WSOP 2022: Tong Li and Adam Friedman Claim Gold on Packed Day of Poker
There were eight events in action over the course of Day 13 as final tables proved lucky for both first-time winner Tong Li and Adam Friedman, who claimed his fifth WSOP bracelet and fourth in four consecutive years. With more events starting than ending, it was all about putting down a marker in Bally’s and Paris in Las Vegas.
Li Topples Final Four to Claim First Bracelet
Tong Li won Event #19, the $25,000-entry PLO High Roller, for $1.4 million as he bested a final day of five players containing three with previous winners in Josh Arieh, Sam Stein and Scott Ball. With Fabian Brandes, a German high roller regular, beaten heads-up, Li got the better of his opponent to claim a first gold bracelet and a top prize that is the biggest of his career.
Play got underway with Brandes in a commanding lead from Arieh, but by the time Scott Ball was eliminated in fifth place for $342,590, Arieh was bottom of the four players. Brandes, who had knocked out Ball with two pair beating his opponent’s aces, was looking imperious, but Arieh doubled through the German when his flopped set of sixes was enough to beat Brandes’ kings and sixes.
Li started his own run to the summit soon after, as no sooner had Arieh crawled off the canvas did he find himself on his back again, unable to fill up on a river where Li had flopped the flush, meaning he slipped back down the leaderboard. Play continued in this way for some time, with each man taking his turn under pressure to survive. Eventually, though, Sam Stein busted with kings as Arieh, who had flopped two pair, sent his opponent home in fourth place for $465,717.
Arieh was top dog at this point, holding 23 million chips with his opponents only stacking 16 million between them. But that all changed and Arieh lost to Li’s quads, slipping down to short stack again. He never recovered and the final American hope at the table busted in his second major third-place finish this series for $644,365 when his full house was below Li’s house, nines and fours for Arieh no good against aces and fours for Li.
Heads up, Li had three times Brandes’ chips and that proved pivotal as just a short time later, the Chinese player had the win. Making a full house on the river after flopping trips, the Shanghai-based player won the first bracelet this series for his homeland and the second biggest $25,000 PLO High Roller top prize in the tournament’s seven-year history dating back to 2015.
WSOP 2022 Event #19 $25,000 PLO High Roller Final Table Results:
- Tong Li – $1,467,739
- Fabian Brandes – $907,132
- Josh Arieh – $644,365
- Sam Stein – $465,717
- Scott Ball – $342,590
- Jonathan Depa – $256,582
- Emmanuel Sebag – $195,713
- Gregory Shuda – $152,091
Friedman Makes it Five
Adam Friedman made it five WSOP bracelet wins as he used his huge stack to dominate the final day’s play in the $10,000-entry Seven Card Stud Championship. With his fourth consecutive yearly bracelet win, Friedman joined an exclusive club with five wins or more after beating fellow American Jean Gaspard heads up for the title.
The previous day had ended with Israeli player Yuval Bronshtein in control, but he could only manage a fourth-place finish as he cashed for $78,348. One place higher, Phil Ivey missed out on his 11th WSOP bracelet after a phenomenal performance saw him come in eighth with a micro stack then run in it heroically to a result worth $108,233. In the end, Ivey’s vast rail was disappointed but thrilled at the same time with their man going close.
For Friedman, however, it was yet more confirmation of his incredible power in mixed games. To repeat the trick of winning a bracelet every live series for four years takes true dedication. While the top prize of $248,254 will be a welcome bankroll boost, it’s the enduring legacy of success for which Friedman can be proudest.
WSOP 2022 Event #22 $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship Final Table Results:
- Adam Friedman – $248,254
- Jean Gaspard – $153,433
- Phil Ivey – $108,233
- Yuval Bronshtein – $78,348
- Ben Diebold – $58,239
- Marco Johnson – $44,487
- James Paluszek – $34,939
- Yueqi Zhu – $28,258
Calvin Anderson Leads Monster Field in Event #21
Calvin Anderson leads the field of 271 players who completed Day 2 in the $1,500-entry Monster Stack Event #21. With a total field of 6,051 trimmed to 2,053 by the start of play by two Day 1 flights, Day 2 was also going to be a frantic race for a bag at the close of a long day and so it proved. Almost 90% of players who started the day with chips ended without them and players such as stars of the game Vanessa Kade, Maria Konnikova, Qing Liu, Maria Ho, Barry Greenstein, Michael Gathy and Patrick Leonard all crashed out during the day.
Others, of course, survived. Anderson was the chip leader, bagging up 4,040,000 chips as he looks to add a third bracelet to his collection. Joao Simao was another big name who thrived, stacking up 3,490,000 by the close of play. Elsewhere in the top 10, there were stacks for Josh Weiss (3,465,000) and Aditya Agarwal (3,240,000), with the Indian player Agarwal continuing his very strong start to the 2022 WSOP.
Further back in the counts, Ryan Leng (2,615,000), Anthony Spinella (1,670,000), Justin Saliba (1,505,000) and Eoghan O’Dea (1,205,000) all topped a million chips in their attempts to add to their bracelet collections.
WSOP 2022 Event #21 $1,500 Monster Stack NLHE Top 10 Chipcounts:
- Calvin Anderson – 4,040,000
- John Simonian – 4,020,000
- Sebastian Toro – 3,520,000
- George Abi-Zeid – 3,495,000
- Joao Simao – 3,490,000
- Josh Weiss – 3,465,000
- Joseph Bartholdi – 3,340,000
- Aditya Agarwal – 3,240,000
- Nishant Sharma – 3,135,000
- Rahul Deevara – 3,065,000
Rocco On Top but Deeb and Ausmus Lurk in Limit Hold’em
Michael Rocco has the chip lead with just nine players left in Event #23, the $3,000-entry Limit Hold’em 6-Max event. With a large stack of 1,675,000, Rocco – who has already reached another final table this series – will be aiming to win his first WSOP bracelet and the $142,147 top prize when play resumes on the final day. But he will have some very tough competition to overcome.
There are a number of great players who have also reached the final table, including second-in-chips Jeremy Ausmus (1,170,000) and Andrew Kelsall (1,145,000). Many eyes, however, will be drawn to the presence of Shaun Deeb, who sits in sixth position of the nine coming into play on 715,000 chips. With Deeb costing $110 in the $25k Fantasy Draft, only Daniel Negreanu cost more. Both men are yet to set the World Series alight, so victory for Deeb might well have a domino effect further along the line.
While nine players made the final day, another 84 couldn’t survive, falling at the last hurdle. They included but weren’t limited to world champion Koray Aldemir (18th for $6,174), overnight chip leader Daniel Vampan (25th for $5,402), Brian Hastings (30th for $4,939), and Joao Vieira (32nd for $4,939).
WSOP 2022 Event #23 $3,000 Limit Hold’em 6-Max Final Table Chipcounts:
- Michael Rocco – 1,675,000
- Jeremy Ausmus – 1,170,000
- Andrew Kelsall – 1,145,000
- Gabe Ramos – 1,100,000
- Mike Lancaster – 975,000
- Shaun Deeb – 715,000
- Zachary Green – 600,000
- Robert Como – 585,000
- Kevin Erikson – 570,000
Brian Altman Wins First Bracelet in $400 Online Event
Brian Altman sealed his first victory in WSOP events as he took down the $400-entry Online Bracelet event for a top prize of $110,662, toppling Eric Salazar heads up. With a total of 1,641 entries, there were run-outs for players such as COVID-infected Phil Hellmuth, playing under the name ‘LumeStackin’, an anagram of ‘Luckiest Man’. Unfortunately for Poker Brat fans, Hellmuth didn’t claim his 17th WSOP bracelet, but Brian Altman won’t care one bit about that, winning his first in a memorable final table domination.
Just eight players made the final, with Vinny Pahuja missing out in ninth place for $9,392. Within minutes of the final table starting, however, two players departed in a single hand as Chris Ginley busted in eighth place for $12,119 and Zachary Grech joined him on the virtual rail with $15,830 for his seventh-place finish. Altman’s were ahead pre-flop against Grech’s and Ginley’s and there they stayed through the nine-high board as the field was reduced to six and Altman took the lead in a pivotal hand.
Next to go was the brilliantly-named Sean Legendre in sixth, who busted with ace-six to Altman’s jack-six as a jack landed on the river. Altman’s luck was in and two quick eliminations saw him go into three-handed play attempting to seal the deal. Altman took out Gianluca Speranza in third place when the Italian’s couldn’t hold against , a ten on the flop sending Speranza home with $50,218.
Heads-up was an even affair once Salazar made a full house, with him holding a slim lead of 53.4 million against the eventual winner’s 51.7 million. However, that only seemed to drive Altman on to dominate more, and a combination of aggression and relentless pressure saw him build up a 7:1 chip lead in no time at all.
Soon, Salazar had just eight big blinds and perhaps feeling serendipity might help him, was all-in with . Altman was priced in to call with and the flop of immediately paid off that call. A turn didn’t help Salazar one bit and the river confirmed Altman’s stunning victory and the first bracelet of his poker career.
WSOP 2022 $400 Online Event NLHE Final Table Results:
- Brian Altman – $110,662
- Eric Salazar – $68,397
- Gianluca Speranza – $50,218
- ‘ninjaGO’ – $37,190
- ‘bvays’ – $27,798
- Sean Legendre – $20,905
- Zachary Grech – $15,830
- Chris Ginley – $12,119
Chatman Top of Flip & Go Fun After Day 1
A tournament that always causes plenty of chatter was the $1,000-entry Event #24, namely the FLIP & GO event. Named after the GGPoker event online, one in eight survived the ‘flip’ stage as eight-handed tables went to an immediate all-in and call. The 1,182 entries gave us 157 winners of that part of proceedings, before the ‘Go’ element began – a no limit hold’em race to the win.
Appropriately enough for an event that cause so many to speak about its merit on the World Series schedule (Norman Chad disagrees with it while Scott Seiver is a confirmed fan), Christopher Chatman was the eventual chip leader by the close of play with over 2.3 million chips. With the top 10 also including players such as nearest challenger Ian Steinman (1,665,000) Galen Hall (1,470,000), and Brek Schutten (1,300,000), there’s bound to be even more fun on the next day of play, with 27 players remaining from the 157 players who made it to the no limit hold’em section of the tournament.
WSOP 2022 Event #24 $1,000 FLIP & GO NLHE Top 10 Chipcounts:
- Christopher Chatman – 2,320,000
- Ian Steinman – 1,665,000
- Randall Webb – 1,530,000
- Galen Hall – 1,470,000
- Austin Apicella – 1,420,000
- Perry Zhao – 1,360,000
- Rafi Elharar – 1,300,000
- Brek Schutten – 1,300,000
- Han Cheng – 1,215,000
- Reiji Kono – 1,105,000
Two Final Events to Bag
Event #25 saw an amazing 4,062 total entries whittled down to just 240 survivors on Day 1 of the $800-entry NLHE Deepstack event. With such a vast turnover of action, players were flying in and out of both Bally’s and Paris, leaving Canadian player Maxine Duhamel as the chip leader by close of play with just over 1.7 million chips.
Behind Duhamel, players such as the experienced David Yoon (1.1 million), Adam White (850,000) and Bryan Piccoli (800,000) will be happy with their top 10 stacks, while plenty of big names busted, such as former bracelet winners Jeff Lisandro, Jason Wheeler, Ryan Laplante, David Pham, Jonas Lauck and Kevin MacPhee.
WSOP 2022 Event #25 $800 NLHE Deepstack Top 10 Chipcounts:
- Maxine Duhamel – 1,725,000
- Adam Kharman – 1,200,000
- Tomas Szwarcberg – 1,150,000
- Jeffrey Kennedy – 1,150,000
- David Yoon – 1,100,000
- Cody Brinn – 1,050,000
- Huifang Zhang – 900,000
- Lindsay Malu Kidu – 850,000
- Adam White – 850,000
- Bryan Piccioli – 800,000
Finally, Event #26, the $10,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em Championship, saw Marco Johnson nab the lead with 354,000 chips, while 2019 WSOP Player of the Year Robert Campbell (224,000) and Yuval Bronshtein (188,000) both finished the day in the top 10.
Plenty of big names busted, with Erik Seidel, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey sharing 25 WSOP bracelets between them but not a single Day 2 bag. The biggest bust-out, however, belonged to Brazilian soccer icon Neymar, who played the event and caused quite a stir with his rail three-deep throughout. Sadly for his millions of fans, the Paris St. Germain and Brazil striker couldn’t make it through the day.
WSOP 2022 Event #26 $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship Top 10 Chipcounts:
- Marco Johnson – 354,000
- Amir Shayesteh – 319,000
- Joey Couden – 255,000
- Jesse Lonis – 245,000
- Kyle Dilschenider – 244,000
- Matthew Rightnour – 237,000
- Robert Campbell – 224,000
- Nick Pupillo – 213,000
- David Lieberman – 189,000
- Yuval Bronshtein – 188,000
Joao Viera raised concerns about poker players and dealers playing with COVID during the World Series.
Players should be responsible, test themselves and do the right thing if it turns out positive, but, it also starts with @WSOP and their dealers acting in a proper way.
I’ve been dealt some hands the last few days by some very sick dealers who should not be working at all.
— João Vieira (@Naza114_oficial) June 10, 2022
With the $1,000-entry Flip N Go event creating quite a stir, Jamie Kerstetter reminded players of an ancient proverb. Well, kinda.
Bust out seven times, rebuy eight
— Jamie Kerstetter (@JamieKerstetter) June 12, 2022
Barny Boatman’s business idea might revolutionize the game of poker as we know it… if players weren’t already fulfilling the project.
So here’s my business plan. I’m gonna open an enormous dealer training school where the teachers are all players. *But* I’m gonna actually charge the players A Huge Amount of Money to do the teaching. What do you mean, “It’s already been done” ? #wsop2022
— Barny Boatman (@barnyboatman) June 12, 2022
Landon Tice brought up a bad beat story… but not for him. Ouch!
Jam KK for 20 bigs and homie asks for a count and then calls AA.
— Landon (@LandonTice) June 12, 2022
Finally, a certain generating program has helped poker fans who are missing the WSOP GOAT, a.k.a. Phil Hellmuth, with this stunning rendition of the man in action. Well, sort of.
Courtroom sketch of Phil Hellmuth eating a cheeseburger pic.twitter.com/Ej1aswBOEd
— Thomas Keeling (@SrslySirius) June 11, 2022
Official photographs courtesy of PokerGO, the home of live-streamed action throughout the 2022 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.