WSOP Players
The World Series of Poker is about to welcome the class of 2022, but what will happen when the cards go in the air?

The 2022 World Series of Poker is nearly upon us. With it will come a festival of fun as players from around the world flock to Las Vegas, a.k.a. Sin City, the gambling capital of the world. After 17 years at the Rio, the WSOP has moved and is taking place at Bally’s – soon to be renamed The Horseshoe – and Paris in 2022. Situated in the heart of Vegas on the world-famous strip, how will poker’s biggest circus land and how will the performers, or players, adjust?


To find out, we spoke to seven former WSOP bracelet winners to get their honest, frank and at times, hilarious takes on what will transpire in the next seven weeks. So sit back, open up a bag of your favorite popcorn and get ready for the most exciting summer in poker for a very long time.


  1. Footfall Will Increase Exponentially


“Moving the WSOP to the strip will be great for poker.” ~ Phil Hellmuth


From the gigantic Rio convention center to Bally’s and Paris, the World Series of Poker’s success after its move to the Las Vegas strip will largely depend on just how players sit down to risk their hard-earned money chasing glory. Record-breaking 16-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth believes that we are about to see a huge influx of players.


“I am with Mori Eskandani,” says Hellmuth. “I believe that moving the WSOP to the strip will be great for poker.”


With the tourist tread much, much higher on the strip than out on Flamingo Road, the ‘Poker Brat’ has already taken a mini tour of the new location with Eskandani as you can see below.



How big could the 2022 World Series of Poker attendance be?


“I believe the fields will be larger, and the foot traffic will be up 10 times more.” Says Hellmuth.


  1. A Second Scottish WSOP Bracelet Will Be Won


Niall Farrell isn’t just a WSOP bracelet winner. He’s one of a select band of players who have won a European Poker Tour, World Poker Tour and WSOP event, the fabled Triple Crown. His pride in being Scottish is exemplified by his prediction for what will happen in Vegas this year.


“My WSOP prediction is that Scotland will win its second bracelet this year!” he says. “Not necessarily from me, we’ve got a few guys simmering under the radar that I fancy to do well.”


While his confidence is in his fellow countrymen and women, Farrell would love to seal his own second bracelet, having already cashed for over $2.6 million at the WSOP over the years.


“Ideally it’s a second and third [for Scotland] – and I win one as well – but that’s what I’m predicting!”


  1. Players Will Miss the Rio


“A lot of players wish that the WSOP was still being held at the Rio.” ~ Ryan Riess


While many stars of the poker world are looking forward to play returning to the strip after a hiatus of almost two decades, one former champion who won his WSOP bracelet by taking down the Main Event in 2013 for $8.3 million, disagrees.


“I predict that a lot of players wish that the WSOP was still being held at the Rio.” He says. It’s not just the size of the Rio that Riess praises but the element of convenience.


“Parking, traffic,” he argues. “It may be congested being right in the middle of the strip.”


With plenty of players concerned about negotiating travel around the center of Sin City, Riess – a Vegas resident with his family – will be hoping home turf advantage gives him the chance of winning his second piece of gold. It could be a case of chasing 8,000 parking slots, as legendary poker guru and WSOP pulse-finder Kevin ‘Kevmath’ Mathers told fans tonight.



  1. The Hellmuth Anti-Rail Will be Wild


Every year, one of the highlights for many people – fans and players alike – is bashing the most successful poker player the World Series of Poker has ever seen. Yes, Phil Hellmuth, he of 16 titles and two decades of dominance in the world’s biggest poker festival – might as well walk into Bally’s or Paris for his Main Event entrance as a giant human target.


“I can’t wait to tilt Hellmuth out of his mind again,” laughes four-time WSOP winner Anthony Zinno. “Is it OK to be that short?” Zinno, perhaps more than most. After all, the Poker Brat had threatened to solve the air conditioning problem at the Rio by setting fire to the building.


At least the pair made it up and now get on like a house on… well, you get the picture.



  1. Players will Be Superstitious


Superstition is part of a poker player’s armory just as it is for elite sports performers around the globe. From hopping to their seat (extreme), putting a lucky card protector (moderate) or saying ‘one time’ (everyone in $5,000 and under events), a lot of poker players believe that luck can play more of a part than ever before at the felt.


One player who surged to stardom in 2021 was Daniel Lazrus, who won his first two WSOP bracelets within six months. Having just become a father, he might just be unstoppable in 2022.


“My wife just gave birth to my first child, Eliana Nicole Lazrus, on 14th April,” he says. “It feels better than any sort of bracelet win! It’s going to be tough for me to make it out to WSOP a bunch this year, but the baby run-good is real!”


If you’re about to become a parent, then hurry up – there are only a few days to go before you need to rub your baby’s head, pack a rabbit’s foot into your carry-on bag and hop on that plane!


  1. Kid Poker Gets Out of It?


“Phil Helmuth will go all the way to a heads-up showdown with Daniel Negreanu.” ~ Barny Boatman


Daniel Negreanu has famously won no fewer than six WSOP bracelets in a career that has seen the Canadian climb to third on the All-Time Money List. It’s also a strange quirk that Kid Poker hasn’t won one since 2013 and not since 2008 in America. Could this finally be the year he breaks that run?


British double WSOP bracelet winner Barny Boatman sees ‘huge results’ for fellow Britis Yiannis Liperis and Chris Da Silva but foresees problems for Negreanu early on in the schedule.


“Despite attempting to fold the second nuts on the turn in the first round of the Flip ’n’ Go event, Phil Helmuth will go all the way to a heads-up showdown with Daniel Negreanu, who will need first place to break even.” He says. With Boatman hoping to make the plane to Vegas himself, it could be a big summer for former winners all round.


  1. There Won’t Be a New Youngest Ever Winner


Joe Cada’s win in 2009 saw the then 21-year-old bank a record-breaking WSOP Main Event win of $8.5 million when he overcame Darvin Moon in 2009. Cada was the youngest-ever winner of the WSOP Main Event, overtaking Peter Eastgate’s previous victory just 12 months earlier. Before Eastgate’s win, however, Phil Hellmuth had been the youngest Main Event for 19 years after his triumph in 1989.


Cada believes that after 13 years…. people may have to wait a little longer.


“I think it’s going to be a few years still, but who know,” he says. “It’s going to be broken eventually.”


Cada says he’ll look forward to it when it happens, and thinks it is inevitable in the coming years.


“It doesn’t matter to me,” he says. “It’s only a matter of time.”


With the 2022 World Series of Poker only a few days away, there are bound to be plenty of surprises along the way. We’ll be bringing every controversial call, tantalizing turn and riveting river to you as this year’s story unfolds.