Josh Arieh leads final table at WSOPC New Orleans

Josh Arieh
Josh Arieh has a big chip lead in the Winter Bayou Poker Challenge.

The World Series of Poker Circuit event, the Winter Bayou Poker Challenge, at Harrah's New Orleans is down to its final nine players.

The No-Limit Hold'em event started Monday, with 160 players paying the $5,000 buy-in.

The starting field was narrowed down to 51 players during the opening day, and now only nine competitors are left to battle it out for the $247,860 top prize.

Two-time WSOP bracelet winner Josh Arieh has performed strongly so far, and is in the lead with $510,000 in chips. reporter Owen Laukkanen vividly describes the hand that put Arieh way ahead of the rest of the field in the Live Tournaments Section:

"Josh Arieh raises to $11,000 from under the gun and Kenny Milam re-pops to $31,000 from middle position. Action folds back around to Arieh, who ups it again to $75,000. Milam thinks for a moment before moving all-in for $170,000 total and Arieh jumps up and out of his chair.

"'Oh man,' he groans. 'I guess I have to get lucky again.' After a few moments of pacing the Bodog pro makes the call, turning up Kd-Kc to Milam's As-Kh. The board plays out Qc-Jc-8s-Qs-3d and Arieh has eliminated the third-ranked player on the chip leaderboard, bringing his stack up to $500,000 while Milam is out in 13th place and will take home $10,710.

"After the hand, Arieh turns to the crowd. 'Ain't poker fun?' He shows his hands, which are shaking like leaves. 'I've been playing poker for years and I'm still shaking.'"

Lou Esposito, who won the Bayou Poker Challenge at Harrah's New Orleans in May, has reached the final table this time as well, but he is desperately short-stacked with only $20,500 in chips left.

You can follow all the final-table action from WSOPC in the Live Tournaments Section. Here are the seating positions and chip counts:

Seat 1 Tim McCollom $252,500
Seat 2 Philip Sparta $85,500
Seat 3 Lou Esposito $20,500
Seat 4 Bruce MacGregor $123,500
Seat 5 Nic Gellepis $65,000
Seat 6 Andy Philachack $35,000
Seat 7 Leonard Pruzansky $174,000
Seat 8 David Fox $324,000
Seat 9 Josh Arieh $510,000

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