Phil Hellmuth denied a final 6 seat at the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic; Kitty Kuo among the contenders

Somuchpoker is reporting to you live at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada where the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic just concluded Day 3 of the US$10,000 tournament.

Despite Phil Hellmuth dominating the day with his true-to-form nonstop table chatter, the legendary pro still couldn’t get past three-time WPT champion Darren Elias for a final 6 berth. After 10 hours of action at the inaugural WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic tournament, Hellmuth was eliminated in 7th place by Elias to bring Day 3 to a close.

Hellmuth WPT
Phil Hellmuth

Below are the final 6 contenders:

Final 6 (by chip count)
Darren Elias – 2,127,000
Dietrich Fast – 801,000
Kitty Kuo – 683,000
Sam Panzica – 566,000
Joe Mckeehen – 385,000
Jonathan Little – 300,000

Rise of the short stacks Kitty Kuo and Darren Elias

Kitty Kuo
Kitty Kuo

Other than Hellmuth entertaining the day with his repeated whines and comments giving off the impression that he was the underdog constantly being attacked, there were several big stories filling up today’s round. One of the most defining was the rise of the short stacks.

Day 3 action kicked off with the last 20 players out of the 162 total entries each gunning for a spot into the final six. Two-time WPT champion Jonathan Little entered with the enviable big stack while Kitty Kuo had her work cut out as one of the shortest stacks of the group.

Within the first 20 minutes, Kuo doubled up twice to lift her stack out of the danger zone. She held on and eventually claimed her seat to the final 6 running 3rd in chips. As for Little, he made it through as well but coming tomorrow, it would be his turn to catch up having bagged up the shortest stack of the bunch of just 25x the big blind.

The player way up top and pretty much on a zone of his own, was Darren Elias, the only three-time WPT champion in the lineup. Like Kuo, Elias started the day at the bottom half of the rankings but by bagging time, he was in the clouds, closing in on nearly half of the total chips in play. If Elias is able to take it all the way, he will be the first player with four major WPT titles under his belt.

Final table contenders with over US$39M in combined earnings

Joe McKeehen
Joe McKeehen

With the buy-in to the event coming in at US$10,000, this naturally attracted a majority of high caliber players. To give you an idea on the skill level of the final six competition, the table weighs in at US$39M in combined earnings. 2015 WSOP Main Event champion Joe McKeehen is the richest contributing US$14M into that total. McKeehen had a rough ride at the unofficial final table of nine players, struggling with a short stack after losing two pots, but hung on to continue the hunt for his first major WPT title.

In addition to Elias, Kuo, Little, and McKeehen, two-time WPT champion Sam Panzica and ACOP Super High Roller title-holder Dietrich Fast complete the final six. Fast is the second-highest earner at the table with over US$6.8M.

The final six will take place on Wednesday, May 23rd at the PokerGo Studio across the street from ARIA. Game begins at 2pm. It will be broadcasted live on Poker Central. The eventual winner will pocket the lion’s share US$387,580 and a seat worth US$15,000 to the season-ender WPT Tournament of Champions.

Article by Tricia David


Louis Hartwell

Graduated in Media Communication at the University of Lausanne, Louis Hartman is a co-founder of He began his career in Cambodia as freelance journalist. In same time he was making his living by playing poker every night at that time. Intense learner, he read dozens of poker strategy books to improve his skills during many years. With a strong interest about poker "behind the scene" in Asia and his communication skills, Louis launched Somuchpoker in 2014.

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