Stefan Lehner is the latest champion crowned at the 2022 World Series of Poker. The Austrian poker pro defeated a field of 1,240 entries in the $3,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event, capturing his first WSOP gold bracelet and the top prize of $558,616.
This was Lehner’s largest tournament score ever, blowing away the $105,507 he secured as the fourth-place finisher in the WSOP Online ‘Fifty Stack’ event last fall. He also has a WSOP Circuit gold ring to his name, having won a $300 buy-in event at the 2021 WSOPC Aruba festival last December. He now has more than $976,000 in recorded earnings to his name.
Lehner earned 1,440 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his second title of the year, having also won a €2,160 buy-in event at the Casinos Austria Poker Tour Seefield festival for $91,424 and 336 points. With 1,776 total points and more than $650,000 in year-to-date POY earnings, Lehner now sits in a tie with Paul Phua for 43rd place in the 2022 POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker.
From the more than 1,200 entries in this event, only the top 186 made the money. Plenty of bracelet winners went deep, including four-time bracelet winner Adrian Mateos (54th – $9,710), Sung Joo Hyun (46th – $11,180), two-time bracelet winner Eric Baldwin (43rd – $13,064), Barry Hutter ($18,628), Romain Lewis (19th – $18,628), Alexandros Theologis (18th – $18,628), and Niall Farrell (12th – $28,102).
Notables who made deep runs but fell short of their first bracelets included Jeff Platt (45th – $11,180),Kitty Kuo (31st – $15,489), Johnnie ‘Vibes’ Moreno (30th – $15,489), Ben Palmer (16th – $22,722), and Brock Wilson (13th – $28,102).
Lehner came into the fourth and final day of this event in second chip position behind bracelet winner David Miscikowski. Davide Suriano, also a bracelet winner, was the first to hit the rail. He ran A-9 into the pocket aces of Miscikowski to finish ninth ($44,785). Nicholas Dolen (8th – $57,683) soon followed, with his A-9 suited losing to the A-J suited of Alex Foxen.
Bracelet winner Joey Weissman’s run in this event came to an end when his K-J suited was unable to overcome the A-K suited of Nathan Russler in a preflop confrontation. Weissman picked up flush and straight draws, but a brick on the river sent him home with $75,282 for his seventh-place showing. Russler picked up A-K again in a crucial spot. He has Kevin Stevens’ A-Q dominated with all of the chips in preflop. Both players spiked a pair on the flop, but Russler’s kings remained best through the river and Stevens was eliminated in sixth place ($99,535).
Foxen had battled his way into the chip lead during six-handed action, but began to slide down the leaderboard as play continued. He lost a big pot to Russler and his two pair, and then failed to outrun the pocket tens of Toby Boas with A-J to fall to the bottom of the chip counts. Foxen got the last of his very short stack in with K-8 trailing the A-6 suited of Miscikowski. An ace on the turn left Foxen drawing dead. He earned $133,300 for his fifth-place showing. This was his 13th final-table finish of 2022, with two titles and more than $1.7 million in POY earnings accrued along the way. He now sits in ninth place in the POY standings as a result.
Boas had come into the final table in last place with just ten big blinds to start. He survived to the final four and then went on a run that saw him overtake the lead that began with his pocket fives drawing out on the pocket queens of Russler in a preflop all-in confrontation. Boas made fives full to take down the massive pot and move into the top spot. He then extended his lead by knocking out Miscikowski in fourth place ($180,795) when his pocket kings held against A-Q.
With that, Boas took nearly 30 million of the roughly 50 million chips in play into three-handed action. Lehner had fallen to the bottom of the counts by this point, but managed to double up multiple times to rebuild his stack. He then won a race with K-Q facing the pocket tens of Russler. A king on the turn gave Lehner the lead, which he maintained through the river. Russler took home $248,298 as the third-place finisher, while Lehner chipped up to 12.8 million going into heads-up play.
Boas had roughly three times as many chips to start, but Lehner managed to close the gap a bit in the early going. He then surged ahead thanks to winning a big hand with two pair. On a board of K872, Boas bet 4,500,000 with 54. Lehner held K8 for kings up. He made the call and the Q completed the board, making a flush possible. Boas moved all-in as a bluff and Lehner thought it over before making the call to take down the massive pot to take a 4:1 lead of his own.
In the final hand, Boas shoved from the button with A7. Lehner called with A10 and the board ran out J9859 to secure the pot and the title for Lehner. Boas earned a career-best payday of $345,244 as the runner-up finsiher.
Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:
Winner photo credit: WSOP / Danny Maxwell.
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