WSOP Weekly: Alex Foxen Lands First Bracelet in Super High Roller, New Jersey Players Stand Out in Live, Online Events

June 28, 2022
WSOP Weekly: Alex Foxen Lands First Bracelet in Super High Roller, New Jersey Players Stand Out in Live, Online Events

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. 

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

Eric Smidinger with his new WSOP bracelet. (photo courtesy WSOP)

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.”

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

New Jersey online poker player KT Park. (photo courtesy WSOP)

New York’s Kijoon “KT” Park made his first live WSOP cash pay off in a big way. A regular online player in the New Jersey market, he found a win in this event for $219,799.

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.

Upcoming events

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

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