WPT Side Event Ends in 16-Way Chop
Deals are commonplace in poker tournaments partly because of the disparity between the payouts. They are common both live and in online poker. These deals usually see less than a handful of players involved, but a recent WPT side event in Maryland ended in a 16-way chop!
The World Poker Tour (WPT) has been at the Live! Casino & Hotel in Maryland for the past few weeks. More than a dozen tournaments crowned their champion, including the $3,500 Main Event. That tournament saw 495 players buy in and create a $1,584,000 prize pool shared among the top 62 finishers.
Christian Harder, Joe McKeehen, Ryan D’Angelo, and Darren Elias cashed. As did Anthony Zinno who finished in fourth-place for $111,415 and Brian Altman who busted one place deeper for $149,515. Nitis Udornpim was the last man standing and banked $319,415. There was no 16-way chop in this particular event despite the big pay jumps!
Nobody Predicted a 16-Way Chop
A $360 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Multi-Flight event rounded off the festival in Maryland. Ten flights drew in a crowd of 1,652 players, meaning the $500,000 guarantee was narrowly missed. Jason Heidenthal, the Tournament Director at the casino was not working on the final day but he was monitoring the situation from home. Eighteen players still had chips in front of them at 23:00. Heidenthal did some math and predicted the tournament would last another four or five hours.
The tournament director on duty sent a curious text to Heidenthal shortly afterward. It read that the final 18 players are talking about a possible 18-way chop. Discussions proved fruitless and play continued. Two more players lost their stacks and fresh deal discussions took place.
Heidenthal received another text saying the clock was paused and a 16-way chop looked likely. Bizarrely, all 16 players agreed to an even chop.
Live! Casino & Hotel prides itself on its players’ experience so the deal was allowed. “I actually called him. I said if that’s what they want, pay ‘em out and send them on their way!”, said Heidenthal. The chop locked up an $18,386 prize for the top three and $18,385 for the others. Twelve of the 16 players in the chop now have a new career-best score.
Results From the 16-Way Chop
An Even Larger Chop!
A 16-way chop is something that rarely happens, although Heidenthal recalls an even larger chop. The experienced tournament director took over at Live! Casino & Hotel when it opened in 2013. The casino ran a special promotional freeroll where the money involved was far less. This ended in a chop of more than 30 players, mostly made up of cash game grinders keen to pad their bankrolls.
Live! Is running a similar freeroll for its cash game players before the year is out. A $250,000 freeroll is available to anyone who clocks 200 hours in cash games before December 31st. Another $250,000 is being given away via drawings, with tickets awarded for every 50 hours played.
As for tournaments, two more big events are on the horizon. There is a $1,100 Card Player Poker Tour Main Event in November and the Maryland State Poker Championship in January. Heidenthal is prepared to help players with any potential deal, but we doubt there will be a 16-way chop.