The World Series of Poker wrapped up on Wednesday with New Jersey online poker grinder Dan Zack taking the Player of the Year title. A Pennsylvania online player also scored big, winning the top spot in the $1 million Tournament of Champions.
After 88 tournaments, 13 online events, and the Tournament of Champions, action has concluded at Bally’s and Paris in Las Vegas. Players will have to wait another year for more bracelet chasing – or at least until WSOP Europe in October.
As the events closed out, a couple players from legalized online poker markets found the spotlight. That included Zack (pictured in lead image) living out a dream as Player of the Year after winning two bracelets with 18 cashes.
Zack spoke with USPoker earlier in the series after his first win and then also this week after securing the POY title.
Dan Zack sizzles at WSOP
Some of the biggest names in poker have won the WSOP Player of the Year title including Daniel Negreanu, Allen Cunningham, Jason Mercier, and Shaun Deeb. Zack, of Jersey City, brought some real consistency to the series and is pleased to be listed among so many poker greats.
“I feel honored to be among so many big names to have won the title,” he tells USPoker. “I grew up watching the WSOP on espn and these guys were my idols growing up. To see my name among them now is a childhood dream come true.”
Zack’s big run began with winning the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship in June for $440,757. Just about a week and a half later, he followed that up by winning the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Championship for $324,174.
Between those, Zack also grabbed a third place in the $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship for $129,670. Winning the POY earned Zack some nice rewards including:
- 2023 WSOP Main Event seat
- winner’s trophy
- Player of the Year banner displayed during each WSOP at Paris/Bally’s
Fulfilling a dream
Many players dream of winning the POY title. For Zack, that actually became a reality, albeit a bit later than when he’d originally planned. After winning his first bracelet in 2019, he seemed on track for the award.
“I set the goal to win POY heading into WSOP in 2019,” he says. “I’d been doing a mixture of cash games and tournaments for the past few summers and decided I enjoyed the leaderboard aspect of POY as well as the challenge of staying focused on a singular goal for the whole time being out in Vegas.
“I was leading most of the 2019 series before falling off toward the end and finishing fourth. Back then WSOP Europe counted toward POY and I decided not to go to Czech Republic because I was confident I’d get a better opportunity in the future. Thankfully I now have gotten that opportunity and capitalized on it.”
“Next for me is lots of sleep and rest,” he says. “I’m pretty burned out after seven weeks of 12-hour days and I doubt I’ll play much poker at all in the next month. Eventually I’ll return to the online felt as that’s been my main poker game for the past few years since COVID hit.”
Pennsylvania online player Benjamin Kaupp scoops $250K in Tournament of Champions
Zack wasn’t the only US online player to find some success in the series’ final days. Benjamin Kaupp, of Feasterville Trevose, Pennsylvania, took down the Tournament of Champions for $250,000 and his first bracelet.
A regular online player in the Keystone State, Kauppqualified for the event after winning a WSOP Online Circuit ring in February. The WSOP added the TOC this year as the final event in the series and the tournament brought in 470 players.
A freeroll exclusively for bracelet winners and WSOP Circuit ring winners, either live or online, the event came with a $1 million prize pool.
Battling at the virtual table seems to have paid off for Kaupp. He now has $331,625 in live tournament winnings after the TOC title.
“I’ve just been grinding online for the last couple of years, taking it pretty seriously,” he said afterward. “I play a lot of the circuit events online. I didn’t really play poker for a while until the last couple of years when it was legal in Pennsylvania again.”
WSOP Circuit action continues live and online
Players looking for even more poker still have numerous opportunities to win a WSOP Circuit championship ring. Company officials recently released the live schedule with 25 tour stops.
Action is already underway at the Choctaw in Oklahoma and 10 more stops are also in the works. Those are expected to be announced soon.
After just wrapping up a WSOP Circuit Online in July, players can expect more ring action in August. Look for a preview soon at USPoker.
CBS Sports WSOP schedule released
Those looking to check some of the action throughout the series can now check out the action episodically on CBS Sports Channel. The action began July 21 and continues in the coming weeks with more tournament coverage added as well. Here’s a look at the TV schedule so far, courtesy of PokerGO.
WSOP television schedule – CBS Sports
Date Time Event
July 21 8 p.m. ET $100,000 High Roller Bounty
July 21 9 p.m. ET $2,500 NL Hold'em - Part 1
July 21 10 p.m. ET $2,500 NL Hold'em - Part 2
July 27 8 p.m. ET $25,000 Heads-Up Championship - Part 1
July 27 9 p.m. ET $25,000 Heads-Up Championship - Part 2
July 27 10 p.m. ET $25,000 High Roller - Part 1
July 27 11 p.m. ET $25,000 High Roller - Part 2
Aug. 4 8 p.m. ET $50,000 High Roller
Aug. 4 9 p.m. ET $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo - Part 1
Aug. 4 10 p.m. ET $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo - Part 2
Aug. 11 8 p.m. ET $25,000 High Roller PLO - Part 1
Aug. 11 9 p.m. ET $25,000 High Roller PLO - Part 2
Aug. 11 10 p.m. ET $1,500 Monster Stack - Part 1
Aug. 11 11 p.m. ET $1,500 Monster Stack - Part 2
Aug. 18 8 p.m. ET $50,000 High Roller PLO - Part 1
Aug. 18 9 p.m. ET $50,000 High Roller PLO - Part 2
Aug. 18 10 p.m. ET $1,500 NL Hold'em - Part 1
Aug. 18 11 p.m. ET $1,500 NL Hold'em - Part 2
Aug. 25 8 p.m. ET $10,000 2-7 Triple Draw - Part 1
Aug. 25 9 p.m. ET $10,000 2-7 Triple Draw - Part 2
Aug. 25 10 p.m. ET $100,000 High Roller - Part 1
Aug. 25 11 p.m. ET $100,000 High Roller - Part 2
Aug. 31 8 p.m. ET $3,000 PLO 6-Max
Aug. 31 9 p.m. ET $1,500 Millionaire Maker - Part 1
Aug. 31 10 p.m. ET $1,500 Millionaire Maker - Part 1
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One of the most prestigious titles at the World Series of Poker each year is the Player of the Year (POY) award. A player has won the honor every year since 2004, starting with Daniel Negreanu in that first year.
In 2021, Josh Arieh came out on top after taking two bracelets during the series. Each POY winner has a banner hung in his honor during the WSOP. Here’s a look at the annual award and some of those in the hunt for the title so far.
Player of the Year leaderboard details
Earlier this year the WSOP announced the criteria on what it would take to grab the exclusive title in 2022. Players in the hunt receive points depending on the event they play and the POY race formula.
“The formula is loosely based on the highly successful point system that has been used on the WSOP Circuit for many years,” series officials noted. “That scale will be used for each bracelet event, with modifiers based on the buy-in amount and number of entries.”
The WSOP website also includes a POY calculator that shows how the points are defined. Certain events do not count toward the POY title, such as:
- Michigan and Pennsylvania online bracelets
- WSOP Europe
- Casino Employees Championship
- Seniors NLHE
- Tag Team NLHE
- Super Seniors NLHE
- Ladies Championship
Prizes and current leaderboard
One change this year is that only a single winner earns prizes, which include:
- 2023 WSOP Main Event seat
- winner’s trophy
- POY banner at Paris/Bally’s tournament area
The 2021 race featured some big names with Phil Hellmuth coming in second and Negreanu in third. After his win, Arieh had no problem rubbing it in Hellmuth’s face a bit to kick off the 2022 series.
So far this year, Dan Zack currently leads in the standings after two bracelet wins as well as third- and eighth-place finishes. He recently spoke with USPoker after his first bracelet win about chasing the POY title.
“The rest of the series for me is just full steam ahead,” he said. “I’m now third in the player of the year standings, so I’ll be chasing that as hard as I can. I might try to add the $50,000, $100,000, and $250,000 No Limit Hold’em events to my schedule, but otherwise I was already planning to fire everything else.”
With a win, a runner-up finish, and several cashes this summer, Daniel Weinman sits second in the standings. David Peters, Joao Simao, and Alex Foxen round out the top five. Here’s a look at the POY standings as of June 29.
2022 WSOP Player of the Year standings
Rank Name Points
1 Daniel Zack 3,589.46
2 Daniel Weinman 2,778.82
3 David Peters 2,222.30
4 Joao Simao Peres 2,204.97
5 Alex Foxen 2,127.50
6 Phil Ivey 2,097.31
7 Shaun Deeb 2,032.73
8 Chad Eveslage 2,012.12
9 Scott Seiver 2,011.16
10 Michael Moncek 1,974.41
Previous POY winners
Since its inception, only Negreanu has won the POY honor twice. The list of winners includes some of the biggest names in poker. Here’s a look at ll past winners.
- 2004 – Daniel Negreanu
- 2005 – Allen Cunningham
- 2006 – Jeff Madsen
- 2007 – Tom Schneider
- 2008 – Erick Lindgren
- 2009 – Jeffrey Lisandro
- 2010 – Frank Kassela
- 2011 – Ben Lamb
- 2012 – Greg Merson
- 2013 – Daniel Negreanu
- 2014 – George Danzer
- 2015 – Mike Gorodinsky
- 2016 – Jason Mercier
- 2017 – Chris Ferguson
- 2018 – Shaun Deeb
- 2019 – Robert Campbell
- 2021 – Josh Arieh
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Dan Zack was living a dream last week at the World Series of Poker. The New Jersey grinder found himself heads-up for his second bracelet with a 20-1 chip advantage. The winner would score $440,757 in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship. But things weren’t exactly going as planned.
That lead had sunk to a 6-1 advantage for his opponent, Dustin Dirksen. Losing another big pot could find Zack in serious trouble. A key hand developed that may have turned things around.
Dirksen held A-9-5-10 with a double flush draw with a 9-5 on the board and no redraw. A loss for Zack would mean runner-up, but splitting the pot would at least keep him alive.
“It’s a spot where if he has a made hand already, I’m just dead and it was the first time heads up in four hours I really tanked,” says Zack, who lives in Jersey City. “I ended up deciding the price was too good and there were enough hands he could have I was live against and put in my last 1.5 bets.”
The two players indeed chopped the pot and Zack went on to make a huge comeback. Adding that second piece of hardware still feels surreal for the longtime poker player.
“It feels great to win a second bracelet,” he says. “I first got into poker watching the WSOP on ESPN and always dreamed of playing these. As a result, even though I rarely play tournaments outside the WSOP, I’m always here each year chasing the dream of collecting these things, and so every bracelet win is precious.”
WSOP success and adjusting to online poker
While he may prefer cash games, Zack is obviously no slouch in the live tournament arena. He currently has more than $1.7 million in live tournament winnings.
The Omaha Hi-Lo title became the biggest win of his career. He also scored a bracelet in 2019 in a $2,500 Limit Mixed Triple Draw event for $160,447.
Zack exemplifies just how difficult it is to win a bracelet in these events featuring huge fields and great players. Beyond last week’s tournament, which featured 196 players for a $1.8 million prize pool, he’s had numerous other deep runs and final table appearances. He also scored a WSOP Circuit ring in 2013 as well, and was glad to break through again in Las Vegas.
Like many, poker changed quite a bit for Zack during the pandemic and he was forced to adjust. Previously mostly a live player, online poker in New Jersey became a bigger part of his routine.
“There’s been a decent amount of mixed game action there since the pandemic, which is where most of my volume has gone,” he says, “But I also just play significantly fewer hours these days than I had in the past.”
Away from the table and looking ahead
Poker isn’t the only game the 29-year-old enjoys. Zack thrives on strategy and competitive games. Away from the tables, Hearthstone and Teamfight Tactics are particular favorites.
“Those are two games I’ve spent a lot of time on the past five years trying to get as good as I can as a challenge to myself,” he says. “At one point I think I was in the top 100 players global of TFT and was probably close, but not quite that good of a Hearthstone player. I doubt I’ll ever stop playing strategy games even after I quit poker.”
There’s a good chance that strategy and analytical thinking pays off at the poker table as well. The Omaha Hi-Lo win wasn’t the only big news on Zack’s agenda recently. Another major event is also in his future.
“I recently got engaged to the love of my life, Ivy,” he says. “We’ve been together the past six years and I feel blessed to have found such an amazing life partner.”
More bracelet chasing
With plenty of action remaining in Las Vegas, Zack has plenty more poker on the horizon. Beyond his big win, Zack also managed two other cashes so far.
He’s looking for even more success as the action plays out on the Strip. That includes even adding some bigger buy-in tournaments to his schedule with hopes of another nice finish.
“The WSOP so far has been quiet for me outside of the win,” he says. “I had one nice run in the $500 Housewarming, but flamed out 200th out of 20,000 entries. Otherwise it’s been a full schedule but no other cashes yet
“The rest of the series for me is just full steam ahead. I’m now third in the player of the year standings, so I’ll be chasing that as hard as I can. I might try to add the $50,000, $100,000, and $250,000 No Limit Hold’em events to my schedule, but otherwise I was already planning to fire everything else.”
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With almost two months complete in 2023, poker’s various ranking systems are starting to take shape after numerous tournaments to start the year. That includes Jeremy Ausmus continuing to make waves on the Global Poker Index and Cary Katz rising to the top on the PokerGO Tour.
Online, some familiar names are also making nice runs already and climbing on the WSOP.com standings. Once again USPoker takes a look at some of the top players across the poker world.
The GPI may be handing out Global Poker Awards in March, including 2022 players of the year, but the race is already on in the 2023 standings. As of Thursday, Ausmus (pictured in lead image, courtesy PokerGO) finds the top spot in the 2023 POY rankings. That comes after a win and third-place finish at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) for more than $300,000.
Ausmus also found a 13th-place finish in the PokerStars Players Championship at the PCA for $238,700. Tony Lin sits just behind him in second. Also at the PCA, Lin finished runner-up in the $25,0000 High Roller for $619,200. He also recorded a third-place finish in the $10,200 PCA Warm-up for $164,100.
In the GPI rolling rankings determining the world’s top players at any one time, Ausmus also finds the top spot. Chad Eveslage sits in second with some recent nice finishes, including winning the Five Diamond World Poker Classic in October for $1.1 million. Here’s a look at the top players in these standings.
Player of the Year 2023
- Jeremy Ausmus – 1,887.98 points
- Tony Lin – 1,770.94
- Justin Saliba – 1,610.33
- Anthony Hu – 1,517.70
- Jesse Lonis – 1,355.12
GPI Overall Standings
- Jeremy Ausmus – 3,378.20 points
- Chad Eveslage – 3,343.50
- Alex Foxen – 3,310.65
- Adam Hendrix – 3,306.89
- Chance Kornuth – 3,234.98
🏆♣️ GPI Players of the Year Announced ♣️🏆
— Global Poker Index (@gpi) January 4, 2023
In the GPI mid-major player of the year race, Florida’s Blake Whittington leads the way. At a recent WSOP Circuit stop in Pompano Beach, he finished seventh in the $1,700 Main Event for $39,981. He also finished third in a $1,000 bestbet Jacksonville event for $13,080.
In the female POY race, France’s Cecile Ticherfatine sits in first. She scored a win and a runner-up at the recent WSOP Circuit stop in Dakar, Senegal, for a total of $110,000.
GPI Mid-Major POY
- Blake Whittington – 1,020.02 points
- Daniel Noja – 988.29
- Jonathan Moschel – 971.58
- Idir Haiche – 960.80
- Eric Baldwin – 952.41
- Cecile Ticherfatine – 676.81 points
- Nadya Magnus – 667.73
- Tracey Nguyen Hill – 652.02
- Kathy Liebert 640.96
- Kristen Foxen – 624.15
Following a string of events already this year, Cary Katz sits atop the PokerGO standings. The platform’s founder took down the PokerGO Cup overall championship after winning a total of $655,800 and the $50,000 championship bonus.
Anthony Hu is just behind him after a win and a runner-up in the PokerGO Cup for almost $470,000. Alex Foxen finds third place after his own win and runner-up finishes in the same series.
The PLO Series is next on tap for the PGT, with nine Omaha events beginning March 11 with buy-ins ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.
The top player on the PGT season leaderboard earns the player of the year honor and an extra $50,000. The top 40 players also qualify for the season-ending $1 million freeroll with $500,000 going to the winner and chip stacks determined by a player’s points in the standings. Here’s a look at the tour standings so far.
- Cary Katz – 543 points ($739,000)
- Anthony Hu – 454 points ($454,200)
- Alex Foxen – 393 points ($470,040)
- Isaac Haxton – 359 points ($598,000)
- Dan Zack – 352 points ($524,700)
The online poker action continues to heat up at WSOP.com with Michael “myGAMEW” Lavenburg taking an early lead on the leaderboard. He’s followed by Adrian “sacakewalk” Sacher, who took the top spot in 2022. Quinghai “011POKERDR” Pan is stalking the leaders in third after finishing in the same spot last year.
The end of year winner scores an extra $10,000, a player of the year ring, and $1,500 in online tournament tickets. Here’s a look at the top five players.
WSOP.com Player of the Year
- Michael “myGAMEW” Lavenburg – 11259.30 points
- Adrian “sacakewalk” Sacher – 9942.55
- Quinghai “011POKERDR” Pan – 9455.95
- Anthonhy “boom81boom” Chin – 8800.14
- Josh “YoelRomero” King – 8025.37
While the first WPT Main Tour isn’t on tap until April, there has been a Prime event. These tournaments now also figure into the tour’s POY standings.
The WPT Prime Paris played out in January with Fabrice Bigot coming out on top in the city of lights. The Frenchman bagged $194,390 for his third cash on the tour. The runner-up in that event, Sabare Atmani, sits in second after scoring $123,934.
A trifecta of Prime events await players in March including stops on the Gold Coast in Australia as well as Cambodia and Amsterdsam. The 2023 POY secures a $15,000 WPT Passport with second place awarding $10,000 and $5,000 for third place. Here’s a look at the current tour standings.
WPT Player of the Year
- Fabrice Bigot – 900 points ($194,390)
- Sabare Atmani – 700 points ($123,934)
- Alexandre Le Vaillant – 550 points ($92,128)
- Federico Cirillo – 450 points ($69,096)
- Antoine Labat – 350 points ($51,548)
It’s been a busy few weeks at PokerGO with the Mixed Games series recently wrapping up. The festival had players competing in numerous non-Hold’em formats and saw some big names rise to the top.
Some of those included Shaun Deeb, Eli Elezra, Jason Mercier, and John Monnette. Dan Zack also emerged as the overall series champion.
In other news, the platform also announced the new commentator for High Stakes Poker following Gabe Kaplan’s retirement. The platform also offered some more details on the “Dream Seat” promotion allowing recreational players to compete with some of the biggest names in poker. Here’s a look at some of the news from PokerGO.
PokerGO Mixed Games Festival concludes
The last two weeks saw players descend on the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas for action featuring games from Stud to Omaha and more. Zack (pictured in lead image, photos courtesy PokerGO) took the series championship after recording five cashes for a total of almost $5325,000.
That included a runner-up in the $25,500 Ten-Game Championship for $345,000 as well as a third-place finish. The New Jersey grinder now has almost $3.3 million in live tournament winnings. He scored an extra $25,000 and a trophy for winning the overall championship.
“It’s incredible,” Zack told PokerGO. “It is so nice to have this (series). There are no mixed game tournaments outside of the World Series of Poker before this at reasonable stakes. It’s incredible to have another chance a year to play these events, given how fun mixed game tournaments are, and how much demand there is for them in the high-stakes mixed community.”
Chopped the PGT main event and won player of the series! Feeling very blessed for how I’ve run the past year. Huge shoutout to @TDPaulCampbell and the whole pokerGo studio staff for an incredibly well run series. Best tournament room and it’s not close.
— Daniel Zack (@Dan__Zack) February 12, 2023
Former PokerStars ambassador Jason Mercier continued his return to more live poker with a nice win as well. He topped Zack heads up after a deal to win the 10-Game Championship for $367,500.
Shaun Deeb kicked off the festivities by taking down the first event of the series. He scored $208,800 in the $10,300 HORSE, which attracted 87 entries for an $870,000 prize pool.
Poker Hall of Fame member Eli Elezra also found the winner’s circle, grabbing the top spot in the $10,300 Triple Stud Mix for $155,000. Here’s a look at all the winners.
PokerGO Mixed Games 2023
Event Tournament Winner Winner payout Runner-up
1 $10,300 H.O.R.S.E. Shaun Deeb $208,800 David "ODB" Baker
2 $10,300 8-Game John Monnette $211,200 Albert Daher
3 $10,300 Triple Stud Mix Eli Elezra $155,000 Yuval Bronshtein
4 $10,300 Big Bet Mix Ben Lamb $186,300 Maxx Coleman
5 $10,300 Triple Draw Mix Nick Guagenti $171,075 Alex Livingston
6 $10,300 Dealer's Choice Scott Abrams $179,200 Ben Lamb
7 $25,500 10-Game Championship Jason Mercier $367,500 Dan Zack
8 $5,300 No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Cary Katz $83,200 Johannes Becker
Nick Schulman takes commentary reins at ‘High Stakes Poker’
In other PokerGO news, the company also recently announced Nick Schulman as the new color commentator for the popular High Stakes Poker. This follows Gabe Kaplan’s retirement from the show.
Schulman, 38, is a longtime poker pro and commentator. His outside-the-box insight and approach to the game has resonated with many poker fans.
A three-time WSOP bracelet winner, Schullman also has one World Poker Tour title on his resumé. His first episode was released on Jan. 31. Schulman will be paired with long-time High Stakes commentator AJ Benza.
“To join the show that started it all and replace the best to ever do it is a tremendous honor,” Schulman said in a news release. “Thank you to Gabe for having his blessing, see you soon.”
Schulman joined PokerGO in 2015 for the Super High Roller Cash Game. He quickly became a favorite on the network, moving on to provide analysis for the WSOP, High Stakes Duel, Super High Roller Bowl, Poker Masters, US Poker Open, and PokerGO Cup. He’s been a broadcaster of the year award winner at the American Poker Awards.
“Nick represents the modern era of poker as one of the most knowledgeable, dignified minds in the game, and we are thrilled to welcome him to High Stakes Poker,” PokerGO President Mori Eskandani said. “When Nick first started working with PokerGO, it quickly became apparent that he had a bright future on this side of the felt. Nick’s fresh, insightful perspective has added immense value to PokerGO over the years, and we believe he is the perfect fit to carry on the legacy of poker’s most iconic cash-game show.”
Dream Seat promotion kicks off with RunGood Poker Series partnership
PokerGO recently announced a new promotion throughout 2023 – the chance for players to win a “Dream Seat.” The concept would allow recreational players win seats in the season-ending PokerGO Tour Championship. The event comes with a $1 million prize pool and concludes the tour’s third season. The exclusive event is open to the top 40 players on the PGT leaderboard plus a select group of Dream Seat winners.
PokerGO recently announced the continuation of a partnership with the RunGood Poker Series (RGPS) that will see a Dream Seat up for grabs this year.
All 2023 RunGood ring winners earn an invitation to compete in the first-ever RGPS Dream Seat Invitational at Thunder Valley Casino Resort in November. The winner secures the Dream Seat.
RGPS main event winners earn automatic entry into the event, which includes a $300 buy-in and $200 travel stipend. Non-main event ring winners are also eligible to buy in to the event.
“The RunGood Poker Series is ecstatic to partner with PokerGO to give one of our players an incredibly unique experience to compete in the PGT Championship million dollar freeroll,” RunGood President Tana Karn said. “As poker’s leading mid-major poker tour, we are always looking for ways to raise the bar. The RGPS Dream Seat Invitational allows us to do just that while celebrating our ring winners.”
PokerGO will announce more Dream Seat promotions soon. Some of the upcoming stops on the RunGood tour include:
- Jamul Casino San Diego, Feb. 21-26
- Horseshoe Tunica, Feb. 28 – March 5
- Graton Casino, Feb. 28 – March 8
- Downstream Casino Joplin – April 11-16
It was a big summer at the World Series of Poker for players from regulated online poker states. New Jersey’s Dan Zack won the Player of the Year and Pennsylvania’s Benjamin Kaupp won the Tournament of Champions.
A Michigan player, Dash Dudley, also came up with some nice scores including his third bracelet. In late June, he took down a $1,500 Super Turbo Bounty No Limit Hold’em for $301,396.
It was a nice win after planning a limited schedule. Dudley came close to a win just before that, taking runner-up in the $50,000 High Roller Pot Limit Omaha for $861,442.
“I came in only planning to play five or six tournaments,” he tells USPoker. “I had an amazing run in the $50,000 PLO and I came so close to winning. Although it felt great, I still wanted to win. Finding bracelet number three for my daughter, Dari, is something I can barely describe. I gave it all my heart and it was such a huge blessing to get this win.”
On the road to WSOP glory
Dudley, 36, lives in Lansing and says one key moment sticks out from the Turbo Bounty win. He was all in on Day 2 on a short stack with a less-than-ideal hand. His 6-2 off-suit held up somehow, and he went on to catch fire throughout the event.
“Another big moment was also having another packed rail supporting me at my final table,” he adds. “It was totally unreal. It took so long to win the first one, number three didn’t even seem possible.”
The same year he also won a PLO event in the WSOP Europe for €51,600. PLO seems to be a specialty of his, so it felt good for Dudley to grab a NLHE title.
“It was pretty unexpected,” he says. “I was really only planning to play one NLHE event, that being the Main Event. However, in any tournament I enter, my goal is always to win and collect that hardware.”
God is great 🙏🏽! Did the unthinkable today and shipped #3 in a game we don’t play. Lots of luck, little skill, and lots of love got us there! So blessed! #wsop #poker #pokernews #darianna #bracelet #win #endgame #shortstack4life #blessed #bestrail pic.twitter.com/2XZ9pSnkKK
— Dash Dudley (@DashDudley) July 1, 2022
Poker player and family man
Michigan continues to be one of the growing US online poker markets. The state recently also signed on as part of the country’s interstate compact with Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. Dudley is an online player himself and happy to see the industry seeing some growth and positive news from his home state.
“I think it’s great,” he says. “Online poker allows people to play from their own home, and you can play a lot of variations of games at lower stakes to learn.
“I play online when I have the opportunity, but my 10-month-old girl keeps my life busy at the moment. I think online poker will continue to grow, I know what it was like before and I think one day it’ll reach that level again.”
Obviously spending time with family is important to Dudley. He enjoys seeing his baby Darianna and wife Racquel. Adding a daughter to the family has been a joy for Dudley.
“Number one on my agenda is spending time with my family and making memories with them,” he says. “We love traveling and visiting friends and family across the country. We really try to prioritize that time when away from the poker table.”
Before poker, Dudley worked at his parents’ tree farm in Mason, Michigan, and says he’s always been business oriented. Now with $3.1 million in live tournament winnings and a big run at the tables recently, Dudley is looking for some new investments in the coming months.
With bracelet No. 3 now in hand, more poker is also in the works. However, Dudley makes it clear that family comes first.
He works hard to prioritize those who are most important in his life and they serve as motivation for his time at the tables.
“My major goals are to keep providing a good life for my family, hopefully continue to grow our family, and have continued success in my poker career,” he says. “None of this is ever possible without my faith in God and a strong support system, my wife, my mom, my friends and family. Having people who believe in you through it all is invaluable.”
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The Main Event took center stage over the week, but plenty of other tournaments have been part of the mix at the World Series of Poker. That included some nice scores from New Jersey grinders in live and online events.
Several players also chalked up their first wins and players from France also produced some major results. Texas player Lawrence Brandt (pictured above) also scored his second bracelet of the series.
The live and online WSOP schedule has mostly concluded with the Tournament of Champions only remaining to be decided. Here’s a look at the final week of action.
Event 75: $777 Lucky 7s NLHE 7-Handed
Vive la France! Frenchman Gregory Teboul captured his first bracelet in this event with a slot-machine friendly payout of $777,777. This big-field event saw 6,891entries for a $4.7 million prize pool.
Georgia’s Rodney Turvin finished runner-up for $400,777. It’s been quite a trip to Las Vegas for Teboul. Just days before the Lucky 7s win, he also took down a $400 WSOP Daily Deepstack for $31,583.
“I feel very, very well because it’s not nothing to win a tournament in Las Vegas,” he said after his bracelet win. “It’s my fifth year here and this was the good year.”
Event 77: $1,500 Mixed NLHE; Pot Limit Omaha
This event featured two of poker’s most popular games and Sandeep Pulusani found his second bracelet. The player from Huntsville, Alabama, took home $277,949 for his efforts. The win came nine years after Pulusani’s first bracelet win.
9 years (and about 6 retirements and un-retirements from poker 😂) later… we got bracelet #2 😮 pic.twitter.com/FD7yZa2hfW
— Deep Pulusani (@momentofdeep) July 15, 2022
Longtime poker pro Esther Taylor-Brady took runner-up for $171,787. The tournament brought in 1,234 entries for a $1.6 million prize pool.
Event 78: $2,500 NLHE
Canada’s Sebastien Aube, who lives in Quebec City, scored his first bracelet in this event for $499,636. The tournament produced 1,364 entries for a $3 million prize pool.
France’s Jilien Loire finished runner-up for $308,817. This was only Aube’s second WSOP cash and he was inspired by a poker pro to begin playing again over the last few years.
“I played recreationally in my 20s and when I opened my last business in the pandemic, I came upon the MasterClass of Daniel Negreanu,” he said after the win. “I always liked the guy so was like, ‘Alright, let’s go.’ He really psyched me up. It’s the same recipe to succeed in poker as it is in business, so it really called to me.”
Event 79: $10,000 Razz Championship
This lowball tournament attracts some big names and that continued this year. When the dust settled, another Frenchman found the top spot. Julien Martini won his fourth bracelet for $328,906. The tournament attracted 125 entries for a $1.2 million prize pool.
Martini is a bit of a mixed-game specialist with his previous bracelets coming in Omaha Hi/Lo, Short Deck, and Eight-Game Mix. Those latter two came in 2021 in the WSOP Europe.
He also finished third for $134,587 in the same Razz Championship in 2018. New York’s Hal Rotholz finished runner-up for $203,281.
Online Event 10: $3,200 High Roller
The online poker bracelet action returned on Tuesday and another Canadian found a win. Julien Perouse, of Toronto, scored a bracelet and $324,767. This is the Canadian’s fourth cash, all in online events.
Poker pro Calvina Anderson finished runner-up for $202,627. He also added a runner-up finish in a WSOP.com Online Circuit event on the same day for $49,130.
Event 80: $600 Mixed NLHE; Pot Limit Omaha Deepstack
This lower-buy-in event saw 2,107 entries for a $1.1 million prize pool. In the end, Latvia’s Romans Voitovs reached the winner’s circle for $158,609 and his first bracelet. New York’s Michael Dobbs finished runner-up for $98,026.
Event 81: $5,000 Freezeout NLHE
Texans played a big part of the WSOP in the early days and one found a bracelet in this freezeout. Mohammad Arani, of Plano, Texas, scored his first bracelet for $665,459. The win came on his 52nd series cash and Arani credited another poker pro for helping him reach the finish line.
I won a bracelet last night. I’ve been getting some real good coaching from Jonothon Jaffe. I highly recommend getting a few hours with him if you’d like to improve your game.
— Arani (@MamadZX) July 16, 2022
The tournament saw 756 entries for a $3.5 million prize pool. Johannes Straver, of the Netherlands, took runner-up for $411,279.
Event 82: $800 Eight-Handed NLHE Deepstack
Minnesota’s Richard Alsup took down this event for his first bracelet and $272,065. The poker pro topped a field of 2,812 entries, which created a $2 million prize pool.
“It feels phenomenal,” he said afterward. “I haven’t really been a bracelet chaser but this one is really special. It feels really special because my travel buddy Rob Wazwaz won the same event a month before. The stars aligned, I wasn’t even going to play.”
Gary Whitehead, of the United Kingdom, finished in second place for $168,093.
Event 83: $50,000 High Roller
The beefy price point action returned with Portugal’s João Vieira raising his hands in victory for his second bracelet. The tournament attracted 107 entries for a $4.6 million prize pool and Vieira snagged $1.4 million of that.
I got my 1st one and can’t put into words how much love you lovely teddy bears have gave me ever since.
Thank you all, brothers! ❤️
— João Vieira (@Naza114_oficial) July 6, 2019
Vieira’s first bracelet came in 2019 in a $5,000 NLHE event for $758,011. He now has 83 WSOP cashes for $3.2 million. Spain’s Lander Lijo found the runner-up spot for $855,631.
Event 84: $3,000 HORSE
Another Texan scored not just a bracelet, but his second of the summer in this event. Lawrence Brandt rode the HORSE action to victory and a $205,319 payday. The tournament produced a field of 327 entries for a $873,090 prize pool.
In June, Brandt also won a $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event for $289,610. Along with Main Event champion Espen Jorstad and Daniel Zack, Brandt becomes the third double winner of the summer.
“It feels awesome because this is my first HORSE tournament,” Brandt said afterward. “The only reason I played this tournament was because I won the first one and I was staying around until the Tournament of Champions, so just running deep was a dream, getting to the final table was crazy. I came in third in chips today but was feeling really good and confident and the cards just went my way.”
New York’s Roberto Marin finished runner-up for $126,895.
Event 85: $1,500 The Closer
New Jersey’s Minh Nguyen won one of the final events of the summer, taking down The Closer for $536,280 and his first bracelet. The event drew 2,968 entries for a $4 million prize pool. South Africa’s Ahmed Karrim finished runner-up for $331,470.
Event 86: $10,000 Six-Handed NLHE Championship
Gergory Jensen, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, found the top spot in this event for his first bracelet and $824,649. The Czech Republic’s Pavel Plesuv finished runner-up for $509,674 in an event that saw 394 entries for a $3.7 million prize pool.
Event 87: $5,000 Eight-Handed NLHE
Another New Jersey grinder found a win in this event. Michael Wang, of Livingston, earned his second bracelet and $541,604. Farid Jattin, of Miami, Florida, finished runner-up for $334,747.
Poker legend Erik Seidel took third for $238,321. The tournament brought in 573 entries for $2.6 million.
Online Event 11: $777 Lucky 7s Second Chance
The online action was back with Ohio’s Fred Li winning this one for $159,060. New York’s Zachary Okin took the silver medal for $98,291. The tournament attracted a prize pool of $854,700 from 781 entries.
Event 88: $1,000 Super Turbo No-Limit Hold’em
A Canadian again struck gold in this tournament. Jaspal Brar, of Edmonton, Alberta, won this quick-paced event for $190,731. Oregon’s Jese Lonis took runner-up for $117,872. The tournament saw 1,282 entries for $1.1 million.
Online Event 12: $5,300 High Roller Freezeout Encore
Italy’s Gianluca “Inmyhouse” Speranza scored this title for $324,625. Paul Scaturro, of Old Bridge, New Jersey, took second place for $189,875. The 245-entry created a $2.1 million prize pool.
Online Event 13: $500 NLHE Summer Saver
Another New Jersey player scored big here, with Succasunna’s Shaun “BabyLegs” O’Donnell taking the victory for $125,330. This is the first bracelet for the regular online grinder.
Benjamin Chung, of Los Angeles, finished runner-up for $77,275. The tournament brought in 1,189 entries for a $741,600 prize pool.
Tournament of Champions
The $1 million freeroll is for any bracelet or WSOPC championship ring over the last year. After kicking off on Monday with 463 players, just 144 were to return to the action on Tuesday.
The TOC is the final event on the WSOP schedule and concludes on Wednesday with the winner walking away with a bracelet and a nice payout. The payouts haven’t been determined yet however. A total of 575 players were eligible and some of those can still enter on Day 2.
The UK’s Robert Cowen leads the field after winning the $50,000 High Roller PLO earlier in the series for $1.4 million. Check back to USPoker later in the week for the winner in this event.
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Poker action continued over the weekend in the World Series of Poker with some New Jersey online poker grinders finding the winner’s circle. Alex Foxen also snagged his first bracelet in the $250,000 Super High Roller.
Several players also scored their first bracelets as well and plenty of action remains. The seniors event also wrapped up with a huge payout to the winner. Here’s a look at some of the big winners over the last few days.
Event 44: $10,000 HORSE Championship
Andrew Yeh saddled up for victory in this event, topping a field of 209 players that produced a $1.9 million prize pool. The Las Vegas resident grabbed $487,129 for his efforts, the largest score of his career.
“I feel like I’m definitely capable of winning, but in these tournaments, especially $10Ks with all of the good players, it’s really tough to navigate a field,” Yeh said. “So to be able to do that and make it here again from last year and actually [get the win] is pretty surreal.”
Craig Chait took the runner-up spot for $301,068.
Andrew Yeh captures his first bracelet in @WSOP Event #44: $10K H.O.R.S.E.
At a final table with multiple bracelet winners and mixed game crushers, Andrew Yeh triumphed, winning $487,129.
Yeh defeated Craig Chait heads up to deny his first bracelet for a bit longer. pic.twitter.com/50JX4ZvTcI
— PokerGO (@PokerGO) June 24, 2022
Event 45: $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha
Florida’s Phillip Hui made it a trifecta of bracelets by winning this event for $311,782. The tournament attracted 1,437 entries for $1.9 million with France’s Daniel Tordjman finishing runner-up for $192,674.
When the final day began, Hui was in the middle of the pack but was able to chip up for the victory.
Event 46: $5,000 Six-Handed NLHE
France’s Jonathan Pastore topped a nice field of 920 players for a $771,765 top prize. The event produced a $4.2 million prize pool and numerous friends cheered Pastore on inside the PokerGO set.
“Having all of my friends on the rail really helped me,” he said. “We are a big group of friends and poker players who live in Malta and came to play the World Series. Coming from the amateur poker circles in France, with all my friends around me, I feel I mixed those two worlds today and it’s beautiful.”
This is his first bracelet and the biggest score of his poker career. Stephen Song finished second for $476,990.
Event 47: $1,000 Seniors Championship
After two starting flights and five total days of play, Maryland’s Eric Smidinger found his first bracelet for $694,909. The tournament delivered a huge field of 7,188 entries and many eyes were on Poker Hall of Fame nominee Kathy Liebert.
The longtime poker pro was among the chip leaders over the last few days of action. She ultimately finished fifth for $186,541.
Smidinger’s previous best cash was for $28,831 and he came out on top after more than two hours of heads-up play against Ben Sarnoff. The tournament produced a $6.4 million prize pool.
“This is a dream,” said Smidinger, who now lives and plays poker in Blackhawk, Colorado. “I love it. This morning, coming in, I knew I had just as good of a chance as anybody. I’m excited.”
Event 48: $1,500 Eight Game Mix Six-Handed
Cyprus has become a bit of a poker hotspot over the last few years with tours like Triton bringing high stakes action to the island. In this event, one of the country’s citizens found the winner’s circle.
Menikos Panagiotou came out on top for $180,783, becoming the first series winner from his home country. He topped a field of 695, which created a $927,825 prize pool. The restaurateur previously played poker professionally but hasn’t in a few years as he worked to build his business.
Panagiotou only began playing again recently and says winning a bracelet for Cyprus was quite an accomplishment.
“It means a lot,” he said. “Although we are a small country with a small population, we have a lot of poker players actually. I can’t wait to go back to see all my friends because they’ve already started sending me messages, congrats and everything. It’s amazing.”
Event 49: $2,000 NLHE
Bulgaria’s Simeon Spasov returned to the final day of action as the short stack in this event. However, he turned things around and eventually beat Mike Watson heads-up for the title and $527,944.
The event brought in 1,977 entries for a $3.5 million prize pool. Watson scored $326,296 for runner-up.
Event 50: $250,000 Super High Roller
Plenty of viewers tuned into the stream of this big final table. The nosebleed stakes event featured some poker heavy hitters including chip leader Alex Foxen, Phil Ivey, and Spain’s Adrian Mateos.
Foxen (pictured in lead image, courtesy PokerGO) may be one of the biggest names in poker, but still lacked a WSOP bracelet. He changed that in this event, scoring $4.6 million in the process. The event brought in 56 entries for a $13.9 million prize pool and Foxen was thrilled to get the title.
“It definitely means a lot to me,” Foxen said. “It’s kind of been a bit of a monkey on the back. I’ve always wanted a bracelet and had some close spots. I was always disappointed to not get one and this feels like a really special one to get my first win.”
Thanks for all the nice words. This was a super fun tournament from start to finish. It was well worth the wait to get bracelet #1 in this one. Couldn’t do it without my two favorite beings pic.twitter.com/c6XNkGN5Ck
— Alex Foxen (@WAFoxen) June 26, 2022
Kansas businessman Brandon Steven took runner-up for $2.8 million with Mateos finishing fourth for $1.4 million and Ivey in seventh for $597,381. Dan Zack continued a huge run in the series, taking eighth for $488,095 after winning two bracelets already.
Event 51: $400 Colossus
After 13,565 entries, just seven remain and return to play to a winner on Tuesday. Sam Laskowitz leads the final table with 206.5 million chips followed by England’s Paul Hizer with 132 million.
The event created a prize pool of $4.5 million with the winner taking home $414,490.
Event 52: $2,500 Nine-Game Mix Six-Handed
The mixed-game action brought in 456 entries for a $1 million prize pool. A regular online player back home, he credited his online game with helping him win.
“I play a lot of eight-game on PokerStars New Jersey, so it paid off I guess,” he said.
Event 53: $5,000 Mixed NLHE/PLO
Joao Simao, a member of Team PartyPoker, came out on top in this mixed event featuring two of poker’s most popular games. The Brazilian pro came out on top of a 788-entry field for a top prize of $686,242.
Germany’s Marius Gierse finished runner-up for $424,122 in an event with a $3.6 million prize pool. Ryan Riess took third for $302,980.
Online Event 5: $600 Deepstack Championship
Another New Jersey grinder took the top spot in this event on Sunday, bagging $149,319. William Corvino hails from the town of Jackson and stood among the 1,248 entries that created a $938,520 prize pool.
This became the first bracelet of his poker career. Two other Garden State grinders also cashed in. Dover’s Alex Soares took third for $67,104 and Nicolas Zolofra, of Oceanport, finished fourth for $49,178.
Several events stand out in the coming days including the $1,000 Super Seniors kicking off on Tuesday. The $1,000 Ladies Championship is also scheduled to begin on Wednesday. Here’s a look at all the mid-week action.
- $1,000 Super Seniors (Event 59) – June 28
- $10,000 Short Deck (Event 60) – June 28
- $500 Online Event 6: $500 NLHE Turbo Deepstack – June 29
- $1,000 Ladies Championship (Event 61) – June 29
- $1,500 Super Turbo Bounty Freezeout (Event 62) – June 29
- $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship (Event 63) – June 30
- $600 Pot Limit Omaha Deepstack (Event 64) – June 30
- $3,000 Freezeout NLHE (Event 65) – June 30
Top-notch players such as Phil Ivery, Chris Moorman, and Scott Seiver all came up just short of a World Series of Poker bracelet over the last week. The poker giants ran deep over the last few days, but were denied their next piece of hardware.
“I first got into poker watching the WSOP on ESPN and always dreamed of playing these,” he told USPoker after his first win this summer. “As a result, even though I rarely play tournaments outside the WSOP, I’m always here each year chasing the dream of collecting these things, and so every bracelet win is precious.”
That’s working out well so far. Here’s a look at his win as well as all the latest action from the WSOP.
Event 37: $1,500 Millionaire Maker
Apparently the path to victory this week was by wearing a lucky hat to score gold. Players like Yuliyan Kolev and Fabian Brandes showed off some headwear that seemed to bring some luck.
Kolev of Bulgaria can now buy a lot of Kentucky Fried Chicken after winning the Millionaire Maker this week. He grabbed his second bracelet and $1.1 million, all while wearing a KFC bucket on his head.
Oren Rosen came in second for $695,390. Kolev’s first bracelet came in the 2021 $777 Lucky Sevens for $146,163.
Kolev is the all-time leader for Bulgarian bracelet holders and now third overall on the Bulgarian all-time money list with more than $2.8 million in lifetime tournament earnings.
Event 38: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball
Brazil’s own Pedro Bromfman took down a field of 121 entries to secure his bracelet. He won $294,616 and his first bracelet. It was no easy ride as he had to defeat four-time bracelet winner Scott Seiver heads-up to achieve the victory. Seiver still took home $182,086 for his efforts.
The event drew a prize pool of over $1.1 million. Bromfman now lives in the Los Angeles area and works as a composer for film, television, and video games. Some of his work has been used in films like Robocop (2014) and television series like Netflix’s Narcos and The Panama Papers for Epix.
“I’ve been into music my whole life,” he told WPT.com in 2020. “It is a passion and I love it, and now my passion, my hobby, where I take my mind away from music – is poker.”
The bracelet win certainly hit the right tune.
Event 39: $3,000 Six-Max Pot-Limit Omaha
Also getting in on the headwear act, Fabian Brandes wore a lucky Super Mario hat which helped him jump over the competition. He was victorious in this event and won $371,358.
This was his first WSOP bracelet. The field consisted of 719 entries and created over a $1.9 million prize pool.
Brandes has run well, recently finishing runner-up in Event 19: $25,000 PLO High Roller for $907,132. He now has over $1.2 million in PLO event cashes this summer.
Event 40: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
New Jersey grinder Daniel Zack grabbed his third bracelet last week and second of the summer. Zack battled 137 players in Seven Stud Hi-Lo and came out on top for $324,174. The prize pool swelled to over $1.2 million.
The tournament held some stiff competition as Zack battled the likes of Shaun Deeb, Eric Kurtzman, and Brian Hastings. Deeb and Zack battled back and forth verbally and on the felt.
The full hand pic.twitter.com/5Sc8V7eSw5
— Daniel Zack (@Dan__Zack) June 21, 2022
Event 41: $1,000 Super Turbo Bounty
Ramsey Stovall of Minnesota made his WSOP debut a memorable one in this quick-paced tournament. Stovall rounded up his first WSOP cash and bracelet. The win pocketed him $191,223 in less than 24 hours.
The field consisted of 2,227 players for a prize pool of $1.9 million. At the final table, Stovall overcame two-time bracelet winner Rafael Lebron. Last year’s WSOP player of the year Josh Arieh just missed the final table and finished in 11th.
Event 42: $100,000 NLH High Roller
All the high rollers were out in force for this event including the legendary Phil Ivey. In the end, Ivey came up just short of snagging his elusive 11th bracelet. Aleksejs Ponakovs won his second bracelet and defeated the legendary Ivey.
The high roller event brought in 62 entries for a prize pool of over $5.9 million. Going into the final table, the players had 16 total bracelets won among them.
Event 43: $500 NLH Freezout
Monday’s event drew in a massive field of 4,786 entries in a freezeout tournament. The $500 buy-in made a prize pool worth over $2 million.
David Perry of Las Vegas took down online poker legend Chris Moorman. Perry denied Moorman his second bracelet. The Las Vegas resident won $241,729 for the victory and his first bracelet.
Online Event 3: $400 Ultra DeepStack
Brian Altman won his first bracelet after competing in the WSOP.com online bracelet tournament, Altman won $110,662.
The virtual field has 1,641 entries and built a prize pool of $757,440. New Jersey was well represented at the final table as Krishna Kalidas, Brandon Vaysman, and Vineet Pahuja all made appearances,
Online Event 4: $1,000 PLO Six-Max
Matt Syzmaszek of Massachusetts scored online gold online last Sunday. He won his first bracelet and $141,705 in cash. This online event brought in 470 entries and a prize pool of $712,800.
Two-time bracelet winner Nathan Gamble finished the event in seventh for $17,036.
Upcoming WSOP bracelet events
WSOP continues with a full plate of events this weekend. Look for mixed games along with the very popular seniors event championship. Here’s a look at some events in progress and a few upcoming tournaments:
- $2,000 No Limit Holdem (Event 49) – June 23
- $250,000 Super High Roller NLH (Event 50) – June 23
- $600 Online Deepstack (Online Event 5) – June 26 at WSOP.com
- $400 COLOSSUS (Event 51) – Jun 24-25
- $2,500 Nine-Game Mix Six-Handed (Event 52) – Jun 25
- $5,000 Mixed NLHE, PLO (Event 53) – June 26
- $500 Salute to Warriors (Event 54) – June 26
- $1,000 Tag Team (Event 55) – June 26
- $50,000 Poker Players Championship Six-Handed (Event 56) – June 26
- Online Event 5: $600 Online Deepstack Championship – June 26
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The midweek action at the World Series of Poker saw several players win their first bracelets as well Jeremy Ausmus scoring his fourth bracelet.
Some recreational players rose to the top this week and Phil Hellmuth is also making a deep run after recovering from COVID. Englishman Robert Cowen also took down his second bracelet for a cool $1.4 million. Here’s a look at all the recent action playing out in Las Vegas.
Event 23: $3,000 Six-Handed Limit Hold’em
Jeremy Ausmus (pictured in lead image) continued his tear this year with a win in this event for his fourth bracelet and $142,147. This player originally from Colorado also continues a nice string of success from the 2021 WSOP.
In the fall, Ausmus scored two bracelets, winning the $1,000 COVID Relief Charity Event ($48,687) and the $50,000 PLO High Roller ($1.2 million). This year, his record has included two wins on the PokerGO Tour as well as two runner-up finishes.
This event brought in 213 players for a prize pool of $568,710. On the final day of action, Ausmus sat on a big stack but saw some massive swings at the final table.
“It’s just kind of the nature of limit, well poker in general but limit especially is very aggressive with a lot of three-betting and raising flops and raising turns – it’s very volatile and frustrating at times,” he told WSOP.com. “But then I just ran good against Rocco who plays heads-up lots and the win feels good.”
Event 24: $1,000 GGPoker Flip & Go
This event brings some real gamble to the tournament area. Players begin all in with three cards. After the flop, players discard one. The winning player advances and the rest can try again or exit the field.
The tournament then plays out as a regular tournament in Stage 2. Of the original 1,329 entries, only 157 advanced with Christopher Chatman scoring the title for $187,770.
The recreational player from Virginia plays poker about once a month and now has his first bracelet. Israel’s Rafi Elharar finished runner-up for $116,050.
The event drew a $1.2 million prize pool and saw many players fire several bullets hoping to advance. Scott Siever may have taken the top spot in that regard, with some unlucky results.
43 flip and goes later and I’m not even playing the tournament. #JBL
— Scott Seiver (@scott_seiver) June 12, 2022
Event 25: $800 NLHE Deepstack
This lower-priced No Limit Hold’em event produced another first-time bracelet winner. Rob Wazwaz took the top spot for $358,346 and became the second-straight recreational player to win an event.
A married father of five from Minnesota, Wazwaz owns a business and now also owns some WSOP hardware. The event brought in 4,062 entries with a $2.9 million prize pool.
Event #26: $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship
The old school Limit Hold’em returned to the WSOP with Jonathan Cohen coming out on top for $245,678. This was his first bracelet as well and the Los Angeles player wasn’t even planning on playing.
“I busted out of the shootout with like two minutes to register … (and fellow LA player Matthew Schreiber) begged me to come play.”
That turned out to be a nice choice for both. Schreiber took third for $107,978. The event saw 92 entries for a $857,900 prize pool.
Event 27: $1,500 Shootout NLHE
This tournament produced the fourth first-time bracelet winner in a row. A shootout tournament involves a player beating his entire table before moving on and trying to do that again and again until there is only one player left.
Michael Simhai, of Beverly Hills, California, proved to be the sharpshooter in this one, scoring $240,480. The tournament produced 1,000 entries for a $1.3 million prize pool.
Event 28: $50,000 High Roller Pot Limit Omaha
The big bankroll PLO action was back in the tournament venue, with 106 players building a $5.1 million prize pool. England’s Robert Cowen broke the stream of first time bracelet winners by scoring his second and $1.4 million.
A rail of British friends railed Cowen, who now has more than $2.8 million in live tournament winnings. His previous bracelet win came just last year when he won a $3,000 PLO event for $280,916. He also scored a 39th-place finish in the Main Event for $163,900. It’s been a nice run at the WSOP over the last two years for Cowen.
Dash Didley took runner-up for $861,442. The final hand saw Dudley river a flush only to be beaten by Cowen’s full house. The hand produced plenty of fireworks on the PokerGO set.
Robert Cowen makes a full house to take the title in Event #28: $50,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller.
— PokerGO (@PokerGO) June 16, 2022
Another interesting note was the deep run of Jason Mercier. He hasn’t played as much poker in recent years with his last series cash since 2018. In this event, Mercier finished sixth for $260,819 .
Event 29: $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw
The lowball action saw a$583,395 prize pool after garnering 437 entries. Maxx Coleman, a poker pro from Wichita, Kansas, added to the week’s winners who snagged their first bracelets.
The win came after 44 previous WSOP cashes and he took home $127,809. Winning some hardware has been a longtime goal for Coleman.
Event 31: $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship: Hellmuth runs deep
It’s been a rough start to the series for Phil Hellmuth so far. First he dealt with some stomach ailments, then contracted COVID. The Poker Brat now seems to have put that behind him and is among the final 10 players remaining in this event.
Brian Rast leads the remaining field with Eric Wasserson and Marco Johnson in third. Dan Zack, and Shaun Deeb are also still in the mix. Zack already has one bracelet this summer and spoke with USPoker earlier this week about his victory. Yuval Bronshtein also continues a nice series run, possibly closing in on a third final table appearance.
The event attracted 118 entries for a $1.1 million prize pool. Hellmuth sits eighth in chips and will be seeking his 17th bracelet. Last year, he scored a win in a $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw and is now looking for a bracelet in the limit version.
End Day 2 @WSOP 2-7 Triple Draw, 10 left, restart 2 PM. I am knocking on the door of WSOP Bracelet #17!
🎼Someone’s knockin’ at the door somebody’s ringin’ the bell Someone's knockin' at the door
Somebody's ringin' the bell do me a favor, open the door and let ‘em in ya ya ya 🎶 pic.twitter.com/zcEz5G0aNQ
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) June 16, 2022
The weekend brings more big-field action with the Millionaire Maker getting started on Friday. Plenty of big names will be checking out the No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship and Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Championship.
High rollers can also pony up $100,000 for the High Roller NLHE on Sunday. Another online event is also planned for Sunday as well. Here’s a look at the action in the coming days.
- $1,500 Freezeout NLHE (Event 34) – Jun 16
- $2,500 Mixed Big Bet Event (Event 35) – Jun 16
- $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better (Event 36) – June 17
- $1,500 Millionaire Maker (Event 37) – Flight A, June 17; Flight B, June 18
- $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship (Event 38) – June 18
- $3,000 Six-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha (Event 39) – June 18
- $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Championship (Event 40) – June 18
- $1,000 Super Turbo Bounty NLHE (Event 41) – June 19
- $100,000 High Roller NLHE (Event 42) – June 19
- Online Event 4: $1,000 PLO 6-Max – June 19