Will the WPT World Championship Have a Repeat Winner?
Going back-to-back in one of the largest poker tournaments ever no chance, right? Don't be so sure about it. Eliot Hudon, who won the World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship last year for $4.1 million, still has a shot at a repeat on Day 3.
The task to win any tournament twice in a row isn't easy, let alone a $10k with thousands of players, many of whom are considered some of the best in the world. In 2022, Hudon defeated 2,960 entrants en route to his first significant live poker tournament cash. This time around, the field is even larger 3,835 entries making his run thus far impressive no matter how he finishes.
Hudon reached the money at the conclusion of Day 2 (Saturday), ensuring he'd finish among the 480 final players and receive a minimum payout of $18,700. The Canadian poker player's friend and fellow Canadian Frederic Normand also had some recent World Poker Tour success by winning the WPT bestbet Scramble in Jacksonville last month for $351,650.
Hudon Still Standing
In more than eight days of play in the $10,400 buy-in tournament at Wynn Las Vegas over the past two years, no one has been able to bust Hudon, a player with limited tournament results prior to last year's World Championship.
He's carved a niche in this event, and also a couple other $10,000 buy-in tournaments such as the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event where he finished 63rd out of 6,650 players in 2021 for $113,800, his only significant cash prior to the 2022 WPT World Championship.
At the time of publishing the second break of Day 3 Hudon was sitting on just over 1.4 million chips with the blinds at 15,000/30,000 for the following 90 minutes. He's still in the hunt for a repeat title, and if he pulls it off, it would arguably be the greatest and most improbable accomplishment in poker history.
But does the defending champion think there will be a repeat winner?
"No," Hudon told PokerNews on break. "It's very unlikely. I don't think it's going to happen. I don't believe all that positive energy b******t."
Hudon is clearly humble, but his performance in this event, and other tournaments, prove he absolutely is capable of going back-to-back. It's also evident that his run to glory almost 365 days ago was no fluke.
At the start of Level 18, Hudon was quite a bit behind the chip leader, who was presumed to be Kristen Foxen at just over 5 million. But two double ups is all it will take for the 2022 WPT World hampionship winner to be right there at the top with Foxen and others.
Some other notable players still standing at the time of publishing on Level 18 include Daniel Sepiol, Adam Friedman, Alex Foxen, Hossein Ensan, and Chance Kornuth. PokerNews will have a full recap of the Day 3 action following the conclusion of the session.