The drama has reached boiling point in Texas as Doug Polk, part-owner of The Lodge Poker Club in Houston, has grabbed the chip lead in his own tournament. Yes, after much success in huge numbers turning up to play the establishment’s initial Meet Up Game also featuring fellow part-owners Brad Owen and Andrew Neeme, Polk is leading the way with just 38 opponents to outlast.

Can Polk win the Main Event and $417,800 top prize? Only one day stands between him and glory.

Polk on the Rise

With his incredible penchant for soundbites and seeming ability to kick hornets’ nests over in his sleep on social media, it’s easy for some to forget that Polk is a three-time WSOP bracelet winner and has over $9.4 million in live poker winnings alone. He’s just one day’s play away from banking another huge six-figure score.

For a man who beat Daniel Negreanu for over $1 million, that’s no insignificant achievement and Polk can claim to be the 113th best poker player of all time at the live felt, more successful than Shaun Deeb, Tony G and the reigning WSOP Player of the Year, Josh Arieh. Taking the title in Texas would vault him to 110th on that list, leapfrogging Charlie Carrel, Chris Ferguson and Ben Tollerene.

With the initial field of  617 players now showing just 39 entrants in seats, Polk bagged a stack of 2,755,000 chips and bullied players such as Thomas Penza and Thong Nguyen as he sent both opponents from the tournament in his relentless pursuit of the lead. His nearest challengers have a lot less than him, too, with Alain Bauer (1,945,000) and Stephen Song (1,895,000) both lagging some way behind the main man.

Other Top 10 Stacks

Polk sits atop the leaderboard with 138 big blinds, but while no one is close to him, the other podium places are being hunted down by some very experienced players. Farid Jattin will come back to the table with 1,485,000 chips, more than enough for his superb skills at the felt to put them to good use, while New Yorker Nir Cohen will fear no one with 1,440,000 to round out the top five.

Elsewhere in the Top 10, Alex Keating will eat into his HCL losses with a little profit at least, coming back for the final day of the $3,000-entry event with 1,370,000 chips. With Steven Rivero (1,295,000), Andreas Ioakimides (1,215,000), Wendy Nguyen (1,135,000), and Schuyler Thornton (1,075,000) all finishing over a million chips too, it promises to be an eventful play-out from this position.

What’s on the Line?

“The action promises to be dramatic as the Main Event plays down to a winner.”

With Day 2 bringing the 259 Day 1 survivor down to just 39 hopefuls still chasing the title, the money bubble burst and there was plenty of drama along the way. The remaining prize pool’s biggest prize is the $417,800 reserved for the winner – pending any deal – but others will be shooting for a final table appearance worth at least $35,000.

Other players to make the money places but miss out on the final day included Elliot Smith (42nd for $8,000), Brian Green (48th for $7,400), Andrew Neeme (52nd for $7,400), Guilebaldo Flores (62nd for $7,000), and Brett Murray (70th for $6,600).

After the drama of last week’s inaugural High Roller in The Lodge Championship Series, which was won by Michael Perrone for over $120,000, the action promises to be dramatic as the Main Event plays down to a winner which might just be the man with his name over the door.

The Lodge Championship Series Main Event Top 10 Chipcounts:

Position Player Chips Big Blinds
1st Doug Polk 2,755,000 138
2nd Alain Bauer 1,945,000 97
3rd Stephen Song 1,895,000 95
4th Farid Jattin 1,485,000 74
5th Nir Cohen 1,440,000 72
6th Alex Keating 1,370,000 69
7th Steven Rivero 1,295,000 65
8th Andreas Ioakimides 1,215,000 61
9th Wendy Nguyen 1,135,000 57
10th Schuyler Thornton 1,075,000 54


Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson writes for about the gambling industry. His experience ranges from crypto and technology to sports, casinos, and poker. He went to Douglas College and started his journalism career at the Merritt Herald as a general beat reporter covering news, sports and community. Arthur lives in Hawaii and is passionate about writing, editing, and photography.

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