Sign Up For Card Player's Newsletter And Free Bi-Monthly Online Magazine

2019 World Poker Tour Choctaw Delayed Final Table Set

Craig Varnell and Nick Pupillo Headline Final Six Players Battling For The $379,990 Top Prize


The 2019 World Poker Tour Choctaw $3,700 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event drew a total of 577 total entries, creating a final prize pool of $1,958,915. After two starting flights and two more action-packed days, the sea of entrants has been narrowed down to a final table of six. The remaining players bagged up their chips on May 20 in Durant, Oklahoma. Those bags won’t be opened again until May 31, when the televised final table reconvenes at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, to be played out and recorded for broadcast.

This will be the fifth WPT event to make use of the new delayed final table approach, which is standard for all televised final tables during the tour’s 17th season. The final six have all locked up at least a $76,890 payday in this event and will have their travel accommodations and hotel stays covered by the WPT.

Will BerryThe chip leader heading into the final table is Will Berry with 7,575,000, good for 189 big blinds when play resumes at 40,000-80,000 with an 80,000 big-blind ante. Berry is a two-time World Series of Poker Circuit, having won the main event of the 2017 WSOPC Hard Rock Tulsa main event for $180,806. The Norman, Oklahoma native has more than $1.2 million in career tournament earnings and is in great shape to add to that total in a big way with a strong finish in this event.

Second in chips is Craig Varnell with 6,230,000. The World Series of Poker bracelet winner and a champion of the WPT500 Aria event has more than $2 million in lifetime live tournament cashes. The Colorado native finished third in the WPT Choctaw main event back in 2016 for over $306,346 and will be looking to improve on that finish this time around.

The next largest stack belongs to Nick Pupillo, who has been one of the hottest players on the mid-major live tournament circuit in 2019. He has already made six final tables and won a title this year, cashing for $344,849 in the process. The two-time WSOPC ring winner has more than $2.4 million in cashes to his name.

Trung Pham will enter the final table in fourth place with 2,600,000. The Temple, TX native has $643,573 in career earnings, with his largest score being the $123,364 he earned as the winner of the $365 buy-in kickoff event in the WPT Rock’n’Roll Poker Open. Pham defeated a field of 4,558 entries to secure that title.

Austin LewisAustin Lewis is no stranger to winning big events at Choctaw. He overcame a field of 599 entries in the 2014 Card Player Poker Tour Choctaw $1,620 buy-in main event to win $183,025. The Waco, TX resident has more than $400,000 in total cashes. He will start with 2,560,000 when play resumes in Las Vegas.

The short stack heading into the final table is Stacey Jones. The Odessa, TX nightclub owner has only $42,0000 in prior live tournament scores. He will more than double his earnings even if he were to bow out in sixth place.

Day 3 of this event began with 31 players remaining. There were plenty of big names who came close to making the final table, but ultimately fell short. Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Eric Baldwin placed 29th ($11,350), while three-time WSOP bracelet winner David “The Dragon” Pham finished 17th ($15,950). 2018 WSOP Circuit Choctaw main event champion Jason Strasser busted in 16th ($19,265). Joe Elpayaa’s run ended in eighth place ($46,250).

Here is a look at the chip counts for the remaining six players:

Rank Player Chip Count
1 Will Berry 7,575,000
2 Craig Varnell 6,230,000
3 Nick Pupillo 3,135,000
4 Trung Pham 2,600,000
5 Austin Lewis 2,560,000
6 Stacey Jones 980,000

Will Berry photo credit: WPT.