Yuliyan Kolev
Yuliyan Kolev won his second WSOP bracelet and first in a live setting when he captured $1.1m inside the Thunderdome by winning the Millionaire Maker

A bumper day of action in the 2022 World Series of Poker saw one bracelet winner take gold and over a million dollars while five other events provided great drama and excitement at Bally’s and Paris casinos in Las Vegas. With five players remaining in the H.O.R.S.E. Championship, huge stars made the final stages of bracelet events on Day 23 in Sin City.



Yuliyan Kolev Wins Millionaire Maker for $1.1 million


Bulgarian player Yuliyan Kolev won the $1,500-entry Millionaire Maker for $1.1 million as the Thunderdome was packed with fans inside Bally’s as five players played down to a winner. Kolev, whose fans wore the same fast-food bucket hats as their man, created a raucous atmosphere as the drama played out.


The first person to leave the party of five was Dominic Brazier, who came into play as the short stack and got it all-in with Qd7s. Called by Kolev with Jd8h, the board of Qs8d3cAd]Js saw the eventual winner river two pairs to top Brazier’s flopped top pair and send him home with $301,346.


Next to go was Yita Choong in fourth place for $395,545 when his pocket pair of 7s7c against Kolev’s Qd4s. Choong stayed ahead on the flop of KsTd6d, but the turn of Qc put Kolev into the lead and he rode out the 2d river to knock out another rival.


In third place, chip leader when play began Tyler Gaston busted with JdTh against Oren Rosen’s QcTc. The board of Jh7c5c9dQd gave Rosen the pot and saw Gaston on the rail with $522,705. Israel player Rosen grew his stack upon starting heads-up play, but still had just 86 million chips to 113 milion for Kolev.


Very soon afterwards, Kolev had the title as Kolev’s three-bet with AhAc was called by Rosen with QdJc. The flop of Qs8s3c saw Rosen hit his queen and Kolev’s c-bet of 10 million was called. On the turn of 3d, Kolev moved all-in and got the call he was after. When the 9c river landed, the rail erupted as Kolev was crowned king of the Thunderdome, winning $1,125,141, while Rosen finished as runner-up for $695,390.


WSOP 2022 Event #37 $1,500 Millionaire Maker Final Table Results:                               


  1. Yuliyan Kolev – $1,125,141
  2. Oren Rosen – $695,390
  3. Tyler Gaston – $522,705
  4. Yita Choong – $395,545
  5. Dominic Brazier – $301,346


Racener Chasing Yeh in Final Five of H.O.R.S.E. Championship


The final table of the $10,000-entry H.O.R.S.E. Championship was reached as Andrew Yeh has the chip lead with over 3.8 million chips. Behind Yeh, Philip Long closely follows with 3.6 million, with John Racener a slightly distant third of 2.5 million. Behind Racener is Bryce Yockey, who had the overnight lead with 1,290,000 chips and Craig Chait has a little less than him on 1,245,000.


On a busy day at the felt, players such as Yuri Dzivielevski, Shaun Deeb, Maxx Coleman, Eugene Katchalov and Matt Glantz all lost their tournament stacks, but others took longer to bust, with 2022 bracelet winner Brad Ruben (12th for $26,347) and Ben Lamb (10th for $31,327) both lost out just before the final table. When Mike Gorodinsky (7th for $61,314) was followed from the felt by Paul Sokoloff (6th for $80,523), the final table was set and tomorrow, one winner will take the $487,129 and the WSOP gold bracelet.


WSOP 2022 Event #44 $10,0000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship Final Table Chipcounts:                        


  1. Andrew Yeh – 3,860,000
  2. Philip Long – 3,630,000
  3. John Racener – 2,520,000
  4. Bryce Yockey – 1,290,000
  5. Craig Chait – 1,245,000


Final 10 Players Reached in 8-Max PLO Event


Just 10 players remain in the $1,500-entry PLO 8-Max Event #45, where David Prociak has the chip lead with 6,400,000 chips. With a busy day seeing 87 players hit the rail, Dylan Weisman ended the day second in chips with 5,660,000, with Shane Nardiello (4,725,000) also in the podium places. Elsewhere in the top 10, David Williams (2,980,000) and Phil Hui (2,675,000) both have great chances and will be fighting hard when play resumes.


Plenty of big names made their departures on Day 2 of the event, with Dash Dudley (28th), Brandon Cantu (42nd) and Scott Bohlman (46th) all running deep without making huge money.


WSOP 2022 Event #45 $1,500 PLO 8-Handed Final Day Chipcounts:                                 


  1. David Prociak – 6,400,000
  2. Dylan Weisman – 5,660,000
  3. Shane Nardiello – 4,725,000
  4. Charles Coultas – 4,325,000
  5. Daniel Tordjman – 3,745,000
  6. David Williams – 2,980,000
  7. Phil Hui – 2,675,000
  8. Paul Fehlig – 1,930,000
  9. Kao Saechao – 1,820,000
  10. Dylan Smith – 1,640,000


Waigel Streets Ahead in $5k NLHE 6-Max Event


Of the 324 players who returned to play Day 2 of the $5,000-entry 6-Max NLHE Event #46, only 47 players remain, with Argentinian player Ezequiel Waigel (3,440,000) well ahead of Anthony Spinella (2,575,000) and Stephen Song (2,485,000) in pursuit of the $771,765 top prize. With other big names such as Robert Mizrachi (1,170,000), Joey Weissman (985,000) and Elio Fox (895,000) all well-placed to make a run at the title when play resumes on Day 3.


Superstars busted across the day too, of course, with Ryan Riess, Dario Sammartino, Andrew Lichtenberger, Ben Diebold, Stefan Schillhabel, Jake Daniels, Angel Guillen and Bin Weng all departed, moving onto the next event and the next pursuit of WSOP gold.


WSOP 2022 Event #46 $5,000 NLHE 6-Max Top 10 Chipcounts:                            


  1. Ezequiel Waigel – 3,440,000
  2. Anthony Spinella – 2,575,000
  3. Stephen Song – 2,485,000
  4. Johan Marinet – 2,150,000
  5. Justin Bond – 2,145,000
  6. Paraskevas Tsokaridis – 1,970,000
  7. Anthony Hu – 1,745,000
  8. Felipe Ketzer – 1,540,000
  9. Jonathan Pastore – 1,340,000
  10. Jonho Hong – 1,315,000


Seniors Led by James Kennedy with Allyn Shulman Close


The $1,000-entry Seniors Event started on Day 23, with Day 1a serving a bumper crowd of 5,075 players, with just 607 of those progressing to Day 2. Chip leader after a long Day 1a was James Kennedy (452,000), with Allyn Shulman (361,500), Kevin Song (350,000), Barry Schulman (305,000) and Michael Abecassis (110,000) all having booked Day 2 seats already.


Of the thousands who busted, plenty were players of genuine repute, with Greg Raymer, Perry Friedman, Humberto Brenes, Todd Witteles, Bruno Lopes and defending champion Robert McMillan all going to need to buy back in on Day 1b if they want to shoot for the title, with over $4.5 million in the prize pool already.


WSOP 2022 Event #47 $1,000 Seniors Championship Top 10 Chipcounts:                        


  1. James Kennedy – 452,000
  2. Seongsu Kong – 365,000
  3. Allyn Shulman – 361,500
  4. Orlando Barrera – 358,500
  5. Michel Bouskila – 353,500
  6. Kevin Song – 350,000
  7. Terence Anton – 343,500
  8. Louis Russo – 339,000
  9. Dennis Spretz – 333,000
  10. Daniel Gerard – 310,000


Hellmuth Slams Arieh as Poker Brat Explodes


In the final event of the day to close, there was drama at the felt between the top two in last year’s WSOP Player of the Year race. Josh Arieh, who won the prestigious award last year and whose banner adorns the walls of Bally’s this year as a result, was torn apart by Hellmuth, who are berating the man who pipped him to the title, had the floor called him after an excessive barrage of expletives.


Hellmuth would later bust the event, as would others such as Yuri Dzivielevski, David Bach, Alex Livingston, Eugene Katchalov, Joe McKeehen and Yuval Bronshtein as 200 players escaped from a bulky Day 1 field of 695 total entries. There was no such exit for Arieh, however, who celebrated the day he received his first Poker Hall of Fame nomination by doing what he does best at present – piling up chips. Arieh ended the day with 119,300 chips and his reward was to draw the seat to the left of Shaun Deeb (60,900) on Day 2.


At the top of the leaderboard, Michael Dobbs (293,100), has a slim lead over Jay Kerbel (269,000), Hoeu Liu (251,500) and Randy Ohel (237,000), with Jason Stockfish (235,500) also making the top five. Others to bag up chips on a busy day at the felt included Event #15 runner-up Dustin Dirksen (227,000), former WSOP Main Event winner Scotty Nguyen (161,800) and three-time WSOP bracelet winner Ryan Leng (151,500).


WSOP 2022 Event #48 $1,500 8-Game Mix 6-Max Top 10 Chipcounts:                             


  1. Michael Dobbs – 293,100
  2. Jay Kerbel – 269,000
  3. Hieu Luu – 251,500
  4. Randy Ohel – 237,000
  5. Jason Stockfish            U.S.A.  235,500
  6. Dustin Dirksen U.S.A.  227,000
  7. Robert McLaughlin     U.S.A.  222,200
  8. Alex Outhred  U.S.A.  221,600
  9. Tyler Willse     U.S.A.  216,800
  10. Scott Bohlman U.S.A.  208,900


Reigning WSOP Player of the Year Josh Arieh welcomed the man he pipped to last year’s prize, Phil Hellmuth as the pair sat down in the final event of the day, but while the pair were all smiles, things were about to go awry when the Poker Brat berated Arieh – who would later change his Twitter handle to suit – only to find the floor called on him…



…which was a shame because his day had started so positively.



Mixed game specialist Adam Friedman called out a friend and rival of his, Brian Rast on being nominated for the Poker Hall of Fame upon turning 40.



Rast, meanwhile, was in action at the cash game tables after stepping away from bracelet events for a couple of days.



The 10 nominees caused quite the reaction, as the Poker Hall of Fame winner is set to be announced in just under three weeks time.



Official photographs courtesy of PokerGO, the home of live-streamed action throughout the 2022 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.