Final 17 battle it out for the $193,439 first place prize in the Thunder Valley Main Event.
January 21, 2019 (Thunder Valley) - Just one day remains in the World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event at Thunder Valley, and the total field of 608 has been winnowed down to just 17. Leading the way at the end of Day 2 is Las Vegas,NV pro Jeremy Joseph.
The final 17 players will return on Sunday at noon to determine a winner, who will take home a $193,439 first-place prize. Each player returning is currently guaranteed at least a cash of $9,718, with a final-table cash worth at least $17,943. The eventual winner will also add a WSOP Circuit ring to his resume and will automatically book a seat into the 2019 Global Casino Championship.
Chip leader Joseph finished the Day 2 with 2,595,000 in chips, followed closely by Paul Chai with a healthy 2,450,000. Some other big stacks heading into the final day are Tony Bracy (2,045,000), Paul Camby (1,505,000), and the winner of last September's WSOP Circuit Thunder Valley Main Event, Brett Murray (1,400,000), to round out the top five.
A player with great experience in these circuit events is still alive in Valentin Vornicu. He will be coming into the final day in the middle of the pack with 795,000 in chips, and he'll look to add ring number 13 to ever so large collection.
Day 2 started with 169 who advanced from the Day 1A (Friday) and Day 1B (Saturday) starting flights. The bubble popped when, during the 19th level of play, Thomas Kornechuk sent September's Circuit Thunder Valley High Roller champ Aaron Messmer out with his set of nines against Messmer's overpair of kings. After the bubble burst, all remaining 63 players were guaranteed at least a min-cash of $3,012.
Some well-known players who cashed but were unable to make Day 3 include Craig Varnell (23rd - $6,881), Matt Affleck (40th - $3,592), Tommy Chen (48th - $3,270), Randy Lew (50th - $3,270), and David Forster (54th - $3,270).
The final day of the tournament begins Monday at noon, with play continuing until a new Circuit Main Event champion has been crowned.
Click here for results so far, or here for live updates from the event.
Here are the chip counts heading into Day 3:
1 - Jeremy Joseph - 2,595,000
2 - Paul Chai - 2,450,000
3 - Tony Bracy - 2,045,000
4 - Paul Camby - 1,505,000
5 - Brett Murray - 1,400,000
6 - Chris Tham - 1,230,000
7 - Paul Richardson - 940,000
8 - Thomas Kornechuk - 900,000
9 - Valentin Vornicu - 795,000
10 - Ferit Bulutoglu - 745,000
11 - Yifu He - 715,000
12 - Vito DiStefano - 650,000
13 - Ryan Jaconetti - 605,000
14 - Hong Zhang - 505,000
15 - Yanki Koppel - 415,000
16 - Sue White - 390,000
17 - Toko Luu - 290,000