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May 4, 2024

The Highs and Lows of Tournament Poker: Curt Kohlberg's WPT Choctaw Journey

Aria Williams
WriterAria WilliamsWriter

Key Takeaways:

The Highs and Lows of Tournament Poker: Curt Kohlberg's WPT Choctaw Journey
  • Curt Kohlberg, with over $3.6 million in Hendon Mob cashes, experiences the volatility of tournament poker at the WPT Choctaw Championship.
  • Despite an early lead, Kohlberg was eliminated on Day 1a but has the option to rebuy.
  • The event saw a significant turnout, including top pros and the defending champion, Jared Jaffee.

Tournament poker is quite the roller coaster ride, as Curt Kohlberg learned on Friday (not that he didn't already know it). The Massachusetts poker player, boasting over $3.6 million in The Hendon Mob cashes, went from hero to zero in the blink of an eye on Day 1a of the $3,800 buy-in World Poker Tour (WPT) Choctaw Championship. But here's the silver lining in the cloud of his abrupt elimination — he can always rebuy.

The 2024 edition of the WPT Main Tour event at Choctaw Resort & Casino kicked off at 11 a.m. on Friday. Just over 60 players took their seats at the start of the day, a number that ballooned significantly through the first six levels. Registration will remain open until the start of Level 9, giving latecomers a chance to join in the action.

By the dinner break, 260 players had signed up, attracting some of the game's elite including Anthony Zinno, Scott Ball, Chino Rheem, and the defending champion, Jared Jaffee, marking the event's popularity and competitive edge.

Frank Stepuchin and Ren Lin were among the players who busted early on Day 1a. Kohlberg, on the other hand, had a different story initially, becoming the first to crack 100,000 chips, a substantial lead from the 50,000 starting stack.

His journey took a dramatic turn during the first level when he nearly doubled up turning a straight. Moments later, after moving all in on a 9x9x5x4xJx board without a call, he surpassed the 100,000 chip mark. However, by Level 6, he found himself on the losing end of one of the most entertaining Day 1a hands.

In a bold move, Kohlberg raised to 9,500 with 9♥3♥ from the button after Natalie Ferguson's initial raise and a couple of calls, including one from Dustin Bowman with Q♠10♠. The flop gave both players a piece but it was the 4♥ on the turn that turned the hand on its head.

Kohlberg, now holding a flush draw and middle pair, decided to gamble with his last 67,000 after Bowman's all-in check-raise. Unfortunately, the J♦ river card was of no help, leading to Kohlberg's early exit before the dinner break.

A tablemate remarked, "Didn't expect to see either of those hands," highlighting the unpredictability and excitement inherent in tournament poker.

PokerNews is set to provide a full recap of Day 1a following its conclusion, offering insights into the roller coaster journey of tournament poker, where fortunes can change in the blink of an eye, as Curt Kohlberg's experience vividly demonstrates.

About the author
Aria Williams
Aria Williams
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Aria Williams, New Zealand's prominent voice in online casino game localization, masterfully fuses the thrilling world of gaming with the rich Kiwi spirit. Their deft touch ensures every game not only entertains but resonates deeply with the locals.

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