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· Published 04.07.2022 · last updated 04.07.2022

Poker action continues in Las Vegas as players from all around the world gather for the 53rd Annual World Series of PokerHalf of the bracelets have already been awarded during its fourth week at its new home in Ballys and Paris Las Vegas Casino. This recap will include new winners such as Daniel Zack, who became the first player in this series to win two bracelets, MILLIONAIRE MAKER champion Yuliyan Kolev, Aleksejs Ponakovs, who denied 10x bracelet champion, Phil Ivey, the win, and Online Bracelet Event #4 winner Matt Szymaszek “PmpknHead.”

The series began on May 31 and will conclude on July 20. A total of 44 bracelets have been claimed on the live stage, with four more on the internet platform WSOP.com. Over US$ 105.4 million has been paid to date, with an additional US$ 3.3 million paid online.

The US$ 10,000 Main Event No-Limit Hold’em World Championship, which begins on July 3rd, is quickly approaching. There are four starting days scheduled for the tournament. Koray Aldemir, last year’s winner, has been hitting the felt since the competition began and will return to defend his championship. Read on for more details.

Yuliyan Kolev Wins MILLIONAIRE MAKER For $1,125,189

The MILLIONAIRE MAKER has been one of the most sought-after events since its start in 2013, with the $1,000,000 minimum guaranteed top prize ringing loudly in everyone’s thoughts. With 7,961 entries (Day 1A – 3,546 and Day 1B – 4,429), this year’s attendance was the third-largest, resulting in a prize pool of $10,627,935. To underline the magnitude of this year’s top award, the difference between first and second place was a staggering $429,799.

Yuliyan Kolev of Bulgaria secured his coveted win after six days of poker action. Kolev dipped to 10 BB with 14 players remaining at one point, but he soon rebounded to reach the final day with the second largest stack of the final 5. Just 4 BB behind the leader, it didn’t take long for Kolev to leap out in front, where he stayed to claim the $1,125,189 jackpot and his second gold bracelet of the tournament. The victory comes just seven months after Kolev won his first bracelet at the 2021 World Series of Poker Online Series – GG Network Event 9: $777 No-Limit Hold’em.

There were some other players that demonstrated exceptional performance. For example, Nick Marchington of the United Kingdom finished ninth at the final table. Marchington is most known for his success in the 2019 WSOP Main Event when he finished seventh and took home over $1,500,000.  Punnat Punsri of Thailand also put in a strong effort, finishing 14th. Unlike Punsri’s excellent third-place finish at Event 12: $50K High Roller, which had 101 entries, this event demonstrated his ability to run deep not just in small fields but also in large ones. He was awarded $54,438.

Here are the final table results:

Place Player Country Payout
1st Yuliyan Kolev Bulgaria $1,125,189
2nd Oren Rosen Israel $695,390
3rd Tyler Gaston USA $522,705
4th Yita Choong Australia $395,545
5th Dominic Brazier USA $301,346
6th Stanley Weng USA $231,145
7th Alen Tenorio Brazil $178,515
8th Bastien Joly France $138,821
9th Nick Marchington UK $108,704
10th Raul Martinez Spain $85,718

Fabian Brandes Wins $6K 6-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha for $371,358

Fabian Brandes of the United States finally achieved what he couldn’t at the $25K High Roller PLO when he finished one position shy of the title. Brandes overcame the 719-entry field to win the dream first bracelet and the $371,358 first prize in the $6K 6-Handed Pot-Limit Omaha. When combined with his prior series score, the Brandes has won a total of $1,278,490 from these two tournaments.

The championship race was dominated by Brandes and Israel’s Leonid Yanovski. Brandes started the final table with the most chips, but when Yanovski eliminated Amirhossein Shayesteh, he fell to second place. As Yanovski’s advantage grew, Brandes fought back, scoring two massive pots to close the gap and finally reclaiming the top place after winning with a higher straight. Brandes went on to eliminate Grzegorz Derkowski in 6th place. Yanovski also took one, defeating Thomas Morrison in fourth place to tie Brandes.

During the three-handed play, Sean Winter was behind the massive stacks but still posed a significant danger. Winter had finished fifth in the Shootout, ninth in the $50K High Roller NLH, and now had advanced even farther in the series. Winter’s quest, however, was cut short when a tense three-handed showdown resulted in his straight being shattered by Brandes’ full house. Back on top, Brandes matched Yanovski pound for pound until they switched gears again, resulting in a key double-up that sent Brandes to the top. Yanovski mounted a remarkable recovery, getting extremely near to victory but he was defeated in second place with a straight against his two pairs. This was Yanovski’s seventh bracelet tournament final table in his career.

Here are the final table results:

Place Player Country Payout
1st Fabian Brandes USA $371,358
2nd Leonid Yanovski Israel $229,529
3rd Sean Winter USA $156,401
4th Thomas Morrison USA $108,604
5th Ferenc Deak Hungary $76,880
6th Grzegorz Derkowski Germany $55,501
7th Amirhossein Shayesteh USA $40,878

Pedro Bromfman Wins NL 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship for $294,616

Some of the world’s most distinguished poker players competed in the $10,000 buy-in No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship. Among them was 16-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, who finished eighth in the Limit edition of this tournament only one week prior. Hellmuth’s aspirations at a second final table and first series gold, however, were fruitless, and he finished ninth. Four-time winners Eli Elezra and Farzad Bonyadi made it through, with the latter looking to complete a back-to-back after winning this event last year. Bonyadi was eliminated in sixth place this time. Other WSOP champions in the field were Yuri Dzivielevski and Andrew Kelsall, who were both on their second final table. Alex Livingston of Canada finished fourth after winning his first-ever bracelet at the opening week’s Event 9: $1,500 Seven Card Stud. He progressed to two more final tables, including this one.

Despite the massively stacked field, it was Brazil’s Pedro Bromfman who prevailed, outlasting the 111-player field and defeating four-time bracelet winner Scott Seiver in heads-up play. This was Bromfman’s first WSOP triumph, and it was just his third WSOP cash. The new champion received a career-high reward of $294,616 for this historic triumph. Seiver, the runner-up, is likewise on a roll, having won his fourth bracelet of the year during the first week of play in Event 3: $2,500 Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em. He has subsequently reached two additional final tables, including this one

Here are the final table results:

Place Player Country Payout
1st Pedro Bromfman Brazil $294,616
2nd Scott Seiver USA $182,086
3rd Cary Katz USA $131,362
4th Alex Livingston Canada $96,104
5th Yuri Dzivielevski Brazil $71,315
6th Farzad Bonyadi USA $53,687
7th Eli Elezra Israel $41,011
8th Andrew Kelsall USA $31,796

Ramsey Stovall Wins Super Turbo Bounty NL Hold’em Freezeout For $191,223

The $1K Super Turbo Bounty No-Limit Hold’em Freezeout attracted 2,227 participants, resulting in a prize pool of $1,982,030. After 15 hours of play, the dust settled, and Ramsey Stovall was left stunned after knocking off Timothy Heng in a swift heads-up encounter. Stovall’s first WSOP victory and first WSOP payout were quickly honored with his booming rail. Stovall was awarded $191,223 in addition to the coveted maiden bracelet. In this tournament, two-time bracelet winner Rafael Lebron finished sixth, while four-time bracelet winner and 2021 WSOP Player of the Year Josh Arieh finished eleventh.

Here are the final table results:

Place Player Country Payout
1st Ramsey Stovall USA $191,223
2nd Timothy Heng USA $118,213
3rd Steve Frakes USA $87,047
4th Wing Yam USA $64,702
5th Larry Carillo USA $48,551
6th Rafael Lebron USA $36,782
7th Ed Chang USA $28,136
8th Louise Francoeur Canada $21,733
9th Wen Ni USA $16,953

Daniel Zack Wins Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship for $324,174

Daniel Zack became the first player in this series to win not one, but two gold bracelets. Zack’s first victory came in the $10K Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship, followed by another two weeks later at the $10K Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship. The two series wins, combined with four additional cashes, have propelled him to the top of the Player of the Year standings. Zack has already won $905,740 in cash from the ongoing series.

Zack defeated decorated fellow pros at the final table for his second victory. Brian Hastings, who won this tournament last year, was among them. Hastings finished a solid seventh. Series winner Chad Eveslage, who was riding high after winning his first bracelet, finished sixth. Given that this was his first cash in this poker variation, this was an outstanding result. Shaun Deeb, a 5x bracelet winner, finished fifth in his quest for the first championship in this poker format. When it comes to the champion, it was Zack’s deepest run under this variant, surpassing his 10th place performance at last year’s $10K Seven Card Stud Championship.

Here are the final table results:

Place Player Country Payout
1st Daniel Zack USA $324,174
2nd David Funkhouser USA $200,356
3rd Ziya Rahim USA $147,800
4th Eric Kurtzman USA $110,379
5th Shaun Deeb USA $83,465
6th Chad Eveslage USA $63,914
7th Brian Hastings USA $49,571
8th Steven Loube USA $38,947
9th Long Tran USA $31,003

Aleksejs Ponakovs Wins $100K High Roller NL Hold’em For $1,897,363

The $100K High Roller No-Limit Hold’em was the series’ second six-figure buy-in. It drew 62 of the world’s greatest for a prize pool of $5,998,500. The top two in the money earned a massive seven-figure reward. Aleksejs Ponakovs of Latvia won this tournament after defeating 10x bracelet champion Phil Ivey in heads up. This is Ponakov’s second bracelet of his career, having won the first one last year in Online Event #8 $7,777 Lucky 7’s No-Limit Hold’em High Roller.

Ponakovs started the final table with a comfortable lead and maintained it until Ben Heath emptied out Gregory Jensen in 4th position. Heath’s triumph, however, was brief. Ivey bet his whole stack on a flush draw and won, breaking Heath’s aces and rocketing to the top. Ivey finally defeated Heath and was one step away from winning the 11th bracelet of his career.

It didn’t take long for Ivey to surpass Ponakovs, but maintaining it and building a significant advantage proved challenging. Ponakovs won a streak of pots, which shifted the odds back in his favor. Ivey pushed on a straight draw, and Ponakovs called with the second pair, which held.

The Latvian pro took home the top prize of $1,897,363. Ivey’s eight-year bracelet drought continues, but with the series just halfway done, he still has lots of opportunities to shine. For the time being, he had to settle for $1,172,659. Masashi Oya of Japan was one of the players that made it to the final table. He finished eighth for $210,485. This was also Oya’s first WSOP cash ever.

Here are the final table results:

Place Player Country Payout
1st Aleksejs Ponakovs Latvia $1,897,363
2nd Phil Ivey USA $1,172,659
3rd Ben Heath UK $805,024
4th Gregory Jensen USA $571,896
5th Michael Moncek USA $420,944
6th Talal Shakerchi UK $321,437
7th Mikita Badziakouski Belarus $255,001
8th Masashi Oya Japan $210,485
9th Nick Petrangelo USA $181,068
10th Eric Worre USA $162,623

Andrew Yeh Wins $10K H.O.R.S.E. Championship For $487,129

The $10K H.O.R.S.E. Championship is one of the most prestigious tournaments on the WSOP schedule. This year’s attendance was one of the largest, with 209 people competing for a prize pool of $1,948,925. Five WSOP decorated mixed game players made it to the final table, including Bryce Yockey, who finished fourth at this same event last year, John Racener, who shipped the 2017 $10K Dealers Choice 6-Handed, and Mike Gorodinsky, who won the most prestigious WSOP tournament in 2015, the $50K Poker Players Championship.

Paul Sokoloff, one of the four non-minted players, has yet to add a bracelet to his collection of three circuit rings. Sokoloff was a great contender for his first gold WSOP bracelet in this event, having finished third in 2012. However, after a long and swingy heads-up encounter, Andrew Yeh triumphed over the rest of the field to claim his first-ever championship, gold bracelet, and a personal best score of  $487,129. 

This was Yeh’s second final table appearance, which was impressive. He finished third in the $10K buy-in Omaha Hi-Lo 8 of Better Championship last year. Unlike many high-ranking players who reach this five-figure buy-in level, Yeh only began cashing at this level in 2018 and has had quite good outcomes. He has earned nearly $767,000 in series winnings to date.

Here are the final table results:

Place Player Country Payout
1st Andrew Yeh USA $487,129
2nd Craig Chait USA $301,068
3rd Philip Long UK $209,424
4th Bryce Yockey USA $148,896
5th John Racener USA $108,253
6th Paul Sokoloff UK $80,523
7th Mike Gorodinsky USA $61,314
8th Eric Wasserson USA $47,819
9th Ismael Bojang Austria $38,220

David Perry Wins Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em For $241,729

Another first-time series casher becomes a first-time champion. At the $500 Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em, David Perry outlasted 4,785 players, including the highly skilled UK pro and two-time bracelet winner Chris Moorman, in heads-up action. Moorman dominated the race for the majority of the final table, knocking out five players to take the lead into the final stage. Perry, on the other hand, has not eliminated anyone at the final table. Despite the pro’s expertise and momentum, it was Perry who applied the pressure, which resulted in large pots going his way. Perry gained the lead and never looked back, finishing with a bottom pair over a missed straight. Perry won an impressive first prize of $241,729 as well as the event’s prized gold bracelet. This was Moorman’s third runner-up result in a row. He took home $149,405 to raise his WSOP lifetime earnings to over $3.8 million.

Here are the final table results:

Place Player Country Payout
1st David Perry USA $241,729
2nd Chris Moorman UK $149,405
3rd Daniel Eichhorn USA $111,341
4th Josh Prager USA $83,623
5th Sebastien Guidez France $63,302
6th Phong Than Nguyen USA $48,299
7th Elven Espinar USA $37,148
8th Henry Reyes USA $28,802
9th Daniel Marcus USA $22,512
10th Robert Pettit USA $17,741

Matt Szymaszek Wins $1,000 PLO 6-Max For $141,705

The fourth WSOP.com online bracelet was up for grabs at the $1K Pot Limit Omaha 6-Max, with 470 players contending for it. In the end, Matt Szymaszek, also known as “PmpknHead,” won his first WSOP title and gold bracelet. He also took home the first-place award of $141,705. Szymaszek has previously reached three final tables, including a runner-up result in the 2018 $10K Limit Hold’em Championship. He has earned around $421K to date, with this tournament being his first on the virtual stage.

Here are the final table results:

Place Player Country Payout
1st Matt Szymaszek “PmpknHead” USA $141,705
2nd Greg Koutelidakis “shpadoones” USA $87,603
3rd Blake Barousse “brat337” USA $61,301
4th Thomas Pohnke “Pohnkemon” Australia $43,552
5th Christopher Gallagher “Goforbrok3” USA $31,363
6th Jeff Brown “Jbrownski” USA $22,952
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