Martin Jacobson
Martin Jacobson was one of several former WSOP Main Event champions to take on this year's event on Day 1a.

For poker players, Day 34 of the 2022 World Series of Poker was like Christmas Day as the opening Day 1a flight of the WSOP Main Event took place at Bally’s and Paris. With over 800 entries and plenty of drama, some of the biggest names in the game were at the same felt, and on other tables, drama seemed to be at every flop, turn and river. With four more bracelet events taking place and two more bracelets won, it was a huge day of action in Las Vegas.


Day 1a of WSOP Main Event Tops 900 Entries


The biggest poker tournament in the world might be set for its biggest-ever field as 900 players sat down to ‘play the Main’ on Day 1a, including three former WSOP Main Event winners at the same table!


With stars such as Martin Jacobson, Justin Bonomo, Ryan Riess and Qui Nguyen all sharing the felt -and surviving – it was a bumper day’s play on Day 1a as Cedrric Trevino (317,800) led the field when the chips were bagged and 631 players remained.


Elsewhere in the top 10, there were great days at the felt for players such as Wesley Fei (300,000), Suhaag Gandikota (269,700), Chanracy Khun (267,800), Thomas Eychenne (255,800), and Andrew Moreno, who finished the day sixth in chips on 238,200. Others to survive Day 1a included Jimmy D’Ambrosio (213,000), Ryan Depaulo (188,800), Kelly Minkin (204,700), Kevin Gerhart (149,900), the aforementioned Riess (139,900), Nguyen (74,400) and Jacobson (64,300), as a plethora of big names survived.


That wasn’t the case for everyone, with last year’s POY winner Josh Arieh losing a cooler with the rivered nut flush before busting a short time later. Others to bust included Andrew Moreno’s brother, Johnnie ‘Vibes’ Moreno, who told the world that following his “First year busting on Day 1, I’ll be in my bedroom eating Jalepeno chips with the lights off for the rest of the night.” Others to suffer the same fate included Spanish professional Ana Marquez, 2022 $100k Super High Roller winner Aleks Ponakovs, and German tournament grinder Robert Heidorn.


WSOP 2022 Event #670 $10,000 WSOP Main Event Top 10 Chipcounts:


  1. Cedrric Trevino – 317,800
  2. Wesley Fei – 300,000
  3. Suhaag Gandikota – 269,700
  4. Chanracy Khun – 267,800
  5. Thomas Eychenne – 255,800
  6. Andrew Moreno – 238,200
  7. Yusef Yusufov – 230,000
  8. Wendy Bowers – 219,400
  9. Kenneth O’Donnell – 217,600
  10. Jimmy D’Ambrosio – 213,500


Young Sik Eum Stars in Mini Main Event Comeback


The $1,000-entry Mini Main Event finale saw Young Sik Eum win his first WSOP bracelet as the overwhelming chip leader at the start of the day, Romanian Cosmin Joldis, lost his lead. It was a dramatic final table full of action, and while nine made that final table, only five kicked off the last day’s action inside Bally’s.


The first player to bust out of the final was Kei Nitta, whose 4h4c, who couldn’t hold against Joldis’ Kd9d as the board came Td8d7hAd6h as a world of outs came in on the river to give the Romanian a winning straight. Nitta cashed for $158,488 in fifth place.


Out in fourth was Philip Lee, who cashed for $208,240 in a hand that gave Young Sik Eum his first pot on the way to the summit. Lee was all-in with As9c and was desperately unlucky to lose to Eum’s Ah8c as the flop came Qs8s4s to pair the eventual winner’s eight. An Ah and 5c run-out denied Lee any hope of a comeback and three-handed play began.


The next big hand wasn’t an elimination but a double-up for Eum as his AsTc doubled through Joldis’ 5h5d after a board of QhTs8h4cJd saw the American grab the lead at the former leader’s expense. Kartik Ved was the man who would lose out in third, as his 4s4h couldn’t hold against Eum’s Ah3c, an ace on the turn sending Ved to the rail for $275,593.


Heads-up saw a clash between the player who came into the final table with the lead and the player who had dominated the last day. Chips told, however, and with Eum holding more than a 3:1 lead, all the chips went in with Eum holding Kd9c. Joldis was all-in and at risk with ThTd, but while he was still ahead after the 7h5d4d flop, the Ks landed on the turn to put Eum ahead.


A 2d on the river was not what Joldis needed and the lastest bracelet winner of the 2022 WSOP was confirmed, with Eum claiming the victory and $594,189 top prize, with Joldis winning the $367,233 runner-up prize.


WSOP 2022 Event #66 $1,000 Mini Main Event Final Table Results:                    


  1. Young Sik Eum – $594,189
  2. Cosmin Joldis – $367,233
  3. Kartik Ved – $275,593
  4. Phillip Lee – $208,275
  5. Kei Nitta – $158,515
  6. Theodore Lee – $121,504
  7. Adam Velez – $93,803
  8. Keith Littlewood – $72,941
  9. Sergio Ochoa – $57,133


Madsen, Adams and Lewis All Chasing PLO Crown


A busy Day 2 of action in the $10,000 buy-in PLO 8 or Better Championship saw 306 players reduced to just 39 hopefuls as Michael Duek (4,460,000) led the field by some argin at the end of play. Elsewhere in the top 10, there were bags for second in chips Shiva Dudani (3,280,000), Tom Hu (2,315,000) and four-time bracelet winner Jeff Madsen (1,795,000), with other stars of the felt such as Brandon Adams (1,035,000), John Beauprez (980,000) and Toby Lewis (870,000) all finishing above average in their bidd to win gold this summer.


A lot of players departed and among their number were some players of large repute, with 2021 WSOP Main Event winner Koray Aldemir, high roller regular Jake Schwartz, WSOP 2019 runner-up Dario Sammartino, British poker boss Stephen Chidwick and Israeli double bracelet winner Yuval Bronshtein all hitting the rail.


WSOP 2022 Event #69 $10,000 PLO 8 or Better Top 10 Chipcounts:                    


  1. Michael Duek – 4,460,000
  2. Shiva Dudani – 3,280,000
  3. Tom Hu – 2,315,000
  4. Robert Nehorayan – 2,105,000
  5. Iakov Onuchin – 1,950,000
  6. Jeff Madsen – 1,795,000
  7. Michael Russell – 1,265,000
  8. Nitesh Rawtani – 1,155,000
  9. Lev Zerkal – 1,115,000
  10. Tesfaldet Tekle – 1,105,000


In Event #68, the $1,000-entry Million Dollar Bounty event, 207 players survived the action on Day 1b as another huge field contributed to a prize pool that now tops $3 million. Best of the 3,936 field on Day 1b was Armando Figueroa (3,150,000), with players such as Gabriel Moura (2,530,000) and Freddy Granados (2,405,000) following in his slipstream. Others such as Dalibor Dula (1,350,000), Koray Aldemir (1,180,000), Matt Glantz (1,015,000), David ‘Bakes’ Baker (940,000)and Ryan Laplante (850,000) all made Day 2 of the event in style too.


WSOP 2022 Event #68 $1,000 Million Dollar Bounty Top 10 Chipcounts:                     


  1. Armando Figueroa – 3,150,000
  2. Gabriel Moura – 2,530,000
  3. Freddy Granados – 2,405,000
  4. Fabian Foster – 2,130,000
  5. Kyung Lee – 2,090,000
  6. Brian Ray – 2,053,000
  7. Kristopher Templeman – 2,050,000
  8. Ben Farrell – 1,950,000
  9. Wojciech Barzantny – 1,945,000
  10. Yu Tang – 1,925,000


In the $500-entry online event that took place on Sunday night, players such as Daniel Negreanu and Nick Schulman made the money as a final table containing only one former bracelet winner in Schulman (6th for 27,728) was fighting for the top prize. In the end, ‘Ooohwee213’ beat Dylan ‘Aurelius’ Smith heads-up for $149,729 and the gold bracelet.


WSOP 2022 Online Event #68 $500 NLHE Deepstack Final Table Results:                     


  1. ‘Ooohwee213′ – $149,729
  2. Dylan ‘Aurelius’ Smith – $92,553
  3. ‘dripseason1′ – $67,519
  4. Kevin ‘kingkun99’ Kung – $49,715
  5. Vuong ‘Luckyboy201’ Do – $36,970
  6. Nick ‘CashUsKlay’ Schulman – $27,728
  7. Jeffrey ‘Goodfellas2’ Ditanna – $20,917
  8. Ryan ‘Lovemy11cats’ Belz – $15,956
  9. ‘Nibbles99′ – $12,356


It wouldn’t be the WSOP Main Event if Phil Hellmuth didn’t attend his Day 1 in fancy dress. Looks like someone is about to pay top dollar to some designers…



Ryan Depaulo has already bagged a big Day 1 stack, and puts it all down to… wait, a tattoo?



Shaun Deeb has laid down the gauntlet to the current leaders of the WSOP Player of the Year race.



And finally, we’re not going to claim credit for any images here for fear of never getting to play another WSOP event again. Credit goes to Barry Carter for this, enjoy sitting out the action.




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