WSOP Weekly: Main Event Reaches Final 35 With Damian Salas, Asher Conniff, Aaron Mermelstein Still in Contention

July 13, 2022
WSOP Weekly: Main Event Reaches Final 35 With Damian Salas, Asher Conniff, Aaron Mermelstein Still in Contention

As the World Series of Poker gets closer to winding down for 2022, the Main Event has taken center stage. With 35 players back in action on Wednesday, some major names returned to the tables including former Main Event winner Damian Salas.

A winner will emerge from the tournament this weekend, taking home an eight-figure payday. In other action, several players also scored their first bracelets over the last week. Poker pro Daniel Strelitz also grabbed his second. Here’s a look at some of the recent headlines from Las Vegas.

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Damian Salas headlines final 35 players remaining in Main Event 

As the action played out in the $10,000 Main Event on Wednesday, 35 players returned to the field hoping for the biggest prize in poker. One of those returning included 2019 Main Event winner Damian Salas (pictured in lead image, courtesy PokerGO).

The part-time player from Buenos Aires, Argentina, won the hybrid championship that played out on and GGPoker with a live final table. He scored $2.6 million between the live and online portions.

This year continues a massive run for Salas in the Main Event. He also finished seventh in 2017 for $1.4 million.

“I don’t play for the money, that’s not my motivation,” he told PokerScout after his Main Event win. “It’s not what generates the best version of myself. Money is never my priority, neither among the goals I set at the beginning of the year nor has anything to do with my personal growth or my perspective of the results.”

Oregon’s Jeffrey Farnes led the final 35 when play resumed on Wednesday. He has only $181,550 in live tournament winnings, but is among the final players battling for the $10 million top prize. This is the second-largest Main Event in WSOP history, attracting 8,663 players. That produced a prize pool of $80.8 million.

Some other bigger names still in the mix include Pennsylvania’s Aaron Mermelstein and New York’s Asher Conniff. The latter found a nice bag on Tuesday, which also happened to be his birthday.

Looking ahead at the Main Event

The Main Event plays down to the final table on Wednesday with the final nine then receiving an off day on Thursday. Play resumes on Friday and plays to the final four.

Those then return on Saturday to play to a winner. All action will be streamed on PokerGO.

Event 72: $1,500 Mixed; Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo; Omaha Hi-Lo; ‘Big O’

The Omaha fans were out in force in this event featuring three varieties of the game. The tournament produced a field of 771 for a $1 million prize pool.

Montana’s Bradley Anderson came out on top for $195,565. After his win, Anderson said he only played the tournament after being eliminated from the Main Event. That proved to be a wise move and he scored his first bracelet as a result.

“If you offered to me to bust the main and win a side event, I for sure would have taken that,” he said after the win.

Scott Abrams took runner-up for $120,881 and the United Kingdom’s Barny Boatman finished third for $83,050. Men Nguyen also made a final table appearance, finishing fifth.

Daniel Strelitz after winning the $1,500 Razz event (photo courtesy WSOP)

Event 73: $1,500 Razz

Daniel Strelitz, of California, came through in this lowball action for his second bracelet and $115,723. Lynda Tran just missed becoming the first woman to win a non-ladies event this year. She took home $71,527 for her efforts.

“It’s awesome,” Strelitz said afterward. “I’m especially happy that it’s in a non-No Limit Hold’em event since that’s what I’ve been concentrating on recently.”

The field saw 383 entries for a $511,305 prize pool.

Event 74: $1,500 Bounty Pot Limit Omaha Eight-Handed

After seeing 1,390 entries and a prize pool of $1.9 million, Canada’s Pei “Jerry” Li scored his first bracelet and top prize of $190,219. Florida’s Nolan King finished runner-up for $117,545.

Event 76: $1,979 Poker Hall of Fame Bounty

This event was held for the second year in honor of members of the Poker Hall of Fame. All living members of the hall received a freeroll and each had a bounty on their head corresponding with the year in which he or she was inducted.

The event also corresponded with the announcement that Layne Flack was the most recent inductee. In the end, South Korea’s Jinho Hong scored the win for his first bracelet and $276,067.

The tournament brought out plenty of players looking to bust Hall of Fame members for some bonus cash. The event saw 865 entries with a $1.5 million prize pool. Thailand’s Punnat Punsri finished runner-up for $170,615.

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Online Event 8: $7,777 Lucky 7s High Roller

The big buy-in online poker ran on Sunday with Harry “timexCNT” Lodge taking the crown for $396,666. The player from the United Kingdom has had several deep WSOP runs and now has a bracelet for his efforts.

The high roller attracted 161 entries for a $1.5 million prize pool and produced quite an interesting final table. Andrew Robl finished runner-up for $231,213 and David Peters took fourth for $102,762. Daniel Negreanu finished fifth for $88,081.

Lodge was apparently playing online at another property while jumping in the event.

Online Event 9: $1,000 NLHE Online Bracelet Championship

This championship event also ran on Sunday with 994 entries with a $1.3 million prize pool. Minnesota’s Yevgeniy “Kazak132” Minakrin came out on top for $238,315 and his first bracelet.

Dragos “luxifer03” Trofimov, of Moldova, finished in second for $147,585.

Upcoming tournaments

All eyes will be on the Main Event in the coming days, but several other tournaments get underway as the series gets closer to the final day on July 20. Here’s a look at the final events on the schedule

  • $800 Eight-Handed Deepstack (Event 82) – July 14
  • $50,000 High Roller (Event 83) – July 14
  • $3,000 HORSE (Event 84) – July 15
  • $1,500 The Closer (Event #85) – July 15-16, two starting flights 
  • $10,000 Six-Handed NLHE Championship (Event 86) – July 16
  • $5,000 Eight-Handed NLHE(Event 87) – July 16
  • Online Event 11: $777 Lucky 7ss Second Chance – July 17
  • $1,000 Super Turbo NLHE (Event 88) – July 17
  • Online Event 12: $5,300 High Roller Freezeout Encore – July 17
  • Online Event #13: $500 NLHE Summer Saver – July 18
  • Tournament of Champions $1 million freeroll – July 18

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