It's quite a group of 19 players that remains in the WSOP Circuit $1,675 Main Event at Harrah's Cherokee.
Jonathan Hilton leads with 2,175,000 chips, the only one who's crossed over two million so far. Look at who's chasing him at the top, though:
- Jonathan Hilton - 2,175,000
- Peter Vitantonio - 1,925,000
- TK Miles - 1,700,000
- Robert Hankins - 1,700,000
- Erick Lindgren - 1,510,000
It's hard to pick a headliner, but Erick Lindgren is easily the most-tenured pro in the field. He's also the only one with a banner hanging from the rafters in Las Vegas.
Lindgren was the 2008 WSOP Player of the Year, winning his first gold bracelet and finishing third in the $50k en route to the title. He added a second bracelet in $5k six-max — another of the toughest tournaments in the world — in 2013. More highlights? There's also two WPT titles, a $100,000 Aussie Millions trophy, and more than $10 million in career earnings on his stat sheet.
Lindgren would be the best player by a mile in most groups of 19, but this isn't exactly an ordinary group.
Hilton is a bracelet winner himself, the WSOP National Champion in 2013. He also has a WSOP Circuit ring among his long list of results, but he's still looking for his first Main Event final table. Leading right now, he has a good chance to accomplish that on Monday.
Peter Vitantonio isn't the household name that Lindgren (or, to some extent, Hilton) is, but he's not to be trifled with, either. Vitantonio is a three-time winner on the WSOP Circuit, including a previous Main Event victory from 2015. He's got a taste for gold this season, too, having come up just short in the Main Event at Harrah's Atlantic City. His stack of 1,925,000 represents the nearest threat to Hilton at the moment.
TK Miles is another Circuit regular, and he's found the winner's circle twice before. A finish of seventh or better would move him over the million-dollar mark in WSOP earnings. Fun fact: Miles' largest score came in a $5,000 event in New Orleans in 2008, where he finished as the runner-up for more than $200,000. The man who finished in fourth, Gabe Costner, is also among the Day 3 field here in Cherokee.
Robert Hankins rounds out the mentions for the top five, and he could rightfully be at the top of this story. Hankins has nine WSOP Circuit victories, the second-most all time. He's won rings in five consecutive seasons now, including his most recent one in Choctaw this past January.
Hankins could cross the same million-dollar mark as Miles with a finish of eighth of better on Monday. He could also, of course, move into a tie atop the all-time rings list with another victory.
Picturing any of these players as the winner seems premature considering the field that remains, though. In total, the final 19 have 25 Circuit rings and four WSOP bracelets between them.
Look at some of the ones not even mentioned yet.
Kyle Cartwright is the other bracelet winner, and he also owns seven of those 25 rings. Three of those were earned in previous Main Events, making him one of only four players to have won that many. He was in and out of the lead for most of Day 2 before trailing off at the end, finishing with a respectable 830,000 chips.
There's also Dylan Wilkerson, who's a WPT champion as well, and he's well above the chip average entering Day 3. Chris Conrad is looking for his own third ring, too, completing that long list of previous winners.
Click here for the full list of Day 3 players and their chip counts.
Those are the 19 who remain from the starting field of 1,060 total entries. They're each guaranteed to earn at least $13,070 on Monday, but few of them will likely be satisfied with that payday. The last man standing earns the ring and $294,152, plus a seat to the WSOP Global Casino Championship.
Blinds will be 15,000/30,000 with a 5,000 ante to begin the day, putting the average stack around 37 big blinds.
Action resumes at noon, and they'll play until there's a winner.