VEGAS DIARIES: WPT World Championship Day 5

Image courtesy of WPT Media

11pm: And then there were three!

Day 3 of the WPT World Championship is now complete, and our Aussie top set – Lynn Gilmartin, Yita Choong and Pratik Mehta – have all scored themselves a bag!

Mehta ended the day as the best of the three with 1,085,000 in chips, with Choong bagging up 805,000, while Gilmartin advanced with 650,000. Although all three players will be below average stack when they return tomorrow, they’ve all locked up a min-cash of USD $29,450 (AUD $43,870) and all three of these players have shown us that they are more than capable of going the distance.

They’ll still have to negotiate a field of 128 players to get there, which is currently led by four-time WSOP bracelet winner Benny Glaser, who finished Day 3 with 7,565,000 in chips. The English juggernaut’s poker CV is both vast and varied, with deep runs and victories in multiple formats equal to more than USD $3.6 million (AUD $5,364,995).

The full WPT World Championship Day 4 seat draw will be made available later on, thanks to our media partners at

Before we do wrap up tonight, we’d like to congratulate two more of our side event winners in Christopher Puetz, who emerged victorious in the $1,600 Turbo Bounty two nights ago for a first-place payout of USD $79,576 (AUD $118,579), before Allen ‘The Chainsaw’ Kessler took the honours in the $1,100 Omaha 8/B, increasing his tournament lifetime earnings to more than USD $4.1 million (AUD $6,108,226). Well done, all!

That’s all we have time for, but be sure to tune in to PokerMedia Australia once again as we keep following our Aussies in the field, plus more of our feature stories and bonus content through our socials until the end of Day 5, and before the televised final table on the 20th of December.

Until tomorrow, from all of us here in Las Vegas, it’s ‘bye for now!

8:30pm: Playing the Mehta game

As we headed to the final break of night, Yita Choong was broken onto another table and happened to come across a familiar face, but we had to wait until his mask dropped to put a name to it.

Sydney’s Pratik Mehta has been quietly grinding here at The Wynn for a while now, but along with our other two Aussies we’ve been keeping tabs on, he’s still in with a chance of making it through to Day 4!

Mehta has racked up some decent results this year, including a deep run in both the WPTDeepStacks Sydney and WPT Prime Gold Coast Main Events, as well as a fourth place finish in the Asian Poker Tour Korea High Rollers Event for a career-high USD $17,406 (AUD $25,939).

Regardless of his result tonight, Mehta will be going home with a new personal best, so don’t be shy ladies and gents – jump into those comments on our socials and get behind the green-and-gold!

UPDATED CHIP COUNTS (end of Level 19)

Lynn Gilmartin1,125,000
Yita Choong1,110,000
Pratik Mehta495,000


Players Remaining/Total Entries151/2,960
Recommencing Blinds20,000/40,000 (40,000)
Average Stack1,960,256 (49 BBs)
Next PayoutUSD $26,900 (AUD $32,408)

7pm: A rollercoaster ride

It was a shaky 18th level for both our Aussies, but both Lynn Gilmartin and Yita Choong are still holding on to about a million in chips each as action in the WPT World Championship continues.

Having dropped as low as 375,000 in the previous level, Choong got himself out of struggle town after found a timely double-up in one of the last hands before the break, with his pocket sixes cracking his opponent’s kings after he flopped another six for the set and held.

Gilmartin did take a small hit to her stack, however, after she called an opponent out of the big blind holding pocket Queens, but her all-in adversary’s KQ freerolled to a flush on the board of 49582.

UPDATED CHIP COUNTS (end of Level 18)

Lynn Gilmartin1,000,000
Yita Choong1,015,000


Players Remaining/Total Entries189/2,960
Recommencing Blinds15,000/30,000 (30,000)
Average Stack1,566,137 (52 BBs)
Next PayoutUSD $21,750 (AUD $32,408)

4:30pm: A show of solidarity

The Encore Ballroom is once again at full capacity, with the WPT World Championship now running concurrently with Day 1A of the Mystery Bounty, as well as the inaugural USD $1,100 buy-in WPT Ladies Championship, which is now up to more than 450 entries and counting.

Many of the world’s best and most influential players and industry figures are in attendance, including two of the Poker Tournament Directors Association (TDA) co-founders: Jan Fisher, who had the crowd in stitches two nights ago when she MC’d the Women in Poker Hall of Fame Ceremony, and Linda Johnson, who officially gave the order to shuffle up and deal today’s event.

Johnson beamed as she addressed the crowd, thanking the WPT for the support and acknowledging that women had come a long way since the early days of Ladies Events.

“I’ve haven’t seen this much three-betting pre-flop in an open event,” Johnson exclaimed. “You girls are badass!”

Our reporter was also introduced to the mastermind behind the Malta Poker Festival, Ivonne Montealegre, who flew into Las Vegas earlier today. WPT senior management immediately sprung into action as she walked into the room – and it was clear that even before she took her seat, she meant business.

“This is amazing,” she said as she pointed to Matt Savage and Danny McDonagh, “and I want to talk to you both about having a WPT event in Malta next year.”

Amidst the organised chaos, Lupe Soto smiled, stood back and watched on proudly as her peers played on. The Las Vegas-based gaming consultant, event promoter and philanthropist has founded several internationally-recognised brands and non-profit initiatives, including the Ladies International Poker Series (LIPS) the Women in Poker Hall of Fame.

“When I started in poker, I was meeting all these fabulous women, but nobody knew who they were,” she said, “and they were the movers, the shakers, the trailblazers of the poker world. I just felt that there was something we could do to bring them to the forefront, and so I phoned up a few friends and said, ‘This is what I’m thinking about doing’, and they said that was a great idea!”

Fast forward to 2008, and Soto’s dream came to fruition, with Australia’s own Marsha Waggoner amongst the inaugural group dubbed “The Fab Four”. Coincidentally, WPT Angelica Hael was the second Australian to be inducted amongst another rock-star quartet to make up for the five-year gap due to the pandemic.

And although the industry has progressed well over the last two decades, it has been made abundantly clear that building and maintaining a culture that is open and inclusive to all, whilst still respecting the needs of others, is not only of mutual benefit, but also vital in securing the game’s long-term future.

“The decision-makers in this industry need to have real conversations about women in poker,” said Soto.

“We want operators in every single poker room in the world to see what they can do to change their policies and create environments to make it more inviting and more welcoming for them to play, and [women’s advocacy groups] have the winning formula to make that happen.”

The World Poker Tour is a proud supporter of Women in Poker, the Women’s Poker Association (WPA), Poker Power and the Poker League of Nations.

UPDATED CHIP COUNTS (end of Level 17)

Lynn Gilmartin1,335,000
Yita Choong300,000


Players Remaining/Total Entries250/2,960
Recommencing Blinds15,000/25,000 (25,000)
Average Stack1,184,000 (47 BBs)
Next PayoutUSD $19,900 (AUD $29,669)

2pm: The bubble has burst!

As we were so close to hitting the money already, our entire media contingent were out on the Encore Ballroom floor to be there for that history-making (yet heart-breaking) moment in the WPT World Championship.

And for one of the WPT family, it was indeed a raw deal after commentator and analyst Tony Dunst got all his money into the middle after a flop of 643 holding A6, but Dan Sepiol‘s K5 rivered a straight as board completed Q, 7 to confirm Dunst as the stone bubble …

… or so it was, but for a fleeting moment.

“We have another all-in-and-call!”

The tournament director rushed to an adjacent table, with a mob of camera crew and reporters in tow, and it was there that we witnessed WPT Champion Freddy Deeb call off Kat Klassen‘s three-bet-shove before the flop; Klassen was ahead with AA, but Deeb’s 1010 flopped a set and then filled up on the board of 1032Q3.

As a result, both Dunst and Klassen have split the bubble for USD $8,700 (AUD $12,984) each, but more importantly, it also means that our remaining 369 players – including our final two Aussies – are all in the money!

UPDATED CHIP COUNTS (end of Level 16)

Lynn Gilmartin1,315,000
Yita Choong640,000


Players Remaining/Total Entries341/2,960
Recommencing Blinds10,000/20,000 (20,000)
Average Stack916,409 (46 BBs)
Next PayoutUSD $17,750 (AUD $26,445)

Friday 16 December 2022

From wherever you’re watching in Australia, New Zealand or around the world, hello and welcome back to PokerMedia Australia and our continued coverage direct from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA!

Today, we find ourselves on the verge of history, with 399 players returning for Day 3 of the WPT World Championship – just 29 eliminations away from the money – and we still have two Australian players who are both well on their way to claiming their share of the USD $29,008,000 (AUD $43,312,823) prize pool: Lynn Gilmartin and Yita Choong.

Choong is certainly no stranger to the Vegas felt, making his presence known on the global stage after he battled through a field of 7,961 entries to finish fourth in the WSOP Millionaire Maker for USD $395,545 (AUD $591,005): his biggest career score to date.

Since then, Western Australian grinder has racked up a string of deep runs across Australia and the Asia-Pacific, including two final tables at the most recent Asian Poker Tour Korea series in Incheon, as well as victory in the APL Million Jackstar Super High Roller on the Gold Coast back in August.

And whilst not often seen on the other side of the tables, Gilmartin’s rise to fame in the poker industry has been well documented over the years, starting her career as a marketing assistant at Crown Melbourne, and then landing her first on-screen roles as a reporter for PokerNews and before joining the WPT family as their Anchor in 2013.

That being said, Gilmartin has proven well beyond doubt that she’s got what it takes to succeed in this game, summing it up best during her Australian Poker Hall of Fame induction speech two years ago: “This is a game that makes you smarter, wiser, more present, more in tune with yourself and with others. You learn life lessons by the orbit.”


2076Lynn Gilmartin930,00062
3095Yita Choong505,00034

Play will resume at 12pm local time, with recommencing blinds at 10,000/15,000 (15,000), with an average stack of 764,950 (51 BBs). Another five 90-minute levels are scheduled to be played through before we bag and tag on or around 8:45pm tonight.


PlaceAmount (USD)Amount (AUD)*
*AUD conversions as of 10:15am local time and subject to change (Source:

To keep up with everything that’s happening at The Wynn today, follow for live updates and catch the feature table stream on YouTube, and as always, stay with us here at PMA and follow us on our socials for even more of our content and to leave your messages of support for Lynn and Yita. Best of luck to everyone, and may the flop be with you!


All images courtesy of the World Poker Tour. WPT, World Poker Tour and the Spade Card Design are registered trademarks of WPT Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

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