Final Nine
The WSOP 'Final Nine' have made it to the promised land of the WSOP final table... but who will win the $12.1 million top prize?

A stunning day of poker inside the Horseshoe and Paris casinos saw ten bracelet events progress and the final nine players in the Main Event reached in style. As the dust settled on a phenomenal day of poker, American player Adam Walton led the World Championship with nine players remaining. A $12.1 million top prize is up for grabs in two days’ time and the drama, if it is anything like the excitement of Day 46 of this year’s World Series, will be incredible.

Walton Leads Final Nine After Dominant Day, Weinman Hits Miracle

Adam Walton (143.8 million) leads the final nine players in the biggest Main Event in history, with just two more days action coming on Sunday and Monday in this year’s World Championship. All the final table players now have 24 hours off to prepare, and it is the leader Walton who will do so knowing that he has a big advantage in chips heading into the denouement of this year’s Main Event drama. Behind Walton, Steven Jones (90.3m) quietly assembled a stack of 75 big blinds with which to fire for glory.

Daniel Weinman (81.7m) comes into the table with vast experience, Josh Arieh and Shaun Deeb as his coaching team and with momentum on his side after hitting a miracle two-outer to treble up and riding that fortune home. Weinman had jacks when up against the overnight leader Joshua Payne’s kings and Jose Aguilera’s queens. It was a two-outer jack on the turn that sealed his triple-up in that hand and after reaching the final table he was immensely thankful for the support from others in the game.

Shaun Deeb dropped gold for a minute with Jeff Platt as he explained how the hand is likely to propel Weinman to glory.

As the final table was assembled for photos, David Baker had a golfing comparison to make.

Behind the all-American trio dominating the chipcounts sit some dangerous players, with the German all-rounder Jan-Peter Jachtmann (74.6m) hoping to win his second bracelet like Weinman, the only other previous bracelet winner at the final table. Overnight leader Juan Maceiras (68m) dropped a little but still made the final, while Ukraine’s Ruslan Prydryk (50.7) will be trying to do his country proud.

Lower in the counts, British pair Dean Hutchinson (41.7m) and Toby Lewis (19.8m) both need help chips-wise but could be real threats to the title with some early fortune. No-one has the major final experience of Lewis, and Hutchinson is a horrible player to take on when he has chips. Between the British pair, sits Daniel Holzner, an Italian farmer whose family gifted him his WSOP Main Event seat which is now worth at least $900,000.

Whoever goes out first will earn that amount but all nine players will sleep on the next 24 hours daydreaming of the $12.1 million top prize and title of World Champion. One of them has to win it on Monday night.

WSOP 2023 Event #76 $10,000 Main Event World Championship Final Table:
Place Player Country Chips Big Blinds
1st Adam Walton United States 143,800,000 120
2nd Steven Jones United States 90,300,000 75
3rd Daniel Weinman United States 81,700,000 68
4th Jan-Peter Jachtmann Germany 74,600,000 62
5th Juan Maceiras Spain 68,000,000 57
6th Ruslan Prydryk Ukraine 50,700,000 42
7th Dean Hutchison United Kingdom 41,700,000 35
8th Daniel Holzner Italy 31,900,000 27
9th Toby Lewis United Kingdom 19,800,000 17


Kulcsar Beaten by Kulev in High Roller Heroics

Bulgarian Alex Kulev won the first WSOP bracelet of his young career as he announced his arrival in major high roller events by winning $2 million at the Horseshoe in Las Vegas. Kulev, whose rise to prominence in the past two years has been nothing short of phenomenal, beat Gergely Kulcsar heads-up for the biggest win of his poker career to date.

With five players coming into the action, two Germans busted first. Hungarian pro Gergely Kulcsar busted 2021 world champion Koray Aldemir when the latter was all-in with KhJh on a board showing Jd9h9cAh, and Kulcsar had Kc9s for a set. No heart came on the river and Aldemir cashed for $533,561 in fifth.

Out next was Daniel Smiljkovic, who came in short and busted fourth for $713,413. All-in with AcJc, Smiljkovic was unlucky to lose to Kulcsar’s AdTs, the board coming 6d5s3sTdQd to break the former’s heart on the turn and send play three-handed. Shortly after, Jake Schindler busted in third place.

Kulev’s stack was huge going into heads-up, with the Bulgarian enjoying a lead of 42.3 million to Kulcsar’s 9.95m. All-in with Ad5h, Kulcsar hoped for a double, but Kulev’s Ac9c was dominant and rode home on a board of 9d2d2s3c7h to give him the first bracelet victory of his career and both men in first and second place in the event their best-ever tournament scores.

WSOP 2023 Event #84 $50,000 NLHE High Roller Results:
Place Player Country Prize
1st Alex Kulev Bulgaria $2,087,073
2nd Gergely Kulcsar Hungary $1,289,909
3rd Jake Schindler United States $957,491
4th Daniel Smiljkovic Germany $713,413
5th Koray Aldemir Germany $533,561
6th Johannes Straver Netherlands $400,562
7th Brandon Wittmeyer United States $301,859
8th Moshe Refaelowitz Israel $228,347


Roh Rules in Ultra Stack Victory

Joseph Roh won $401,250 as he conquered the Ultra Stack Event #81 after beating Denny Lee heads-up. Overnight leader John Fagg fell in third place as a final table that played down to a winner in short order saw Roh claim gold for the first time.

The dominant player for much of the final table was Denny Lee, who busted plenty of players and held the chip lead for the majority of the action. In the end, however, it was the 55-year-old Roh who got the job done, coming back heads-up to lead before his AcQs[ was able to dominate Lee’s Ah5s in the final hand.

WSOP 2023 Event #81 $600 NLHE Ultra Stack Results:
Place Player Country Prize
1st Joseph Roh United States $401,250
2nd Denny Lee United States $250,120
3rd John Fagg United States $184,720
4th Peyton Ethridge United States $139,360
5th William Fisher United States $105,890
6th Logan Moon United States $81,030
7th Min Sung Lee South Korea $62,450
8th Lucas Tae United States $48,480
9th Schuyler Thornton United States $37,910


Matthew Parry Wins PLO 6-Max, Denies Matakis Second Bracelet

Ian Matakis was denied a potentially pivotal Player of the Year winning bracelet as he won Event #82, the $3,000-entry PLO 6-Max event in style. Five players came into the final table, as an all-American showdown for the bracelet and $480,122 top prize saw a dramatic conclusion to the action. Matakis made it to third, but in being knocked out at that stage, he lost the opportunity to win his second bracelet of the summer. Parry claimed a maiden WSOP bracelet instead and kept the Player of the Year race wide open for players such as Josh Arieh and Shaun Deeb to chase.

WSOP 2023 Event #82 $3,000 Pot Limit Omaha 6-Max Results:
Place Player Country Prize
1st Matthew Parry United States $480,122
2nd Dustin Goldklang United States $296,746
3rd Ian Matakis United States $205,696
4th Cuba Levenberry United States $144,890
5th Lawrence Wayne United States $103,738


Friedman and Jaka Chasing Shootout Glory

The final ten players are confirmed in the $1,500 buy-in Shootout Event #85. Among them are some heavy hitters who are chasing the $237,367 top prize, including the five-time WSOP bracelet winner Adam Friedman and the three-time winner Yuri Dzivielevski from Brazil.

Also present is Faraz Jaka, who to date has never won a bracelet, but while he is only one shootout table away from victory, he’ll be hoping to negotiate some very tough opponents in order to end his long wait for gold. Whoever wins this Shootout title will have earned it, after their third heads-up victory in three consecutive days too.

WSOP 2023 Event #85 $1,500 NLHE Shootout Leaderboard:
Place Player Country Chips
1st Mo Zhou China 2,465,000
2nd Ao Chen United States 2,465,000
3rd Adam Friedman United States 2,415,000
4th Faraz Jaka United States 2,450,000
5th Matteo Cavelier France 2,420,000
6th Olga Iermolcheva United States 2,450,000
7th Yuri Dzivielevski Brazil 2,415,000
8th Michael Finstein United States 2,415,000
9th Edward Mroczkowski United States 2,440,000
10th Allan Mello United States 2,420,000


Diego Ventura Crushing Poker Hall of Fame Event

With just one day’s action to go, the $1,979-entry Poker Hall of Fame event has nine players left. Peruvian player Diego Ventura (13.35m) leads the way by some margin, with Thomas Kysar (8.92m) his closest challenger. Behind Kysar, no-one has even half of Ventura’s chips, with the 2014 WSOP Main Event winner Martin Jacobson (3.27m) hoping to win another bracelet to go with the world championship bracelet he won for $10m almost nine years ago.

WSOP 2023 Event #86 $1,979 Poker Hall of Fame Leaderboard:
Place Player Country Chips
1st Diego Ventura Peru 13,350,000
2nd Thomas Kysar United States 8,925,000
3rd Jason James Canada 4,675,000
4th Louie Torres United States 3,400,000
5th Martin Jacobson Sweden 3,275,000
6th Jose Nadal Mexico 2,825,000
7th Jimmy Setna Canada 2,600,000
8th Leonid Yanovski Israel 1,850,000
9th Francis Anderson United States 1,625,000


Jorstad and Ausmus Both Strong in NLHE Championship

A total of 197 players survived Day 1 of the $10,000-entry NLHE Championship Event #90. In the lead when the bell tolled on Day 1 was Austrian player Tobias Schwecht, who bagged up 546,000 chips. Behind him is Frank Lagodich (535,500) with others such as Justin Liberto (500,500), Thomas Cazayous (435,500) and Cliff Josephy (428,000) all finishing inside the top 10.

Other superstars ended the day strongly too, with Espen Jorstad (223,000), Danny Tang (217,500), Jeremy Ausmus (206,500) and Daniel Negreanu (92,000) all making the Day 2 cut with a field of 495 trimmed on the day.

WSOP 2023 Event #90 $10,000 6-Max NLHE Championship:
Rank Player Country Chips
1st Tobias Schwecht Austria 546,000
2nd Frank Lagodich United States 535,500
3rd Justin Liberto United States 500,500
4th Alberto Meran Dominican Republic 475,000
5th Andrey Pateychuk Russia 462,000
6th Julian Milliard-Feral France 445,000
7th Thomas Cazayous France 435,500
8th Cliff Josephy United States 428,000
9th Jamie O’Connor United Kingdom 413,000
10th Jack Corrigan United States 364,500

Benson Tang On Top in The Closer

A field of 1,141 entries contributed to a prize pool of $1.5m on Day 1a of The Closer. Taking place with two Day 1 flights, the first was crushed by Californian Benson Tang whose stack of 2.1 million chips was better than his nearest rivals, Alan Hamza (1.9m) and Jeffrey Tenouye (1.8m). In a top 10 that included eight American players, Jason Wheeler (1.36m) bagged plenty too as 76 remained in the hunt for the title.

The other players will need to try again on Day 1b tomorrow before the two Day 1 flights blend into Day 2 on Sunday. Last year’s winner of the event, Minh Nguyen, took home a top prize of $536,280, which looks sure to be exceeded this year.

WSOP 2023 Event #88 $1,500 The Closer Leaderboard:
Rank Player Country Chips
1st Benson Tang United States 2,185,000
2nd Alan Hamza United States 1,910,000
3rd Jeffrey Tanouye United States 1,865,000
4th Lisa Hamilton United States 1,605,000
5th Faizal Khoja United States 1,580,000
6th Mohommed Khan United States 1,475,000
7th Yann Perron France 1,445,000
8th Renmei Liu Canada 1,445,000
9th Jason Wheeler United States 1,360,000
10th Michael Noori United States 1,355,000


Pupillo Leading Mixed Event #87 as 37 Players Remain

Chip leader Nick Pupillo (1,298,000) is a shade ahead of Yuval Bronshtein (1,260,000) heading into the final day of the Miced Omaha/Seven Card Stud Event #87. With just 37 players remaining in the hunt for the $221,733 top prize and the WSOP bracelet, others such as Jeffrey Trudeau (1,106,000), Ari Engel (663,000) and Patrick Leonard (651,000) will all be pushing for victory too after battling into the deep places on Day 2 of the tournament.

WSOP 2023 Event #87 $2,500 Mixed Omaha/Seven Card Stud Leaderboard:
Place Player Country Chips
1st Nick Pupillo United States 1,298,000
2nd Yuval Bronshtein Israel 1,260,000
3rd Jeffrey Trudeau United States 1,106,000
4th Blaz Zerjav Slovenia 762,000
5th Chris Chung United States 743,000
6th Gary Bolden United States 670,000
7th Ari Engel Canada 663,000
8th Patrick Leonard United Kingdom 651,000
9th Timothy Frazin 634,000 634,000
10th Bradley Smith Canada 600,000


Pete Chen Leads Last 18 in Flip & Go GGPoker Event

Pete Chen has just under 3 million chips heading into the final day of Event #89, the $1,000 Flip & Go event, which is sponsored by GGPoker. Closest rivals James Bullimore (1,840,000) and Mason Vieth (1,715,000) are some way back, with Jack Salter (1,675,000) and Jesse Lonis (1,120,000) in the top 10 too. With 128 players escaping the ‘Flip’ section of the tournament, players such as Ebony Kenney busted to leave 18 in the hunt for a top prize of $160,490 and the gold.

WSOP 2023 Event #89 $1,000 GGPoker Flip & Go Leaderboard:
Rank Player Country Chips
1st Pete Chen Taiwan 2,990,000
2nd James Bullimore United Kingdom 1,840,000
3rd Mason Vieth United States 1,715,000
4th Jack Salter United Kingdom 1,675,000
5th Dong Meng United States 1,420,000
6th Xizhe Yuan United Kingdom 1,245,000
7th Eric Wasserson United States 1,200,000
8th Jesse Lonis United States 1,120,000
9th Drew Gonzalez United States 960,000
10th Brady Hinnegan Canada 945,000


TJ Jurkiewicz had food on his mind watching the Main Event drama unfold.

Daniel Holzner used his poker ‘one time!’ to great effect.

Hilarious ‘rumors’ of Toby Lewis using secret camera glasses (crib notes – he wasn’t) led to this exciting meme.

Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates had one of his busiest days in recent times. Vegas life…

Finally, former Main Event winner Martin Jacobson set a timely reminder that whoever crushes the final table will be loved and hated in equal measure.

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