If you haven’t decided yet Am Weng Hype, now is a good time to do it. The Philadelphia-area poker pro, who has dominated tournament poker all year, secured the chip lead on Friday on Day 1a of the World Poker Tour (WPT) bestbet Scramble with a $5,000 buy-in in Jacksonville.
Weng is one of 165 participants on Day 1a of the first WPT Main Tour event at the Florida Card Room since 2019 and one of 55 players who survived Sunday’s Day 2 session. Day 1b, the second and final opening flight, takes place on Saturday at 12pm local time. Those who failed the first flight are eligible to purchase again.
The tournament guaranteed a pot of at least $1 million, but that was clearly just a starting point. After Day 1a, $750,750 is already in the prize pool, meaning that even if Saturday’s entry turns out to be disappointing (spoiler alert: that won’t be the case), the guarantee will still be easily exceeded. Only 55 more players are needed to reach a seven-figure prize pool.
Just another day at the office for Bin Weng
Weng was the top tournament player in poker this year and there is little doubt that he will win the Breakout Player of the Year title. What has he done so far in 2023? Oh, just two seven-figure tournament wins, a WPT Main Tour title and a WPT EveryOne for One Drop win, along with numerous six-figure prize pools.
On Friday, the WPT Champions Club member secured 411,500 chips, more than eight times the starting stack of 50,000. This means he has been alone at the top of the leaderboard since the first flight on the first day. Sean Cotter (387,500) and Fred Normand (382,500) are closest to the chip leader.
A decent portion of Weng’s monster stack can be attributed to a hand against him Alex Burgos on a board from 7♦6♣4♣K♣6♥. Weng bet 92,000 7♠7♥ and received a call from Burgos, who then shuffled his cards unnoticed and at this point only had 20 big blinds left. The chip leader, always a loose aggressive player, won pot after pot for most of the day.
The session was full of top-class players. Some made it to the second day, others didn’t. Erkut Yilmaz, Jake Schwartz, Maurice HawkinsAnd Brad Owen were among those who couldn’t find a bag.
Bin Weng wins WPT EveryOne for One Drop for $2.2 million
Celebrities move on: Ian O’Hara (369,000), Ray Qartomy
(213,500), Byron Kaverman (171,500), Joe McKeehen (172,500), Darren Elias (132,500) and Andrew Cape (82,000).
Elias, the all-time WPT leader in Main Tour wins (4), prize money (48) and final table appearances (13), quickly picked up his first win on Day 1a but was able to fight through his rebuy and reach Day 2 with a stack.
Top chip stacks from day 1a
*Images courtesy of WPT/Drew Amato