The 2021 World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $3,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event set the record for the largest field in WPT history, attracting 2,482 total entries to build a prize pool of $7,942,400. After two starting flights and three more days of tournament action, there are now just six players remaining with a shot at the title and the $1,261,095 first-place prize.
The remaining competitors will all have to wait until May 18th to see which of them will have their name added to the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup. This event will be one of three delayed final tables to be played out at the PokerGO studios in Las Vegas in the coming weeks, with the action being filmed for television broadcast at a later date. The other two final tables, for the WPT L.A. Poker Classic and the WPT Borgata Winer Poker Open, were both set in early 2020 and have been delayed for over a year due to the COVID-10 pandemic.
Play concluded at the host venue of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida late on Tuesday, Apr. 27. with the elimination of World Series of Poker bracelet winner Erik Cajelais in seventh place ($203,405). The final six bagged up their chips, with action set to resume three weeks later in Las Vegas. They have all locked up at least $261,700 for their deep runs in this event.
The chip leader heading into the final table is Sonny Franco with 31,900,000, which will be good for just shy of 80 big blinds when play picks back up at 200,000-400,000 with a big blind ante of 400,000. The French player has just shy of $1.7 million in career live tournament earnings to his name, including a win in the WPTDeepStacks Paris €1,500 buy-in main event in 2020 for $221,209.
Franco just barely edged out Brekstyn Schutten for the top spot on the leaderboard. The Grand Rapids, Michigan resident bagged up 31,350,000 to put himself within a couple big blinds of the lead. Schutten will more than double his career live tournament earnings of $376,132 if he manages to finish inside the top four in May.
North Carolina’s Steven Snyder ended with 15,975,000 (40 big blinds). The 2016 WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Cherokee $1,675 main event champion has accumulated $863,639 in live cashes since recording his first score in 2014.
Sitting in fourth place is Ken Aldridge, who is known to many in the poker world as ‘Teach’. The retired high school educator from North Carolina has cashed for $1,781,959 in live poker tournaments over the years, with four career titles including a WSOP bracelet won in the $1,500 buy-in six-max no-limit hold’em event back in 2009. This will be Aldridge’s second WPT main event final table, having finished as the runner-up in the 2011 WPT Legends of Poker for $365,800.
Albert Calderon will have 5,350,000 (13 big blinds) to work with at the final table. The 2019 Arizona State Poker Championship main event winner will double his career earnings of $259,536 regardless of how he fares the rest of the way.
Rounding out the final table is Viet Vo, who has just over 10 big blinds in his 4,150,000 stack. While he may be the short stack, Vo is also the player with the most prior live tournament earnings at this final table. He has cashed for $1,964,667 throughout his career, including finishing second in the 2018 WPT Choctaw main event for $320,725.
Here is a look at chip counts of the final six players:
Here are the remaining payouts up for grabs at the final table:
Photo credits: Joe Giron / WPT.