A total of 1,360 entries were made in the 2019 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $3,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event, blowing away the $3 million guarantee to create a final prize pool of $4,352,000. After four full days of action, the sizable field has been narrowed to just six players, each of whom will be battling for the title and the first-place prize of $715,175 when play resumes for the final table on May 30.
This is the fourth WPT event to utilize a new delayed final table approach, which is standard for all televised final tables during the tour’s 17th season. The final six will make their way to the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas at the end of May, with the champion to be decided more than six weeks after the final table was set. The final six have all locked up at least a $148,380 payday in this event and will have their travel accommodations and hotel stays covered by the WPT.
The chip leader heading into the final table is 2014 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star main event champion James Carroll. He will enter the battle for the title with 18,525,000, which will be good for 124 big blinds when play picks back up at 75,000-150,000 blinds with a big-blind ante of 150,000. Carroll has over $3.7 million in earnings and is in great shape to increase that number considerably with a strong showing in this event.
The next largest stack belongs to Maria Ho, whose 16,650,000 represents 111 big blinds. Ho will be looking to capture her first main tour title on the WPT, with her highest previous finish being sixth place in the 2016 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star main event. Ho has more than $3 million in career cashes, and has taken down a title on the WPTDeepStacks tour, winning a tournament in Johannesburg, South Africa for $70,000 in October of 2018.
Carroll and Ho are well out ahead of the rest of the final six. The next largest stack is Ami Alibay with 8,175,000. The Canadian has $437,617 in prior live tournament earnings and has already locked up the largest score of his career by making this final table.
Two-time WPT champion Eric Afriat will enter the final table with 4,425,000 and a chance to join Darren Elias, Carlos Mortensen, Gus Hansen, Chino Rheem and Anthony Zinno as the only players with three or more WPT main event titles. Afriat won this very event back in 2014, earning $1,081,184 for the largest payday of his career. His second title came when he took down the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open in 2018 for $651,928. The Canadian poker pro has nearly $2.7 million in lifetime live tournament earnings.
Chad Eveslage bagged up 3,350,000 going into the final table. The Muncie, Indiana native has accumulated more than $1.1 million in previous career cashes, with just a single six-figure score for $103,025.
Rounding out the final table is 2016 World Series of Poker main event eighth-place finisher Jerry Wong. The Brooklyn, New York resident’s 3,225,000 will be good for 22 big blinds when the final table resumes. Wong has accumulated over $3.5 million in live tournament earnings, with over $1.1 million coming from his deep run in the big dance.
There were 18 players that returned at the start of day 4. Among the 12 that hit the rail as the field was narrowed down to the final table were Ryan D’Angelo (9th – $69,920), former NFL player Richard Seymour (15th – $36,195) and partypoker LIVE MILLIONS North America champion Taylor Black (16th – $36,195).
Here is a look at the chip counts for the remaining six players:
Player photo credits: Joe Giron / WPT.