The 2017 World Poker Tour Legends of Poker $4,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event officially closed its registration doors on Monday, August 28 at the Bicycle Hotel and Casino in Bell Gardens, California. It’s befitting that such a historic event takes place at The Bike, which is one of only three charter members to have hosted WPT Main Events for each of the 15 years that the Tour has been going on for.
“The Bicycle Hotel & Casino is proud to welcome the World Poker Tour for a 16th year and to celebrate awarding the WPT’s one-billionth prize dollar,” said Hashem Minaiy, CEO of The Bicycle Hotel & Casino.”
“We are honored to return to The Bicycle Hotel & Casino for the Season XVI WPT Legends and to award our historic one-billionth prize dollar at this iconic venue,” said Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour. “On the road to one billion dollars, The Bike has been home to some of the greatest moments on the World Poker Tour, including WPT titles from stars such as Doyle Brunson and Dan Harrington, and victories from WPT Player of the Year winners Andy Frankenberger and Mike Shariati. As we return to The Bike for the 16th season, we welcome WPT players from all over the world to join us for this momentous occasion.”
To commemorate this pivotal moment, WPT will award the player – the 47th place finisher in this event – with a buy-in into the 17th season of the WPT Legends of Poker Main Event along with free accommodation at The Bicycle Hotel and Casino. In addition, all of the top 47 finishers will also be awarded a bottle of color wine thanks to the tour’s new sponsor.
The event itself drew in an almost record-breaking total of 763 entries, making it the second largest Legends of Poker in its 16-year history. Subsequently, the total prize pool ballooned to $2.74 million with the winner set to win $653,692 along with a seat in the $15,000 WPT Tournament of Champions event. Everyone who finishes 81 and above will make money with min-cash of $7,135.
The event initially started with three flights from Friday through to Sunday which saw the playing field of 763 whittled down to 89 remaining players, which is 8 players away from the money, by the end of day 2.
As all the survivors from the separate flights come together in hopes to fight for their poker dreams, or at the very least play on the bubble, one individual will inevitably fall somewhere in between and can claim to be the special winner of the one billionth dollar ever awarded by WPT.
Leading the pack into day 3 is Oddie Dardon with 775,000 chips. Although Dardon is sitting with a substantial chip lead over the rest of the field, his position in the driver’s seat is by no means secure as there are many other big names right on his tail, including the likes of former WPT Player of the Year JC Tran (565,000) and David “ODB” Baker (479,000) rounds of the top five. Other threats include day 1 chip leaders Cody Slaubaugh (414,000) and Valentine Vornicu (408,000), the poker brat Phil Helmuth (352,000). WPT Champions Club members Sam Panic, Scotty Nguyen and Marvin Rettenmaier, as well as defending champion Pay Lyons (204,500, are all still figuring out a way to the top.
As Lyons fights to be back-to-back WPT Legends of Poker Main Event winner, all the others are fighting to dethrone him. The action clocks will be put into play, where players only have 30 seconds to make a decision and carry out an action, making for a very fast paced game.
Make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action at the final table by tuning into PokerGO to watch the event streamed live at 4.30pm PT on Thursday, August 31st.