Paul Höfer Bags the Lead after WPT Gardens Main Event Day 2

German poker pro Paul Höfer is eying his first WPT Main Event title in the inaugural WPT Gardens Poker Festival. The player finished Day 2 of the festival’s $5,000 Main Event as the overnight chip leader with 597,000 to place himself in a good position to conquer the tournament’s top.

Höfer is a one-time WSOP gold bracelet winner and boasts 76 in-the-money finishes in various live tournaments. He won his gold piece from the series back in 2015 when he topped the field of the $1,111 No-Limit Hold’em Little One for ONE DROP. His triumph in that event also earned him his largest cash so far of $645,969.

Back to the WPT Gardens Main Event, Höfer entered Day 2 of the tournament, played yesterday at the host venue the Gardens Casino in Southern California, with a below-average stack of 47,000 in chips. The player’s momentum started in the third level of the day as he doubled through Jesse Martin. Höfer only went up from that point on.

During the final level scheduled for Day 2, the overnight chip leader bet into Allen Lu on a [Qh][4s][3c][6c][2d] board. Lu could not hold up against Höfer’s [Ad][Qc] and the latter scooped the pot to pass the 500,000 mark.

The German poker pro will enter Day 3 of the tournament as the chip leader, but Alexander Assouline is lurking not far behind with 581,000. As many as 123 player secured a seat into the third day of WPT Gardens Main Event action.

More about the Event

Registration into the tournament remained open until the beginning of Level 11 on Day 2. By the time it closed, the event’s field counted 584 entries, including re-entries from the two starting flights and the two levels on Day 2 during which players could enter and re-enter the tournament. As mentioned above, only 123 of them progressed into Day 3.

The event’s field generated a prize pool of $2.94 million, including $200,000 in cash contributed by the Gardens Casino. The host venue has also announced the the winner will be awarded a brand-new Mercedes-Benz SLC Roadster.

The top 73 finishers will receive a share of the prize money. The champion will take home the amount of $565,055.

Day 3 of the tournament is scheduled to kick off at noon local time. With 123 hopefuls left in contention and the top 73 places to be paid, it is expected that the money bubble will burst at some point today. Day 3 action is scheduled to take place over five 90-minute levels.

Notables such as Jake Schindler, Ryan Tosoc, and Benny Glaser are set to return at the host venue today. There were also quite some famous players who busted on Day 2, thus missing their chance to win the first-ever WPT Gardens Main Event title. Phil Hellmuth, who comes fresh off the WSOP where he won his record-breaking 15th gold bracelet toward the end of the series, was among those to hit the rail on Day 2.

The poker celebrity bought into the tournament early on Day 2, then busted shortly before registration closed. He shot his second bullet but then was eliminated toward the end of Day 2.

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