Tourney Grinder Will Givens Leads WPT Maryland Live Final Table that is Tough

Will Givens, the seventh championship money winner in Colorado poker history, holds a slight chip lead at WPT Maryland Live after Day Three. But with six talented players some of whom also have the Hublot Trophy, large piles and $ prize is ripe for anybody’s taking.

Will Givens at WPT Maryland Live

Can Givens has a small chip lead as the WPT Maryland Live table begins. (Picture: wpt.com)

Former WPT winner Tony Ruberto and high-stakes grinder Jeremy Ausmus are right on his heels. Both experts had over 75 big blinds when the last table started at noon ET.

Tough Competition

Ruberto is the sole member of the World Poker Tour Champions Club. In 2011, he took the WPT Jacksonville for $325,928 down. For his career, he has nearly $3.2 million in live tournament winnings. Jeremy Ausmus is the only player at the last table with a much better tournament resume, having booked $5.8 million in wins over his career.

The chip leader, givens, has done well at the poker table for himself. With over $1.7 million in tournament earnings and a 2014 WSOP bracelet ($1,000 no-limit hold’em for $306,634), his career results are nothing to scoff at.

When play resumed on Tuesday, Givens had 124 big blinds, a slight edge over Ruberto (105 big blinds). Ausmus finished Day Three fourth in chips (75 big blinds).

In third place is Shankar Pillai with 89 blinds. Pillai is. His score that was massive came in 2016 when he finished third in a $ 2,500 no-limit hold’em WSOP championship for $196,119. But he has not been the last man standing because he won his first and only WSOP event way back in 2007 ($3,000 no-limit hold’em for $527,829). He’s due.

Anyone’s Ballgame

The 3,500 WPT Maryland Live event started Friday with 554 players. That included top pros such as Joe McKeehen, Kelly Minkin, Maria Ho, Anthony Zinno, Olivier Busquet, and many others. Erkut Yilmaz, who won the WPT Borgata Poker Open last week, also competed, and cashed (41st place for $7,910).

Yilmaz holds the WPT Player of the Year lead though it’s far too early in the season to get excited.

WPT Maryland Live Chip Counts (Start of Final Table)

Will Givens (6,215,000)Tony Ruberto (5,230,000)Shankar Pillai (4,465,000)Jeremy Ausmus (3,730,000)Mark Sandness (1,805,000)Aaron Pinson (805,000)

Givens sent the championship to its final table by winning a flip to bust Miki Murzi in seventh position ($53,613). He capped off quite a heater the last few hours of the session.

Just three hours earlier, Givens had 2.5 million chips but spun it up to over 6.2 million when the official final table bubble burst. Ruberto did not finish the day strong. He had been over 7 million chips at one stage on Day Three but slipped a bit.

The table got underway at 12 noon ET on Tuesday. The WPT will welcome, unless Ruberto ships the trophy.

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