The action was frantic Friday at the WPT World Championship at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, as they played down from 18 to the final six in what seemed like no time at all. Keven Stammen ended the TV table bubble when he eliminated Tony Gregg in seventh place after flopping the nut straight.
"I didn't even want to get it in on that straight against 'End Boss'," Stammen would say after the hand.
Stammen will head into the final day of play with the chip lead with 5,650,000. Stammen is having an incredible year and will strengthen his place at the top of the 2014 Global Poker Index Player of the Year leader board with his finish here this week.
Joining Stammen at the final table are Byron Kaverman, Tony Dunst, Ryan D'Angelo, Curt Kohlberg, and Abraham Korotki.
Season XII WPT Championship Final Table
"Tomorrow's gonna be lots of action," Stammen said, and then further emphasized his point by adding "LOTS of action."
Kaverman, who has cashed a record-setting six times on the WPT this season, ended the day second in chips with 4,070,000. Kaverman rode a surge of momentum throughout the day and held the chip lead until Stammen moved ahead on the day's final hand. A key hand for Kaverman happened when he eliminated the winner of the WPT Seminole Hard Rock tournament, Eric Afriat, in 11th place. Kaverman told us after bagging, "I'm pretty excited right now, and I've been looking forward to this tournament for the last few months. Knowing you're going to play against a field like this, with so many great players coming out just for this one, motivates me a little more. The prestige, the buy-in, all of it."
The WPT will be pleased that one of their own has made the final six. WPT Raw Deal host Tony Dunst will be taking his place at other end of the cameras — in front — tomorrow as he ended the day with 1,330,000 in chips. Dunst's day got off to a good start when his pocket Queens doubled up against Ray Qartomy's pocket Jacks.
Well known professional poker player Ryan D'Angelo ended the day with 1,220,000 in chips and feels as if he is in the right place at the right time.
"I'm just playing really well lately," he told us. "My diet, eating raw food with Ronit, has helped a lot with being in the moment and keeping a super clear mind." D'Angelo would add "my life right now is just super clean, stable, and happy. My diet is helping me avoid tilt which really helps. I had a hand today that the old me would've tilted so badly about. I've been on a sick run too, cashed in my last five WPT's. Just playing with a very clear mind. It helps to have a great structure - it lets you lose a hand and not be forced into playing off your game."
The self-proclaimed "Psycho Ninja", Kohlberg, caused havoc throughout the day and ended with 1,580,000 in chips. Kohlberg's big hand of the day came in a blind-vs-blind confrontation against D'Angelo that would give Kohlberg a full double up. Kohlberg said afterwards, "I'm so happy and thankful for the WPT. This is my fourth WPT final table, and sixth top-10 finish, so I'm prepared. Tomorrow I'm bringing my psycho ninja style to the final table. Like a lumberjack, going to chop extra wood."
The sixth member of the final table is none other than Abraham Korotki who is fresh off a win in the $2,700 Borgata Spring Poker Open Championship Event. He is nothing if not confident as he told our PokerNews reporters before the event started that he was going to go back-to-back. Korotki finished with 2,560,000 in chips and it'll be quite the story if he can come out on top tomorrow.
Others who started play today but ended up falling short of their dream of making the WPT Championship Event TV table were local Tom Dobrilovic (8th - $143,146), Brock Parker (10th - $97,048), Bobby Oboodi (12th - $63,081), Ray Qartomy (13th - $52,163), and Justin Young (15th - $52,163).
The exciting conclusion of this prestigious event will get underway Saturday at 4 p.m. EST. Play will resume with the blinds at 25,000/50,000 and a 5,000 ante with one-hour levels. PokerNews will be there to bring you all of the action from start to finish so make sure to tune in!