Ian Matakis
Ian Matakis notched 22 cashes and a WSOP gold bracelet on his way to earning 2023 Player of the Year honors.

Although the WSOP Main Event came to a conclusion on Tuesday, there were still four more WSOP gold bracelets to be given away on the final day of the 2023 World Series of Poker at Horseshoe and Paris casinos in Las Vegas. In addition, the hotly contested Player of the Year race officially crowned a winner, helping to bring to a close to a record-setting year for the most prestigious tournament series in poker.

Final $10k Championship Bracelet Goes to Nielsen

Just five players returned to crown a winner in Event #93: $10,000 Short Deck Championship, and it took nearly seven hours for start-of-the-day chip leader Martin Nielsen to collect every chip in play, earning his first WSOP gold bracelet and $270,160 to take back to the Faroe Islands, a tiny island chain with a population of just 54,000.

Hall of Famer John Juanda, who entered the day as the short stack, was quickly bounced in fifth, and from there a lengthy four-handed battle would ensue. Over four hours would tick by before Eric Wasserson got it in with Kh9h against the KcQc of Ivan Ermin. Wasserson hit a nine on the turn to take the lead, but Ermin rivered a king-high straight to knock out the dangerous pro in fourth.

Ermin would actually be next to go, jamming JhTh for his last 1 million and being looked up by the AcQs of Nielsen. Ermin flopped large with the [10c]Kh8h] for a pair and a flush draw, and while the Kd was a safe turn, fate had other plans in store with the Jc river, giving Nielsen Broadway and a commanding lead going into heads-up action. There would be little time wasted in reaching the final showdown, with Hong Wei Yu getting his last 1.5 million in with JsTs, looking to crack the KdKs of Nielsen. Despite Yu turning a monster draw after the Qs8h6c flop and 7s turn, the Td river locked up the win and the bracelet for Nielsen.

WSOP 2023 Event #93: $10,000 Short Deck Championship Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Martin Nielsen Faroe Islands $270,160
2nd Hong Wei Yu USA $167,340
3rd Ivan Ermin Russia $118,037
4th Eric Wasserson USA $85,124
5th John Juanda Indonesia $62,793
6th Nobuaki Sasaki Japan $47,406
7th Chris Brewer USA $36,648


Keating Prevails Over Talented $5k 8-Max Field

Sixty players returned from a starting field of 813 for the final day of Event #94: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em (8-Handed), and even with a more turbo structure than similar $5k events this summer, it still took eleven hours for Alex Keating, incognitio without his trademark full beard, to earn his first WSOP gold bracelet and a whopping $701,688, eclipsing his previous best score of $423,890 for a third-place finish in the 2016 WPT L.A. Poker Classic.

To reach the final table of eight, many big names had to fall by the wayside, including Pat Lyons (15th – $32,264), Day 1 chip leader David Peters (20th – $26,210), Phil Laak (35th – $18,217), and Mark Seif (48th – $13,595).

A final table filled with short stacks quickly dispatched Jason Hickey and Christian Harder in short order, before Josh Reichard, who has had many agonizingly deep runs in this year’s series, again found heartbreak at the doorstep of victory. Nozomu Shimizu ripped in his last eighteen big blinds with nines, and Reichard, who had Shimizu barely covered, woke up with queens and called. A nine on the flop and no queen on the rest of the board left Reichard with dust, which he promptly lost on the next hand to end a fantastic 2023 WSOP for the Wisconsin pro with another six-figure payday.

Short-stacked Alexandros Kolonias and Marcello Delgrosso were next to go, and Shimizu’s run came to a close immediately after, setting Keating up against Guoliang Wei for the bracelet. A half-hour into heads-up, Wei three-bet jammed with ace-three, only to run into Keating’s Big Slick, and while Wei hit a three on the flop to take the lead, a king on the river sent Keating his first WSOP gold bracelet.

WSOP 2023 Event #94: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em (8-Handed) Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Alex Keating USA $701,688
2nd Guoliang Wei China $433,622
3rd Nozomu Shimizu Japan $305,474
4th Marcello Delgrosso Canada $208,402
5th Alexandros Kolonias Greece $158,525
6th Josh Reichard USA $116,842
7th Christian Harder USA $87,470
8th Jason Hickey USA $66,526


Miller Makes Quick Work of August in $3k H.O.R.S.E.

Ryan Miller and Leonard August returned for an extra day of action in Event #91: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. that may not have been needed after all, as Miller needed just forty minutes to finish off August and earn his second WSOP gold bracelet of the summer, along with $208,460. Miller came in and ground down August by winning multiple hold’em hands with no contest. August eventually was forced all-in with the mighty 7s2s, and Miller’s Jd2d flopped top pair and held on to give the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better champ his second piece of WSOP gold this summer.

WSOP 2023 Event #91: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Ryan Miller USA $208,460
2nd Leonard August USA $128,835
3rd Calvin Anderson USA $89,169
4th Barbara Enright USA $62,783
5th Andrew Yeh USA $44,983
6th Noah Bronstein USA $32,807
7th Kevin Gerhart USA $24,363
8th Todd Brunson USA $18,429


Dzivielevski Denied by Berger in Final Event of 2023 WSOP

Just one new event took place today, as Event #95: $1,000 Super Turbo No-Limit Hold’em brought 1,482 entrants looking to earn the final WSOP bracelet of the summer. In the end, it took half a day for the field to shrink to one, and Paul Berger earned his first WSOP gold bracelet and $212,645 after defeating three-time WSOP bracelet winner Yuri Dzivielevski in a brief heads-up battle.

Of note, when asked by PokerNews if he had any parting words for the throngs of players that attended the 2023 WSOP, Berger had a very fitting and succinct answer.

“Better luck next year.”

WSOP 2023 Event #95: $1,000 Super Turbo No-Limit Hold’em Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Paul Berger USA $212,645
2nd Yuri Dzivielevski Brazil $131,408
3rd Santiago Plante Canada $95,195
4th Miguel Cardoso Portugal $69,751
5th Michael Liang USA $51,700
6th Kafton Ramsamooj Trinidad and Tobago $38,769
7th Hon Cheong Lee Hong Kong $29,417
8th Alex Zhang USA $22,589
9th Tai Cao USA $17,556


Minnesota’s Matakis Wraps Up POY

It’ll be a summer to remember for young phenom Ian Matakis, as he held off a late charge by 2018 POY Shaun Deeb and Chris Brewer to earn the 2023 WSOP Player of the Year title, which comes with a free entry into the 2024 WSOP, a unique trophy, and a banner to be hung at the Paris/Horseshoe for years to come.

Matakis had 22 cashes in this year’s series, the most for a POY since Chris “Jesus” Ferguson had 23 back in 2017. He earned his first WSOP gold bracelet in Online Event #2: $500 No-Limit Hold’em Bankroll Builder for $120,686, and notched three more six-figure scores over the summer, including a 3rd place finish for $205,696 in Event #82: $3,000 Six-Handed Pot Limit Omaha that nearly locked up the race. Matakis celebrated his victory with a humble congratulatory tweet:

WSOP 2023 Player of the Year Final Standings (at press time):

Place Player Country POY Points
1st Ian Matakis USA 5,203.89
2nd Shaun Deeb USA 4,276.12
3rd Chris Brewer USA 4,127.62
4th Josh Arieh USA 3,938.62
5th Jesse Lonis USA 3,865.70
6th Michael Rodrigues Pires Santos Portugal 3,513.21
7th Chad Eveslage USA 3,447.63
8th Ben Yu USA 3,128.08


Your newly minted WSOP Main Event champion reflects on his hard-fought victory:

In case you were curious how “The Chainsaw” did this summer:

Cody Daniels needs his (now super lucky) rock back now:

One last “Aces versus Kings” for old times sake:

Best summer ever indeed, WSOP:

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