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2022 W.S.O.P. heats up as big names fall

2022 W.S.O.P. heats up as big names fall

by Bren GrayJuly 8, 2022

It’s been underway for almost six weeks now.

Yet in the last 24 hours, the 2022 World Series of Poker has really started to heat up.

Launching on 31st of May, and with its main event taking place from the 3rd of July through to the 19th of July, the 2022 W.S.O.P. is one of the most prestigious poker events on the calendar.

Here’s a look at how events have unfolded, and who’s leading the pack as they charge towards a final table.

Big names fall early

Heading into the W.S.O.P. main event, all eyes were on the likes of professional players Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth.

Between them, these three pros have won 32 W.S.O.P. bracelets, and were heavy favorites to add to this tally as they entered the W.S.O.P. main event this week.

However, that tally will have to wait another year, as all three of these big names fell within the last 24 hours at the Las Vegas event.

Hellmuth in particular only lasted a little over an hour—after entering the tournament’s main room wearing a replica Darth Vader costume shortly after the day’s play began, to a smattering of applause and healthy boos. The 16-time W.S.O.P. bracelet winner bet big on pocket kings, losing the majority of his chips to Shawn Smith after the American made a straight, before moments later being eliminated when Jeff Frerich made a two-out river hand.

Ivey was unlucky to make the third day, losing his chips on the second to last hand after pushing all in with K10 and getting called by Andrew Touchette’s AQ which paired to aces on the board.

Other significant eliminations include former W.S.O.P. main event champions Joe Cada, Qui Nguyen and Martin Jacobson.

Plenty of strength left in the field still

Despite some of the tournament favorites departing early, plenty of depth still remains in the 2022 W.S.O.P. field.
Ryan Riess, 2013 W.S.O.P. main event winner, has progressed to day three with a healthy chip count of 275,000, and is looking to be the only player to win this event twice.

Five other previous champions entered the tournament on Day 1d, with each surviving until the day’s end. Perhaps the most high-profile of these is Chris Moneymaker, who holds a stack of 108,000 and famous for qualifying through a satellite event in 2003, then going on to win the entire tournament.

Johnny Chan, Greg Merson, Koray Aldemir and Joe Hachem are the other former champions to have entered and remained on Day 1d, meaning the field retains a healthy degree of experience heading into the later stages of W.S.O.P. 2022.

Clear favorite yet to reveal themselves

With well over 2,000 players still remaining in the field, there is a lot more poker to be played before we know who will be walking away with a bracelet.

Although many former champions and high-profile pros remain in the field, the tournament’s chip leader is currently Gavin Munroe on 1,067,500, an Alabama native with a top cash of $158,000. Time will tell whether Munroe is able to keep leading from the front, or a more seasoned veteran will come out of the woodwork to dethrone the big stack.

All will be revealed over the next ten days’ play.

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Bren Gray