Much like they did during their most recent stop in Florida, the World Poker Tour has dipped their toes back into the live tournament waters. They have ventured to The Venetian in Las Vegas for the WPT DeepStacks Venetian, a $500,000 guaranteed tournament that has already blown away their guarantee in just the Day 1A festivities. Henry Liang will sit back on Saturday as Day 1B takes place, comfortable with his 434,000-chip stack that lords over the 63 players who survived Friday.
Another Guarantee, Another Flood of Players
The WPT and their partners – last week the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida and The Venetian this week – have been excellent with setting a guarantee level that brings out the players. The $1600 buy in event features unlimited rebuys until the dinner breaks on the Day One action and the players have certainly been tossing the money around. Friday’s action was frenetic and, if it holds true to form, Saturday should be explosive as the players storm the felt.
To demonstrate how the players have once again come out for a WPT event, before a card even hit the felt there were 147 entries on the board. With the rebuys unlimited until dinner, players came with full wallets and the willingness to use those ducats. By the time the late registration/rebuy period ended, 358 entries were on the clock, totally smashing the $500K guarantee and leaving the potential for a million-dollar prize pool on the table.
While they came in the door on Friday with big ambitions, some players left to salve their wounds and load up for Saturday’s action. WPT Champions’ Club members Asher Conniff, Jordan Cristos and Tony Tran were among the notable names that might (will?) come back on Saturday for another bite at the apple. One player who won’t have to come back on Saturday is Liang.
Liang Runs Well, Heads to Top of Leaderboard
Coming to the felt with a 30,000 starting stack, Liang was able to run it up pretty quickly. Liang saw a player make a move in front of him and, holding an off suit Big Slick, took the chance and looked him up. Surprisingly, Liang was a massive leader – his A-K was way out in front of his opponent’s Q♥ J♥. A heart came on the flop, but that was it as the board paired Liang’s Ace on the river unnecessarily to send him up to almost 150K in chips.
Liang would use that stack to catapult to the lead during the final level of the night. He would eventually pack up 434,000 in chips, good enough for the lead, but Liang has a WPT Champions’ Club member hot on his heels:
1. Henry Liang, 434,000
2. Anthony Zinno, 359,000
3. Renato Spahio, 316,000
4. Wayne Harmon, 290,000
5. Iris Angeleri, 285,000
6. Dan Chambers, 279,000
(tie) Ron West, 279,000
8. Steven Payten, 277,000
9. Luke Nguyen, 269,000
10. Maury Solano, 241,000
There will be plenty of familiar names that are looking for a bag on Day 1B Saturday starting at 11AM (Pacific Time). Along with the above-mentioned gentlemen, Kenna James, Katie Lindsay, Marie Cordeiro, and WPT DeepStacks champions Dominick Sannino and Kyle Kitagawa will probably pull out a few more buy-ins to take their final shot at the prize. The action should be furious as the WPT DeepStacks Venetian storms forward to its conclusion on Monday afternoon.