The 2022 World Poker Tour World Championship $10,400 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event kicked off with the first of three starting flights on Monday, Dec. 12. A total of 615 entries were made by the time that registration came to a close, putting the event on pace to surpass its record-setting $15,000,000 guarantee. Day 1A’s strong turnout resulted in more than $6 million being added to the prize pool.
WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage is optimistic that the guarantee will be surpassed. In a video interview with Card Player, Savage said, “After seeing the numbers that we got early on and the way these satellites have been performing, I just don’t see any chance we miss [the guarantee]. I really feel like we’re going to be over $20 million.”
Savage also noted that this event will see hundreds of qualifiers from live and online satellite events.
“The great partnerships we have with WPT Global, ClubWPT, and all of the partner casinos that have sent players here is something that we can expand on. I’m really excited about that,” said Savage.
A total of ten levels were played on day 1A, with just 270 players moving on to do 2. The chip leader is none other than tournament poker earnings leader Justin Bonomo, who ended with 1,011,000. Bonomo is a three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner with more than $60.8 million in recorded scores to his name. While he has made three WPT final tables, he has not yet added his name to the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup.
Hot on Bonomo’s heels are bracelet winner Joey Couden (935,000), Steven McKuin (895,000), and European Poker Tour champion and bracelet winner Roberto Romanello (725,000).
Other notables moving on to day 2 include Adam Hendrix (658,000), two-time bracelet winner Michael Gagliano (550,000), Paulina ‘PokerBunny’ Leoliger (488,000), high-0stakes regular Chris Brewe (442,000), WPT champion James Romero (440,000), bracelet winner and WPT champion Alex Foxen (371,000), WPT anchor Lynn Gilmartin (277,000), two-time _WPT champion and six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu (252,000), and WPT champion and three-time bracelet winner Chance Kornuth (237,000).
Plenty of big names turned out for the first starting flight but were unable to make it to day 2, including high roller superstar Mikita Badziakouski, political analyst Nate Silver, three-time bracelet winner Kristen Foxen, five-time bracelet winner and two-time WPT champion Michael Mizrachi, six-time bracelet winner Brian Hastings, three-time WPT champion Brian Altman, and five-time bracelet winner Brian Rast.
Days 1B and 1C will both begin at 11:00 AM on Dec. 13 and 14, respectively. Players will start with starting 100,000 in chips, with initial blinds of 300-500 blinds with a 500 big blind ante. As with Day 1A, players are set to battle it out for ten hour-long levels with 15-minute breaks every two levels. There will be a 90-minute dinner break after level 6. Players will be limited to one entry per flight. Each day, registration will close at the start of level 7.
Day 2 is set to kick off at noon on Dec. 15 with 3,000-5,000 with a 5,000 big blind ante for level 11.
Full chip counts from the end of day 1A will be posted later this morning.
Photos credits: World Poker Tour / Drew Amato.