Defending Champ Eliot Hudon Out; Naj Ajez Leads WPT World Championship

Defending Champ Eliot Hudon Out; Naj Ajez Leads WPT World Championship

During the Day 3 session, we asked the question, will there be a repeat winner in the World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship. That answer is no after Eliot Hudon, the defending champion, was eliminated late in the day in 186th place for $27,000.

Hudon won it last year for $4.1 million, beating out 2,960 entrants in the first edition of the WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas.

He moved all in with KJ and a short stack against the AQ held by Ardit Kurshumi. No improvement for either hand came on the board, and that was the end of the title defense.

WPT World Championship Day 3 Recap

The defending champion is out, but there are still ( xxx ) players with a shot at the $5,678,000 first place prize, the most anyone in the 3,835-entrant field will take home. One possibility as to who will be crowned champion on Dec. 21 is Daniel Sepiol, who is one of a number of players to win some thrilling hands late in Sunday's session.

Sepiol, a Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) champion, was all in preflop for about 2.4 million chips with AJ against the KK of Davidi Kitai. The board would run out J32JA, giving Sepiol a full house to suck out, and it brought him up to around 100 big blinds late in the session. Kitai, on the other hand, was left with a small stack.

At the end of the five-level session, Naj Ajez finished with the largest stack at 11,435,000 chips. He built that big of a stack thanks to playing the largest pot of the tournament to date late on Day 3 when he won a race to double through Maxime Chilaud.

2023 WPT World Championship Day 3 Top Chip Counts

RankPlayerChip Count
1Naj Ajez11,435,000
2Artur Martirosian10,930,000
3Andres Campero10,535,000
4Ankit Ahuja8,465,000
5Mario Navarro7,625,000
6Mark Mounsey7,520,000
7Kristen Foxen7,260,000
8Paulius Vaitiekunas7,240,000
9Chris Moorman7,120,000

Chance Kornuth, however, had his run stopped just short of Day 4 when he was eliminated in 137th place ($34,100). Other notables to bust on Day 3 include Jason Somerville (140th for $34,100), Hossein Ensan (144th for $34,100), Chris Hunichen (155th for $31,300), Lynn Gilmartin (454th for $18,700), and David Williams (468th for $18,700).

Day 4 begins Monday at noon PT with 132 players remaining. The blinds will jump to 40,000/80,000 (80,000 big blind ante) when play resumes. A complete list of chip counts will be available in the morning.


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