The 2021 World Poker Tour Venetian $5,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event attracted a field of 1,199 entries, blowing away the $3 million guarantee to build a prize pool of $5,545,375. From that massive sea of entries, now just six players remain with a shot at the title and the first-place prize. In what is reportedly a first for the WPT, half of the players to make the six-handed final table in this tournament are women. Kyna England, Daniela Rodriguez, and Kitty Kuo (pictured above) are all in with a shot at becoming just the second female player to win an open WPT main tour event. Ema Zajmovic was the first to achieve that feat when she took down the 2017 WPT Playground $3,500 CAD no-limit hold’em main event title.
The final six players in this event are all guaranteed at least a $192,855 payday for their deep runs in this huge $5,000 buy-in event, but their eyes will all be on the title and the top prize of $910,370.
Below is a look at the seating assignment and chip counts for the final six.:
Seat 1. Chad Eveslage – 17,725,000 (142 bb)
Seat 2. Tim McDermott – 4,500,000 (36 bb)
Seat 3. Kitty Kuo – 2,700,000 (22 bb)
Seat 4. Mike Liang – 18,225,000 (146 bb)
Seat 5. Daniela Rodriguez – 2,250,000 (18 bb)
Seat 6. Kyna England – 2,575,000 (21 bb)
Mike Liang bagged up the largest stack heading into the final table. He won the 2021 running of the L.A. Poker Classic $10,000 main event, which was not part of the WPT this year. Liang is also a World Series of Poker Circuit gold ring winner, having taken down the 2017 WSOP Circuit Horseshoe Baltimore $365 buy-in no-limit hold’em event for $182,920. Liang’s 18,225,000 will be good for 146 big blinds when action resumes at the final table.
Chad Eveslage is the only other player with more than 100 big blinds. Eveslage is off to a fantastic start in 2021, with two titles won and $869,148 in earnings. He took down a $1,100 preliminary event at the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open series for 101,572 in January, then emerged victorious in the $25,500 high roller event at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown festival for another $767,576. Evelsage sits just a handful of big blinds behind Liang when cards get back in the air at 1:00 p.m. local time on Wednesday, July 7.
Tim Mcdermott has $537,590 in prior live tournament earnings heading into the final table. His 36 big blinds are good for third place on the leaderboard. Kitty Kuo has the next-largest stack. Kuo has more than $2.2 million in tournament cashes under her belt already, including a runner-up finish in the 2018 WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic main event for $248,380. Her 2,700,000 will represent 22 big blinds when action resumes at 75,000-125,000 with a 125,000 big blind ante.
Kyna England sits just one big blind behind Kuo with 2,575,000. England earned the biggest score of her career earlier this year when she finished third in the Mid-States Poker Tour Riverside $1,100 main event for $73,782.
Daniela Rodriguez is the short stack at the final table with 2,250,000 for 18 big blinds. This is Rodriguez’s first score on the WPT. Her only prior recorded poker tournament cash came in the 2020 WSOP Online $400 ‘Colossus’ event, which saw her finish 1,317th from a field of 12,757 entries.
Here is a look at the remaining payouts:
Plenty of big names made deep runs in this event, only to fall short of making the final table. Among those to cash were Sean Perry (46th – $19,920), Chance Kornuth (42nd – $19,920), Keven Stammen (36th – $23,145), Robert Mizrachi (35th – $23,145), Tony Tran (32nd – $27,210), Harrison Gimbel (31st – $27,210), Ben Palmer (30th – $27,210), Kathy Liebert (28th – $27,210), John Hennigan (23rd – $32,355), Nick Pupillo (22nd – $32,355), Jason Koon (18th – $38,920), Tony Dunst (13th – $58,230), Scotty Nguyen (11th – $72,410), and Michael Mizrachi (9th – $91,035).