WPT Choctaw Championship Final Table Set; Eric Afriat Can Catch Darren Elias’ Record

Home » WPT Choctaw Championship Final Table Set; Eric Afriat Can Catch Darren Elias’ Record
WPT Choctaw Championship

Day 3 in the $3,800 buy-in World Poker Tour (WPT) Choctaw Championship on Monday began with 35 players, but only six of them still have a shot at the $361,600 first place prize. One of those individuals — Eric Afriat — has an opportunity to make history.

There won’t be a Day 4 on Tuesday in Durant, Oklahoma at Choctaw Casino & Resort. That is because the tournament is taking a break and will resume on May 30 in Las Vegas.

Past Choctaw Champ Chip Leads

James Mackey
James Mackey

James Mackey won this same event in 2016, and he’s in great position to reclaim that title with the chip lead heading into the final table. Mackey’s stack sits at 10,550,000, the only player to crack the eight-figure mark thus far.

Adam Hendrix, one of the top high stakes players in the world, is the closest in chips at 8,775,000. And then there’s quite a drop off from the rest of the field. Sebastian Aube sits in third place with 3,600,000 and the blinds resuming at 75,000/125,000 (125,000 big blind ante). Eric Afriat bagged the fourth largest stack at 2,875,000, followed by Danny Marx (2,375,000) and Erick Lindgren (2,375,000), a two-time World Poker Tour champion who just cashed in his first WPT event since 2013.

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Final Table Chip Counts

1 James Mackey 10,550,000
2 Adam Hendrix 8,775,000
3 Sebastian Aube 3,600,000
4 Eric Afriat 2,875,000
5 Danny Marx 2,375,000
6 Erick Lindgren 1,975,000

Each of the six players took home $75,000 before leaving Choctaw, sixth place money. But they’re all hoping to spin it up at the final table and claim the $361,600 first place prize, which also comes with a seat in the $10,400 buy-in WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas in December.

Poker Boom Era Superstar Erick Lindgren is Deep in the WPT Choctaw Championship

Afriat Playing for More than Just the Money

Eric Afriat WPT Choctaw
Eric Afriat

At present, there are six players with exactly three World Poker Tour titles — Afriat, Chino Rheem, Gus Hansen, Anthony Zinno, Brian Altman, and Carlos Mortensen. Zinno took 15th place for $26,500 at Choctaw, ending his shot to win his fourth, a record held only by Darren Elias, widely considered the G.O.A.T. of the WPT.

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But Afriat could be just a few weeks away from joining Elias into some pretty elite company. And he is quite enthusiastic about potentially making history.

“It’s important to me,” Afriat, an avid PokerNews reader said of the possibility of catching up to Elias. “That’s why I keep playing these WPT’s because I want to write history.”

Afriat will have a shot at writing history in Las Vegas later this month, but he’ll have to come from behind to win against one of the most stacked final tables in recent memory. But he said he will do “nothing” to prepare for his opponents because he plans to “follow my instincts and just play my game.”

The three-way layoff presents certain challenges for some, but Afriat said he “loves” the format.

“It’s the greatest thing they ever did,” Afriat said of the final table pause. “I think it’s fantastic. Fantastic for the WPT, for the game itself to bring people, because people love TV events. Choctaw does a great job, as a TV event, it really brings in the people.”

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Lindgren echoed those sentiments, saying the format reminds him of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event “November Nine” era.

PokerNews will have extensive coverage of the WPT Choctaw Championship final table on May 30 from Las Vegas.

*Images courtesy of World Poker Tour/Enrique Malfavon.

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