Josh Kay Leads Pack of Six into 2017 WPT Choctaw $3,700 Main Event

It took four days of play, that is two starting flights and two regular days, for the 2017 WPT Main Event’s field to be reduced from 924 entries to just six players. The six finalists are slated to resume play today, led by Josh Kay.

Kay was quite active from the start of Day 3 of the tournament. However, it was not before the second half of the day that the player intensified pressure and started building his chip stack. Kay put up a great show, which began at the time when there were 18 players left at the table. He eliminated eight of them to eventually bag and tag the largest chip stack for the day.

Kay had accumulated 11,105,000 in chips by the time organizers called it a day. He is well ahead of Day 3 start-of-the-day chip leader Michael Stashin, who performed quite well himself. Stashin ended Day 3 of the tournament with a total of 7,685,000 in chips.

Based in Boca Raton, Florida, Kay has been playing live tournament poker for quite some time. He has earned $999,072 over the course of his career. His best accomplishment was his his triumph in the 2015 LAPT Bahamas $3,000 Main Event for a first-place prize of $367,928.

Kay is vying for his first WPT Main Tour Main Event title, just as his other five table mates who will appear at the televised final table of the WPT Choctaw Main Event. Zachary Smiley was the last former WPT champion to be eliminated before the official six-handed final table was set on Monday afternoon. The player was actually very close to join the pack of six, but an all-in confrontation against Stashin sent him to the payout desk.

Smiley won his first WPT title last October at Maryland Live! Casino in Hanover, where he bested a field of 554 entries to scoop his first-ever live cash of $320,948 and the tournament trophy. The player collected $91,443 for his seventh-place finish in the Choctaw Main Event.

The six finalists are set to return to the host venue – the Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma – today at 3 pm local time. Blinds will be set at 40,000-80,000 with a 10,000 ante at the time play resumes.

The six players will play down to a champion, who will collect a top payout of $593,173. The winner will also be awarded a $15,000 seat into the WPT Tournament of Champions, which will be played next spring to mark the end of WPT’s sixteenth season. A Hublot Big Bang Steel watch will also be up for grabs.

Each of the six finalists is guaranteed a minimum payout of $117,761. And here are the six players themselves and their respective chip counts:

Josh Kay – 11.105 million
Michael Stashin – 7.685 million
Jay Lee – 3.455 million
Eric Bunch – 2.02 million
Paul Fisher – 1.7 million
Jeb Hutton – 1.645 million

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