Competitive battle at the top
The World Poker Tour (WPT) Venetian moves into its third day on Monday with just 32 players remaining. Leading the charge into the home stretch is James Carroll with 2.690 million chips.
It is tight race at the top of the leaderboard, as no one person, or even a group of people, has created much separation from the pack. Five players behind Carroll have at least 2 million chips: Trace Henderson (2.485 million), George Wolff (2.320 million), Qing Liu (2.195 million), Kou Vang (2.150 million), and Sergio Aido (2.010 million).
Nearly a quarter of the remaining field has won a World Poker Tour title. In addition to Carroll, still vying to add more hardware to their mantles are Tony Sinishtaj, Jared Jaffee, Sam Panzica, Jack Harcastle, Ben Palmer, and Nick Schulman.
As mentioned above, the chip leader Carroll is one of seven people still alive who has won a WPT championship. He etched his name into the Mike Sexton Champion’s Cup in 2014 when he won the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star and $1,256,550. The Shooting Star was arguably the most popular stop on the World Poker Tour, but unfortunately, it is no longer on the schedule, even pre-COVID-19.
But that wasn’t all for Carroll. He nabbed a second WPT title in 2019, taking the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown for $715,175. Overall, Carroll has $4,539,944 in live tournament cashes.
Monday’s Day 3 will play down to the six-handed final table before calling it quits. Initially, blind levels will last 60 minutes, but when the field is down to 24 players, levels will increase to 90 minutes.
Venetian under new management soon
The WPT Venetian coincidentally comes shortly after the Las Vegas Sands Corp. announced the sale of its Las Vegas properties, including the famed Venetian. The sale splits the real estate and the operations of the properties: VICI Properties is paying $4.0 billion for the former, while and “affiliate of funds managed by affiliates” of Apollo Global Management is paying $2.25 billion for the latter.
The way these casino sales have normally worked is that the new owner leases the property to a company, which then makes money from the day-to-day operations. Essentially, one company generates rent revenue in a purely real estate play, while the other generates casino/hotel/etc. revenue. In this case, though, it is unlikely that Apollo will rent the Venetian, as it is not a casino company.
It is not known at this time who will end up operating the Venetian. The Seminole Tribe, which operates several casinos in including the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florid, is rumored to be looking at properties on the Las Vegas Strip. Caesars is always a possibility, as VICI Properties is a spinoff from Caesars Entertainment and the company already operates casinos nearby on the Strip.
World Poker Tour Venetian Main Event – Day 2 Chip Leaders
- James Carroll – 2,690,000
- Trace Henderson – 2,485,000
- George Wolff – 2,320,000
- Qing Liu – 2,195,000
- Kou Vang – 2,150,000
- Sergio Aido – 2,010,000
- Stefan Nemetz – 1,950,000
- Adam Hendrix – 1,825,000
- Tony Sinishtaj – 1,730,000
- Jamey Kramer – 1,595,000