Nonstop action at the 53rd Annual World Series of Poker saw another five players minted on the live felt, all of them first time series champions. The golden hunters were Benjamin Diebold, Raj Vohra, Michael Moncek, Leo Soma, and star player Jake Schindler. On the online platform WSOP.com, Hungary’s Norbert Szecsi locked up his career third bracelet and Germany’s Manig Loeser seized his second. Aside from wins, Asian players continue to run deep. Strong finish for Thailand’s Punnat Punsri who placed 3rd at the $50K High Roller 8-Handed. More bracelets to be won and money to pocket with games running through July 20. Have a look at the festival’s recent highlights.  

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Photo credit – WSOP / PokerNews / Alec Rome

Festival update

Event 1 –  14 prize pool: US$ 36,832,880
Entries: 32,707
Multiple final tables: Koray Aldemir (2), Brad Ruben (2), Naoya Kihara (2), David Peters (2), Dario Sammartino (2), Brekstyn Schutten (2)
Career 4th bracelet: David Peters, Scott Seiver, Brad Ruben
Career 3rd bracelet: Norbert Szecsi
Career 2nd bracelet: Manig Loeser
Online Event 1 – 2: US$ 1,889,200
Online entries: 1,431

Event 10: Dealers Choice 6-Handed Championship – BENJAMIN DIEBOLD – US$ 299,488

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Benjamin Diebold – Photo credit – WSOP / PokerNews / Spenser Sembrat

Out of all the bracelet events, the $10K buy in Dealers Choice 6-Handed Championship is considered by many to be the standard in determining the world’s best poker player. To attain glory, players must navigate the tournament’s 20-game variant. For the past three years, the event was dominated by Adam Friedman, an accomplishment very difficult to match. This year however was the end of his reign, busting well before the money round. Grabbing the coveted title was Benjamin Diebold for his first ever gold bracelet and first ever six figure payout of US$ 299,488.

Diebold has been cashing at the series since 2018, accumulating only 8 payouts before this big win. Last year, he reached his first series final table at the No Limit 2-7 Lowball Championship placing 7th. To seize the gold, he got past a loaded final table with the likes of single bracelet winners Randy Ohel, Naoya Kihara, 5x bracelet champion Brian Rast, and 2x bracelet winner Mike Gorodinsky who he faced at heads up. Diebold held the lead throughout and grinded down Gorodinsky out of the running. Despite the loss for Gorodinsky, it was another fantastic result. He ran deep at this event last year, exiting in 8th place. Also producing a solid finish was Japanese 5th placer Kihara for his second series final table. 

Buy in: US$ 10,000
Entries: 123
Prize pool: US$ 1,146,975
ITM: 19 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Benjamin Diebold USA 299,488
2nd Mike Gorodinsky USA 185,095
3rd Brian Rast USA 134,370
4th Christopher Classen USA 98,738
5th Naoya Kihara Japan 73,453
6th Randy Ohel USA 55,329

Event 11: No Limit Hold’em Deepstack – RAJ VOHRA – US$ 335,886

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Raj Vohra – WSOP / PokerNews / Rachel Kay Miller

The No Limit Hold’em Deepstack was one of the cheaper bracelet events offered at just US$ 600 to enter. Running for two days, opening day drew a packed house of 5,715 hopefuls for a massive prize pool of US$ 2,914,650. Among the long list of decorated players that joined the mad hunt was an even longer list of players seeking their first gold. The money flowed at 858th place; among the bracelet holders that reached the top 100 were Yuri Dzivielevski, Men Nguyen, Robert McMillan, Femi Fashakin, and Ankush Mandavia whose fall in 20th place ensured a first time champion.

The player in position to take it was Qing Liu who carried in the biggest stack into the final table. Liu proceeded to muscle with his big stack, railing multiple players Bhodan Styvinskyi (10th), Stanislav Snitsar (8th), Junxiu Zhang (6th), and Hung Tran (5th). As for eventual champion Vohra, he entered third from the bottom then gained momentum after banking a huge double up. He went on to eliminate Ralph Marquez (7th) and Nicole Limo Greene (4th). At heads up, Liu was ahead nearly 2:1, Vohra grinded to overtake leading to the final hand. Vohra’s AsKh outdrew Liu’s 8h8s with an ace on the turn. 

Vohra shipped a personal high US$ 335,286; this was his 23rd WSOP career cash, boosting his total series earnings to over US$ 745K. As for runner up Liu, he too collected a career high six figure US$ 207,192. This was his 20th cash and second ever series final table. Among the players that cashed from Asia, China’s  Ke Chen walked away with nearly ten times his buy in in 55th place, Indian players Abhishek Parashar and Anirudh Mudimela reached the final three tables for a US$ 12,767 payout, and Korea’s Jiwoo Hyul just missed the final table, falling in 12th place on a double bust for US$ 19,763. 

Buy in: US$ 600
Entries: 5,715
Prize pool: US$ 2,914,650
ITM: 858 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Raj Vohra USA 335,286
2nd Qing Liu USA 207,192
3rd Hung Tran USA 154,833
4th Nicole Limo Greene USA 116,568
5th Michael Lin USA 88,417
6th Junxiu Zhang USA 67,572
7th Ralph Marquez Canada 52,035
8th Stanislav Snitsar USA 40,378
9th Renaud Cellini France 31,574
10th Bhodan Slyvinskyi USA 24,883

Event 12: High Roller No Limit Hold’em 8-Handed – JAKE SCHINDLER – US$ 1,328,068

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Jake Schindler – Photo credit – WSOP / PokerNews / Hayley Hochstetler

The gold was a long time coming for American player Jake Schindler, one of the biggest names in the industry whose resume is filled with seven figure payouts and deep runs in the high roller arena. Last month, Schindler took down the Super High Roller Series Europe in Cyprus for a personal second best score of US$ 3,200,000. He carried that winning energy into the WSOP where he had been chasing the gold since 2011. Earlier this week, Schindler’s bid for a first title ran short at the $25K High Roller event, falling runner up to Chad Eveslage. As expected, he quickly jumped back on the felt and this time he clinched the US$ 50K High Roller NLH 8-Handed to finally capture that elusive first bracelet. In addition to the gold was another seven figures for his portfolio. He shipped US$ 1,328,068, his largest series payout, to bump up his WSOP total earnings over US$ 3.3 Million. 

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Punnat Punsri – Photo credit – WSOP / PokerNews / Hayley Hochstetler

To bag the win, Schindler had to navigate past fellow elite players that included Dario Sammartino, David Peters, and Brekstyn Schutten, all three players were on their second final table. Returning to the series for his second consecutive year was Thailand pro Punnat Punsri. Earlier this year, Punsri delivered a stellar performance at the Venetian, taking down two High Roller events. At the ongoing series, he went pound for pound against the big guns and came close to snatching the gold. He finished in an impressive 3rd place to bank a career high payout of US$ 593,481.

Buy in: US$ 50,000
Entries: 85
Prize pool: US$ 4,069,375
ITM: 16 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Jake Schindler USA 1,328,068
2nd Brekstyn Schutten Germany 820,808
3rd Punnat Punsri Thailand 593,481
4th Shannon Shorr USA 436,412
5th David Peters USA 326,464
6th Andrew Lichtenberger USA 248,516
7th Michael Rocco USA 192,570
8th Dario Sammartino Italy 151,942
9th Sean Winter USA 122,114

Event 13: Limit Hold’em – MICHAEL MONCEK – US$ 145,856

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Michael Moncek – Photo credit – WSOP / PokerNews / Seth Haussler

On just his third ever WSOP cash, Michael Moncek outlasted the 522-entry field of Limit Hold’em to rein in his first bracelet and a personal high series payout of US$ 145,856. Prior to the win, Moncek boasted three circuit rings. At the final table, he was surrounded by others with similar or better credentials, including the highly decorated Joe Mckeehen who was backed by 3 bracelets, 3 rings, and over US$ 11 Million in WSOP earnings. McKeehen exited in 5th place. After the fall of bracelet winner Yueqi Zhu in 3rd place, the battle for the gold came between Ben Ross and Moncek. Both players tugged at the chip lead multiple times until Moncek cracked Ross’s pocket Jacks with a flush to eventually close it out. 

Buy in: US$ 1,500
Entries:522
Prize pool: US$ 696,870
ITM: 79 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Michael Moncek USA 145,856
2nd Ben Ross USA 90,150
3rd Yueqi Zhu USA 63,314
4th Christoph Kwon USA 45,178
5th Joe McKeehen USA 32,761
6th Steven Wolansky USA 24,149
7th Fred Lavassani USA 18,100
8th Nicholas Pupillo USA 13,798
9th Lee Markholt USA 10,701

Event 14: 6-Handed No Limit Hold’em – LEO SOMA – US$ 456,889

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Leo Soma – Photo credit – WSOP / PokerNews / Spenser Sembrat

Leo Soma made France very proud by locking up a bracelet at the 6-Handed No Limit Hold’em. He was the first player from his country to do so in this series. Based on Soma’s tracked results, this milestone achievement covered multiple goals. It was his first live WSOP cash, first ever live career win, and first six figure live payout. From just US$ 15K+ in earnings, he catapulted to over US$ 460K. At the final table, Soma denied four of his six opponents starting with 4x bracelet winner / Main Event champion Joe Cada. Cada’s pocket Kings was outdrawn by Soma’s Ace-King ace on the flop. 

Buy in: US$ 1,500
Entries: 2,392
Prize pool: US$ 3,193,320
ITM: 359 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Leo Soma France 456,889
2nd Thomas Schultz USA 282,358
3rd Maximilian Gallardo Argentina 203,451
4th Daniel Wellborn USA 148,171
5th Derek Sudell USA 109,083
6th Ivan Zhechev Bulgaria 81,188
7th Joe Cada USA 61,098

Online 1: NLH High Roller Freezeout – NORBERT SZECSI – US$ 288,850

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Norbert Szecsi – Photo credit – WSOP / PokerNews / Hayley Hochstetler

Every year, the WSOP offers extra bracelets at the brand’s online platform WSOP.com. The first one was the No Limit Hold’em High Roller Freezeout with 218 players ponying up the US$ 5,300 buy in. This built a handsome seven figure prize pool of US$ 1,090,000 with the top 35 earning a cut. By the time the final eight was formed, half the table were decorated bracelet winners. 3x winner Phil Galfond finished 6th, Greg Merson, Tony Dunst, and Norbert Szecsi were all hunting their third bracelet. In the end, Szecsi prevailed to grab the gold and the top payout of US$ 288,850. 

Buy in: US$ 5,300
Players: 218
Prize pool: US$ 1,090,000
ITM: 35 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Norbert Szecsi “Balkan500” Hungary 288,850
2nd Tony Dunst “Panoramic” USA 168,950
3rd Greg Merson “DustedYou” USA 96,465
4th “qpoker205” USA 74,120
5th Taylor Paur “galactar” USA 63,220
6th Phil Galfond “HeyGuys” USA 52,320
7th Michael Jozoff “mikejozoff” USA 39,240
8th Adam Hendrix “PHsGoldShoes” USA 26,160

Online Event 2: No Limit Hold’em BIG 500 – MANIG LOESER – US$ 127,153

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Manig Loeser – Photo credit – WSOP / PokerNews / Katerina Lukina

German pro Manig Loeser tore past the 1,213 entry field of the No Limit Hold’em BIG 500 to lock up his career second bracelet and a cool payout of US$ 127,153. With this win, Loeser is nearing the US$ 2 Million mark in WSOP earnings however that figure pales in comparison to his other accomplishments. His largest takedown was over US$ 2.1 Million for his victory at the 2017 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro Main Event. To date, Loeser has over US$ 11.4 Million in tournament earnings. 

Buy in: US$ 500
Entries: 1,213
Prize pool: US$ 799,200
ITM: 289 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Manig Loeser Germany 127,153
2nd Brian Battistone USA 78,641
3rd Florian Duta UK 57,143
4th Matthew Jewett USA 41,878
5th Anthony Askey USA 31,009
6th Louie Torres USA 23,177
7th Daniel Pricola USA 17,502
8th Brandon Mueller USA 13,347
9th Anthony De La Regata USA 10,310

More 2022 WSOP recaps to follow here at Somuchpoker

2022 WSOP underway: first four bracelet winners
2022 WSOP: Bracelet winners Event 5 – 9

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