The Card Player Poker Tour bestbet Jacksonville $2,500 no-limit hold’em main event has trimmed its 339-entry field down to the final table of eight with Dustin Holladay holding the inside track to the $158,915 first place prize.
Holladay, who finished eighth in bestbet’s $2,500 no-limit hold’em event last March, holds the chip lead after a strong showing throughout Day 2. He’ll start the final day with 2,435,000 in chips after steadily accumulating chips throughout Sunday’s Day 2, which is nearly 25% of the chips in play.
Joining him at the top of the counts is Benjamin Scroggins with 1,920,000. Scroggins surged to the top of the leaderboard late in the day after doubling through Raminder Singh with A-K against A-Q and then winning a race to eliminate Singh in 11th place.
World Series of Poker bracelet winner and eight-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Kyle Cartwright is easily the most accomplished player at the final table. He’ll start Monday’s final table fourth in chips with 1,385,000. Jessica Cai, wife of 2019 WSOP main event sixth-place finisher Zhen Cai, held her own throughout the day and will head into Monday third in chips with 1,860,000.
Cai won a massive pot late in the day, eliminating World Poker Tour champion and high-stakes pro Jonathan Jaffe and Matthew Leecy in the same hand. Her pocket jacks held up against Leecy’s A-K and Jaffe’s J-10 suited to vault herself temporarily into the chip lead.
The back half of the final table is rounded out by Joseph Crowley, Jeremy Joseph, Lamare Davis and Mac Johnson. The final eight players will return at 4 p.m. to get the final table underway. There will be cards-up coverage on bestbet LIVE with streams available on both Twitch and YouTube.
Day 2 started Sunday at noon with 62 players in the hunt for the title, but making the money was the first thing on everyone’s mind as the to 43 spots would earn a payday.
Longtime pro TK Miles, started the day ninth in chips, but was one of the players who was eliminated shy of the money after his trip jacks ran into Crowley’s nut flush. 2018 WSOP main event runner-up Tony Miles was also eliminated before the money.
The bubble burst about halfway through the third level of the day when Christopher Okoli was forced all in from the big blind and Sterling Savill picked up pocket kings. As that hand started, there was an elimination at a neighboring table and hand-for-hand play was avoided.
Savill ended up making a run at the final table, but was one of the last few eliminations of the day, busting in 12th for $12,738. Other notables that were eliminated in the money were BJ McBrayer (13th), Jonathan Jaffe (16th), Hal Rotholz (20th), Ryan McAllister (21st), Chris Conrad (38th) and Steve Karp (39th).
When play resumes on Monday, there is slightly more than 30 minutes remaining in the current level with blinds of 15,000-30,000 with a 30,000 big blind ante. Everybody is guaranteed a cash of at least $20,081.
Here is a look at the final table chip counts:
Seat 1: Jeremy Joseph – 675,000
Seat 2: Kyle Cartwright – 1,385,000
Seat 3: Benjamin Scroggins – 1,920,000
Seat 4: Jessica Cai – 1,860,000
Seat 5: Mac Johnson – 175,000
Seat 6: Joseph Crowley – 1,115,000
Seat 7: Dustin Holladay – 2,435,000
Seat 8: Lamare Davis – 600,000