Michael Tait  –  115,000  (230 bb)
Tony Sinishtaj  –  Eliminated

The tournament clock shows 765 entries so far here on Day 1B, for a two-day total of 1,658. Registration remains open with unlimited re-entries until the start of Level 9, around 9:15 pm. The total prizepool is already worth more than $5.3 million.

There will be a 90-minute dinner break after Level 6, around 5:30 pm, and action is scheduled to continue tonight until the end of Level 10, around 11:15 pm.

Championship Day 1B: Michael Stonehill Doubles Up in a Multi-Way Pot

$3,500 WPT LHPO Championship
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 3:  200/400 with a 400 ante
Day 1B Entries:  752

Michael Stonehill Josh Arieh
Michael Stonehill (left) and Josh Arieh (right)

A player raised under the gun to 1,200, the UTG+1 player called, another player called from middle position, Michael Stonehill called from the small blind, and Josh Arieh reraised from the big blind to 5,500.

The initial raiser tanked for a while before he folded, and the next three players called.

Four players saw the flop of 9h6d6c. Stonehill checked, and Arieh bet 6,100. The UTG+1 player folded, and the middle-position player raised to 16,500. Stonehill three-bet it to 50,000, and Arieh quickly folded. The middle-position player thought for a while before he called.

The turn card was the 2c, Stonehill moved all in for 10,800, and his opponent snap-called with 10h10d for two pair, tens and sixes. But Stonehill turned over 7c6h for trip sixes, and he needed to avoid a ten on the river to stay alive.

The river card was the Qc, and Stonehill won the pot with his trip sixes to double up in chips.

Michael Stonehill  –  151,300  (378 bb)

The tournament clock shows 752 entries so far here on Day 1B, for a two-day total of 1,645. Registration remains open with unlimited re-entries until the start of Level 9, around 9:15 pm. The total prizepool is already worth more than $5.26 million.

There will be a 90-minute dinner break after Level 6, around 5:30 pm, and action is scheduled to continue tonight until the end of Level 10, around 11:15 pm.

Championship Day 1B: Numbers Still Climbing

$3,500 WPT LHPO Championship
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 3:  200/400 with a 400 ante
Day 1B Entries:  715

Chance Kornuth (left) and Sheddy Siddiqui (right)

Players keep coming into the Grand Ballroom and we keep putting them in seats. There’s no line, no alternates, and we are seating players as fast as they can get a ticket.

The 1,608 entries so far make this the third biggest WPT field in history and we are aiming for number two on that list. We won’t beat the 2,482 from the 2021 Poker Showdown but 1,795 is in play to beat our 2014 Poker Showdown.

A few more familiar faces joined up including Chance Kornuth, Sheddy Siddiqui, Aaron Massey, and Jessica Cai.

Aaron Massey
Jessica Cai

Championship Day 1B: Michael Stonehill Knocks Out a Player

$3,500 WPT LHPO Championship
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 3:  200/400 with a 400 ante
Day 1B Entries:  715

Michael Stonehill
Michael Stonehill

With the final board showing 9h8h8s6d5h on the river and about 9,000 already in the pot, the player in the small blind bet 7,000, and Michael Stonehill moved all in under the gun.

The small blind tanked for a long time, apologizing to the table, before he called all in for 18,200 with 9c7h for a nine-high straight.

But Stonehill turned over AhKh to win the pot with an ace-high flush, eliminating the small blind.

Michael Stonehill  –  81,000  (203 bb)

The tournament clock shows 715 entries so far here on Day 1B, for a two-day total of 1,608. Registration remains open with unlimited re-entries until the start of Level 9, around 9:15 pm. The total prizepool is already worth more than $5.14 million.

There will be a 90-minute dinner break after Level 6, around 5:30 pm, and action is scheduled to continue tonight until the end of Level 10, around 11:15 pm.

Championship Day 1B: Mike Dentale Knocks Out a Player

$3,500 WPT LHPO Championship
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 3:  200/400 with a 400 ante
Day 1B Entries:  702

Mike Dentale

With the board showing KcQc9c7h on the turn, the player in the hijack checked, Mike Dentale bet 4,000, and the hijack check-raised all in for 18,000.

Dentale tanked for a while before he called with Jh10s for a king-high straight, and his opponent turned over Kd10c for a pair of kings with a club flush draw and a gutshot straight draw.

The river card was the 4s, and Dentale won the pot with his straight to eliminate his opponent.

Mike Dentale  –  123,000  (308 bb)

The tournament clock shows 702 entries so far here on Day 1B, for a two-day total of 1,595. Registration remains open with unlimited re-entries until the start of Level 9, around 9:15 pm. The total prizepool is already worth more than $5.1 million.

There will be a 90-minute dinner break after Level 6, around 5:30 pm, and action is scheduled to continue tonight until the end of Level 10, around 11:15 pm.

Championship Day 1B: Albert Knafo Leads the Field at the Break with 151,700

$3,500 WPT LHPO Championship
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 3:  200/400 with a 400 ante
Day 1B Entries:  685

Albert Knafo
Albert Knafo

The players returned from break to begin Level 3, with increased blinds of 200-400 with a big blind ante of 400.

The tournament clock shows 685 entries so far here on Day 1B, for a two-day total of 1,578. Registration remains open with unlimited re-entries until the start of Level 9, around 9:15 pm. The total prizepool is already worth more than $5.04 million.

A scan of the field during the break turned up three players with at least 120K in chips, creating an unofficial leaderboard:

1.  Albert Knafo  –  151,700  (379 bb)
2.  Aaron Chien  –  131,100  (328 bb)
3.  Dominick Sannino  –  126,700  (317 bb)

There will be a 90-minute dinner break after Level 6, around 5:30 pm, and action is scheduled to continue tonight until the end of Level 10, around 11:15 pm.

Championship Day 1B: Close Call Club

$3,500 WPT LHPO Championship
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 2:  200/300 with a 300 ante
Day 1B Entries:  630

Gabe Abusada (left) and Ken “Teach” Aldridge (right)

There are a lot of former WPT champs in today’s field but we also have a lot that got very close. Making a WPT final table is an accomplishment in itself and two are sitting next to each other at the front of the room.

Gabe Abusada came one spot short of putting his name on the Championship, finishing second to Brian Altman at the WPT Tampa final table. Ken “Teach” Aldridge is a favorite any time he shows up and he made a big splash by making the 2021 WPT Poker Showdown Championship final table, the biggest field in WPT history.

Championship Day 1B: Team Tampa

$3,500 WPT LHPO Championship
$2,000,000 Guaranteed | Structure
Level 2:  200/300 with a 300 ante
Day 1B Entries:  594

Marsha Wolak

We weren’t the only place offering up satellites as a chance to play in the WPT LHPO Championship for a fraction of the buy-in. Our friends in the Seminole Tampa Poker Room had a satellite of their own and sent six of their players across the state for a chance at a WPT title.

Four of them are playing today. Former WSOP Ladies Champion Marsha Wolak, all-time Tampa cash leader Karl Manouchakian, Nick Scholz, and Vincenzo Pizzurro are all seated and taking a shot.

Karl Manouchakian
Nicholas Scholz
Vincenzo Pizzurro