Matt Glantz
Could Matt Glantz follow up his legendary WSOP Mystery Bounty win for a million dollars by becoming the first-ever WSOP Paraides Main Event winner?

The final table of this year’s record-breaking World Series of Poker Paradise Main Event has been reached. With seven players remaining, stars of the ‘turquoise felt’ at Atlantis on Paradise Island that are still in with a chance of winning the $2 million top prize include chip leader Daniel Neilson, Portuguese professional Rui Sousa and the American WSOP Mystery Bounty Millionaire winner Matt Glantz.

Day 3 Drama Sees ‘K-Mart’ Kicked

An exciting Day 3 of the WSOP Paradise Main Event coincided with a Game of Gold reunion away from the felt, featuring players such as Olga Iermolcheva, Daniel Negreanu, winner Maria Ho, Josh Arieh, Fedor Holz, Johan ‘YoH Viral’ Guilbert and runner-up Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates, a.k.a. ‘Danny McFanny’ (if you know, you know). There was one cast member who had no interest in such pleasantries but only because he was elbow-deep in the action in the Main Event.

Kevin Martin was part of Team Club, featuring teammates Daniel Negreanu, Jason Koon and Michael Soyza, that was busted in Round 1 of the legendary blend of poker and reality TV. Here, however, the former Big Brother Canada winner excelled in this WSOP Paradise Main Event. With an incredible number of 3,010 entrants, the WSOP Paradise Main Event is the first of its kind but a prizepool of $15,050,000 defines its success and it will surely return next year around the same time. Martin will be hoping to finish just 24 places higher, busting as he did in 25th place for $72,200. His king-jack lost to pocket aces as the popular Canadian player exited stage left with three tables remaining.

By that stage, stars of the poker world such as Mustapha Kanit (46th for $47,500), Sam Greenwood (39th for $58,300), David Peters (35th for $58,300), and Barry Hutter (33rd for $58,300) had all departed, and after Martin left, so too did Timothy Adams (20th for $90,000) and Bryce Yockey (17th for $90,000). They might all have left, but some modern poker legends were still in place, promising a thrilling final to the penultimate day of the event.

All-Time Legend Loses Out

As three tables went to two, just 16 players were still in the hunt for the latest and greatest WSOP bracelet victory. One of them was the Brazilian online poker legend Pedro Garagnani but when he moved all-in from the button after Stanislav Zegal had raised him pre-flop, the German called. Garagnani turned over KsKd, the second best pre-flop hand in poker. Zegal – naturally – held AsAh and praying for kings or diamonds, Garagnani was to be disappointed as a runout of Tc8h7c6sQd saw him busted in 16th place for $90,000.

Eliminations for the colorful character Henrique Lessa (15th for $113,150) and Wellington Araujo (14th for the same amount) followed. Bojan Gledovic busted in unlucky 13th place and Vitor Dzivielevski in 12th for equal scores, before Daniel Neilson scored a vital double-up to save his tournament life. When Adam Walton busted in 11th place for $150,000 after his dominated Ts9s was trumped by Rui Sousa’s Ah9h, only 10 players remained.

Neilson was on the rise as others floundered, and having bounced up off the canvas, he came up swinging. Taking a big pot from All-Time Money List legend Mikita Badziakouski, Neilson then watched on as Matt Glantz busted the Belarussian. Badziakouski called off his stack holding 8d6d on a flop of Kh9d6s but was behind Glantz’ Tc9c. That didn’t change after the 2h turn and 7d river fell, and Badziakouski cashed for $150,000 too, this time in 10th place.

Neilson Peaks as Penultimate Day Closes

Heading into the action at the final table, Brazilian player Gabriel Schroder was the chip leader on 71 big blinds. With the short stack Luke Graham on 21 big blinds, the evenly spread chips meant some red-hot action remained as nine became seven. Stephane Guelpa lost with AcJs to Matt Glantz’ AhKd, busting in seventh for $200,000 and shortly after, Graham joined him on the rail, winning $250,000 when his 9s9h couldn’t hold against Neilson’s KcQs.

There was still time for Neilson to win a few more pots and build a comprehensive chip lead. Ending the day on 37.4 million, Neilson’s stack of 74 big blinds is a lot more than the short-stacked Montgomery McQuade, whose micro-stack of 4.9 million represents less than ten big blinds. Between those two polar opposite chipstacks, Matt Glantz ended the day on 31 big blinds with 15.5 million, Rui Sousa did even better, bagging 20.7 million and the aforementioned Schroeder ended on 28 million.

With seventh place worth $300,000 and the top prize and incredible $2 million, there will be a massive difference between how players will feel if they are first out on finals day or if they can make the heads-up and win a bracelet just as Erik Seidel did just the other day when he took bracelet #10. Whoever becomes the first-ever WSOP Paradise Main Event champion, one thing is for sure – they will not be the last.

Watch the WSOP Paradise action from Day 3 right here:

WSOP Paradise 2023 $5,000 Main Event Championship Final Table Chipcounts:
Place Player Country Chips
1st Daniel Neilson Australia 37,400,000
2nd Stanislav Zegal Germany 28,000,000
3rd Gabriel Schroeder Brazil 28,000,000
4th Rui Sousa Portugal 20,700,000
5th Michael Sklenicka Czech Republic 16,000,000
6th Matt Glantz United States 15,500,000
7th Montgomery McQuade United Kingdom 4,900,000