Day 1a of the $3,800 buy-in World Poker Tour (WPT) Choctaw event wrapped Friday night with a familiar face — Bin Weng — bagging a massive stack.
Weng has an opportunity to make history this week. If he were to reach the final table, which will take place in Las Vegas May 26 at Luxor’s HyperX Esports Arena, it would be one of the most impressive accomplishments in poker history. That’s because on May 25, he’ll enter the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown final table in Las Vegas with the chip lead playing for $1.1 million.
The payouts aren’t set at Choctaw just yet as Day 1b will take place at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday. Registration will be closed following the dinner break. Shortly after, the payouts will become available. Through the first of two Day 1 sessions, 312 players have entered and Day 1b figures to be even bigger.
Andrew Moreno Was Friday’s Top Performer
While Weng had himself yet another banner session, bagging 435,000 chips (174 big blinds), everyone is chasing Andrew Moreno, who started off hot on Friday, cooled off a bit, and then finished the day with a flurry. The 2021 Wynn Millions $1.4 million winner went back to his hotel room at Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, Oklahoma with 510,500 chips (204 big blinds).
The full list of chip counts will be available early morning on Saturday, but some other big names with big stacks include Ren Lin (367,500), Alex Foxen (358,500), Jared Jaffee (220,000), and Tony Miles (100,000).
There are a number of long-time WPT crushers who bagged and tagged, including a pair of three-time champions — Anthony Zinno and Eric Afriat — along with former Player of the Year winners Art Papazyan and Jacob Ferro. Zinno is also a previous World Poker Tour POY recipient.
How Great is Bin Weng?
Weng’s potential run to World Poker Tour history is objectively impressive. But he’s quietly becoming one of the top tournament players in the world, and not just in WPT events.
In early January, he took down the 1,142-player No-Limit Hold’em The Return, a $5,300 buy-in event at Borgata in Atlantic City, for a career-best $1 million. He then followed that up with a World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) win for $227,344 in February at Horseshoe Las Vegas.
Adding on his $238,000 minimum cash in the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, the payout for sixth place, he has already cashed for over $1.5 million in live tournaments this year, according to Hendon Mob. And given his chip stack in both the Choctaw and Seminole events, it’s likely by the end of the month he will easily surpass that number.
Weng will return to Choctaw Casino’s Grand Theater on Sunday for Day 2. The tournament will play down to the final table in Oklahoma on Monday and then take a break before returning to action in Las Vegas on May 26. If Weng, who finished ninth at Choctaw last year, is able to reach the final table, he will compete for WPT titles in back-to-back days.
*Images courtesy of WPT.