2022 WSOP: Adam Friedman, Jeremy Ausmus, Daniel Zack, and China’s Tong Li among next batch of bracelet winners; Abhinav Iyer and Pete Chen reach final tables


The 53rd Annual World Series of Poker is just over two weeks in and during that time 25 bracelets have already been claimed. The latest batch of winners covered by this recap feature eight first time champions which includes China’s Tong Li, who locked up the first gold bracelet for Asia. Other notable Asians with strong finishes were India’s Abhinav Iyer and Taiwan’s Pete Chen, both players seen at final tables. Three players also earning the spotlight were Adam Friedman, Jeremy Ausmus, and Daniel Zack, each one adding a new bling to their collection. At online platform, Brian Altman claimed his first at the No Limit Hold’em Ultra Deepstack.

Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Rachel Kay Miller

Nonstop action continues at the biggest poker festival in the world. Games got rolling on May 31 at its new home in Ballys and Paris Las Vegas Casino. The series will run through July 20. A total of 63 bracelets out of the 88 advertised are still up for grabs. Check out the latest highlights. 

Festival update

Event 1 –  25 prize pool: US$ 59,672,203
Entries: 49,665
Career 5th bracelet: Adam Friedman
Career 4th bracelet: David Peters, Scott Seiver, Brad Ruben, Jeremy Ausmus
Career 3rd bracelet: Norbert Szecsi
Career 2nd bracelet: Manig Loeser, Daniel Zack
Multiple final tables: Koray Aldemir (2), Brad Ruben (2), Naoya Kihara (2), David Peters (2), Dario Sammartino (2), Brekstyn Schutten (2), Josh Arieh (2), Phil Ivey (2), Yuval Bronshtein (2), Benjamin Diebold (2), Yueqi Zhu (2), Michael Rocco (2)
Online Event 1 – 3: US$ 2,646,640
Online entries: 3,072

Event 15: Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship – DANIEL ZACK – US$ 440,757

Daniel Zack – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Rachel Kay Miller

The Omaha Hi-Lo 8 of Better Championship saw the 196 entry field downsize to the final two players who battled like bulls for an exhausting seven hours before the title was clinched. Closing it out was Daniel Zack for his career second bracelet and personal series high payout of US$ 440,757. Zack now boasts a collection of three golden merchs – one ring and two bracelets. For runner up Dustin Dirksen, he had to settle for US$ 272,408 and another missed first gold at victory’s doorstep. In 2018, Dirksen finished 6th in this same event, and last year, he placed 2nd at the lower offering of this event. 

Other final table finishers were 2x bracelet champion Yuval Bronshtein, 1x bracelet winner Ray Dekjharghani who placed 6th in this event in 2017, Kane Kalas, and Raymond Henson who has yet to add a strap to his collection of 5 circuit rings. Outside of the final table was Japan’s Kosei Ichinose for his second Omaha cash in this series. He placed 18th to double his money. 

Buy in: US$ 10,000
Entries: 196
Prize pool: US$ 1,827,700
ITM: 30 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Daniel Zack USA 440,757
2nd Dustin Dirksen USA 272,408
3rd Yuval Bronshtein Israel 195,203
4th Ray Dehkarghani USA 142,456
5th Jake Liebeskind USA 105,913
6th Bart OÇonnell USA 80,250
7th Alex Livingston Canada 61,991
8th Kane Kalas USA 48,839
9th Raymond Henson USA 39,258

Event 16: No Limit Hold’em – STEFAN LEHNER – US$ 558,616

Stefan Lehner – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Danny Maxwell

Due to the mass popularity of hold’em events, this year’s series added more mid-stakes tournaments such as the $3K buy in No Limit Hold’em. 1,240 took interest, among them was a big crowd of Asians with several reaching the money round namely Jun Obara, Yohwan Lim aka BoxeR, Yi Wei Peng, Christian Pham, and bracelet holders Kazuki Ikeuchi and Sungjoo Hyun. The event concluded with Austria’s Stefan Lehner seizing his first bracelet and a series high score of US$ 558,616. Lehner bested a loaded final table with three champions in the round – David Miscikowski, Joey Weissman, Davide Suriano – and double crown GPI Player of Year winner Alex Foxen. This victory comes just six months after he won his first WSOPC ring which was followed by a win three months later at the Casinos Austria Poker Tour Main Event. The hot running Lehner has now accumulated over US$ 830K in live tournament earnings. 

Buy in: US$ 3,000
Entries: 1,240
Prize pool: US$ 3,310,800
ITM: 186 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Stefan Lehner Austria 558,616
2nd Toby Boas USA 345,244
3rd Nathan Russler USA 248,298
4th David Miscikowski USA 180,795
5th Alex Foxen USA 133,300
6th Kevin Stevens USA 99,535
7th Joey Weissman USA 75,282
8th Nicholas Dolen USA 57,683
9th Davide Suriano Italy 44,785

Event 17: Mixed Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) – DOMINICK SARLE – US$ 164,243

Dominick Sarle – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Spenser Sembrat

Prior to this year, Dominick Sarle’s 19 series cashes consisted of 18 No Limit Hold’em deep runs and one Mixed Triple Draw Lowball (Limit) where he finished in 23rd place. While he seemed due for a win at the more popular variant, the gold bracelet materialized this year at the US$ 2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball, besting a field of 309 entries. Sarle topped a final table that included four bracelet winners, one of them being mixed game specialist John Monnette who boasts four career bracelets. The milestone victory also earned Sarle his first six figure score amounting to US$ 164,243. Although not many Asians were seen at this event, India’s Dilip Ravindran represented with a min-cash in 38th place. 

Buy in: US$ 2,500
Entries: 309
Prize pool: US$ 687,525
ITM: 47 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Dominick Sarle USA 164,243
2nd Jerry Wong USA 101,514
3rd Daniel Strelitz USA 67,820
4th John Monnette USA 46,294
5th Matthew Schreiber USA 32,033
6th Alex Epstein USA 23,052
7th Philip Eisman USA 16,833

Event 18: Freezeout No Limit Hold’em – BRYAN SCHULTZ – US$ 330,057

Bryan Schultz – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Rachel Kay Miller

The second Freezeout No Limit Hold’em was incredibly popular with 2,663 players lighting up the tournament floor. With this variant highly preferred by Asians, it was no surprise to see a large force present. Notable players reaching the money were Taiwanese pros En-ching “Jack”Wu, Hung Sheng Lin, and Indian bracelet champion Karitk Ved who traveled shortly after attending the inaugural WPT Prime Vietnam in Hanoi. After the fall of bracelet champion Seth Fischer in 10th place, a first time winner was guaranteed. The dream came true for Bryan Schultz who overcame a deficit at heads up against Young Sik Eum. Impressively, the top four players turned their US$ 1,000 buy-in into massive career high six figures with champion Schultz banking the largest of US$ 330,057. 

Buy in: US$ 1,000
Entries: 2,663
Prize pool: US$ 2,370,070
ITM: 400 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Bryan Schultz USA 330,057
2nd Young Sik Eum USA 203,949
3rd Angela Jordison USA 151,544
4th Harry Rubin USA 113,532
5th Nick Palma USA 85,761
6th Robert Hofer USA 65,326
7th Tony Dam USA 50,180
8th Michael Holtz USA 38,874
9th Kevin Legerski USA 30,375

Event 19: High Roller Pot Limit Omaha 8-Handed – TONG LI – US$ 1,467,739

Tong Li – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Danny Maxwell

Asia got on the board with one gold bracelet won by China’s Tong Li at the High Roller Pot Limit Omaha 8-Handed. Li was a new face in the heavyweight bracket, forking out the hefty US$ 25,000 buy in to test his four card skills against the world’s top players. Despite the imbalance in achievements, with Li recording no prior live cashes, he outshined, running away with the massive seven figure first prize US$ 1,467,739. At three-handed, Li picked up momentum from the short stack zone, besting the 2021 WSOP Player of the Year winner Josh Arieh at multiple showdowns, until he eventually sent the pro packing in 3rd place. Ahead 3:1 at heads up, Li gave Fabian Brandes no room to chip up to close it out with trips over a missed straight. 

Buy in: US$ 25,000
Entries: 264
Prize pool: US$ 6,237,000
ITM: 40 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Tong Li China 1,467,739
2nd Fabian Brandes Austria 907,132
3rd Josh Arieh USA 644,365
4th Sam Stein USA 465,717
5th Scott Ball USA 342,590
6th Jonathan Depa USA 256,582
7th Emmanuel Sebag USA 195,713
8th Gregory Shuda USA 152,091

Event 20: Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw – DENIS NESTERENKO – US$ 108,250

Denis Nesterenko – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Spenser Sembrat

Russia also got on the board with Denis Nesterenko making the country proud at the Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw. Nesterenko topped the 350 entry field that included 4x bracelet winner Benny Glaser at the final table. Like many champions before him, it was a dream fulfilled for the recreational mixed game tournament player. The impressive win boosted his US$ 40K live tournament career earnings to nearly US$ 150K. Also running deep in this event was China’s Yufei Zhong for his first final table. Zhong was a wrecking ball at the start of the final table but was stopped by the eventual champion in 5th place. Zhong pocketed his largest WSOP career payout of US$ 20,948.

Buy in: US$ 1,500
Entries: 350
Prize pool: US$ 467,250
ITM: 53 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Denis Nesterenko Russia 108,250
2nd Von Altizer USA 66,910
3rd Evan Sayer USA 44,347
4th Hieu Luu USA 30,107
5th Yufei Zhong China 20,948
6th Benny Glaser UK 14,947
7th Peter Lynn USA 10,945

Event 21: Monster Stack No Limit Hold’em – MIKE JUKICH – US$ 966,577

Mike Jukich – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Spenser Sembrat

USA’s Mike Jukich was no stranger to navigating massive fields having placed 51st out of the 7,874 players of the 2018 WSOP Main Event. At the recently concluded Monster Stack No Limit Hold’em, Jukich once again maneuvered through the fog and this time emerged as champion for his first ever gold bracelet. The huge win also rewarded him with a career high payout of US$ 966,577. 

The event was a sight to see with 2,947 buzzing up Day 1A and 3,554 more at Day 1B for a combined 6,501 total entries. The money flowed on Day 2 starting at 976th place, and by Day 4, almost all of the Asians were railed with two exceptions. The first was Indian pro Aditya Agarwal who finished 18th for another deep run. At the start of the series, Agarwal placed 3rd at the US$ 2,500 Freezeout No Limit Holdém event. Going deeper than Agarwal was Japan’s Yoshiya Agata who reached his first ever WSOP final table. Agata finished 7th for a career high six figure US$ 154,688. Also putting up a strong fight was Brazilian pro Joao Simao Peres, the only bracelet holder at the final table. He finished 4th. 

Buy in: US$ 1,500
Entries: 6,501
Prize pool: US$ 8,678,835
ITM: 976 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Mike Jukich USA 966,577
2nd Mateusz Moolhuizen Netherlands 597,362
3rd Francis Anderson USA 449,912
4th Joao Simao Peres Brazil 341,095
5th Anthony Spinella USA 260,315
6th David Zarrin USA 199,995
7th Yoshiya Agata Japan 154,688
8th Jessica Teusl Austria 120,455
9th Ricardo Caridade Portugal 94,439
10th Romain Lotti USA 74,551

Event 22: Seven Card Stud Championship – ADAM FRIEDMAN – US$ 248,254

Adam Friedman – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Katerina Lukina

Adam Friedman may have been denied a four-peat at the Dealers Choice 6-Handed Championship but he still scored a gold days later at the Seven Card Stud Championship. This was Friedman’s second bracelet under this variant. One of the players he bested at the final table was the newly minted Benjamin Diebold who won the event that Friedman championed for the past three years. Other players also denied the title were multi gold winners Phil Ivey and Yuval Bronshtein, both players on their second final table. To seize his fifth career bracelet, Friedman held on to the chip lead starting at four-handed and never let go. 

Buy in: US$ 10,000
Entries: 95
Prize pool: US$ 885,875
ITM: 15 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Adam Friedman USA 248,254
2nd Jean Gaspard USA 153,433
3rd Phil Ivey USA 108,233
4th Yuval Bronshtein Israel 78,348
5th Benjamin Diebold USA 58,239
6th Marco Johnson USA 44,487
7th James Paluszek USA 34,949
8th Yueqi Zhu China 28,258

Event 23: 6-Handed Limit Hold’em – JEREMY AUSMUS – US$ 142,417

Jeremy Ausmus – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Danny Maxwell

Jeremy Ausmus locked up his first Limit Hold’em gold to increase his treasure box to four bracelets. Ausmus topped a field of 213 entries and earned the only six figure payout of US$ 142,417. One of the players he bested was Limit Hold’em master Mike Lancaster who has the most Limit achievements out of everyone at the final table. Lancaster is still hunting down the elusive first bracelet that he nearly captured in 2019 at the US$ 10K Limit Hold’em Championship where he placed 2nd. 

Buy in: US$ 3,000
Entries: 213
Prize pool: US$ 568,710
ITM: 32 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Jeremy Ausmus USA 142,417
2nd Michael Rocco USA 87,854
3rd Gabe Ramos USA 59,486
4th Zachary Grech USA 41,191
5th Mike Lancaster USA 29,185
6th Andrew Kelsall USA 21,170
7th Robert Como USA 15,730

Event 24: Flip & Go No Limit Hold’em – CHRISTOPHER CHATMAN – US$ 187,770

Christopher Chatman – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Alec Rome

Flip & Go No Limit Hold’em, which was first introduced at online platform GG Poker, is now in its second consecutive year on the live world stage. The unique event drew 101 more than its inaugural run with 1,340 entries. The Flip part of the event kicked off the excitement with players having to discard one of their three hole cards at the flop. From there it was a showdown to the river. The player with the best hand advanced and was guaranteed a piece of the pot. According to reports by news media outlet PokerNews, Scott Seiver fired a staggering 43 bullets and still failed to advance. Out of the 157 that survived the thrilling first stage, eight were flying Asian flags. The next stage was the GO round, playing out a regular eight-handed No Limit Hold’em tournament.

Pete Chen – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Katerina Lukina

Taiwanese pro Pete Chen ran deep for a 5th place finish that paid US$ 47,760. Earning the win and his first ever dream bracelet was recreational player Christopher Chatman who carried his chip lead at the end of Day 1 to the finish line. He outlasted bracelet champions Mike Matusow, Georgios Sotiropoulos, and Ian Steinman. In cash, Chatman pocketed a career high US$ 187,770. This was just his 5th ever WSOP cash. 

Buy in: US$ 1,000
Entries: 1,329
Prize pool: US$ 1,182,810
ITM: 157 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Christopher Chatman USA 187,770
2nd Rafi Elharar Israel 116,050
3rd Tyler Willse USA 85,420
4th Ian Steinman USA 63,530
5th Pete Chen Taiwan 47,760
6th Austin Apicella USA 36,290
7th Zachariah Cheatum USA 27,880
8th Georgios Sotiropoulos Greece 21,660
9th Mike Matusow USA 17,010

Event 25: No Limit Hold’em Deepstack – ROB WAZWAZ – US$ 358,346

Rob Wazwaz – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Hayley Hochstetler

The No Limit Hold’em Deepstack with its affordable US$ 800 price tag was a huge attraction seeing 4,062 entrants pull up seats. As expected, Asia was once again out in full force with many surviving the Day 1 onslaught. At Day 2, their numbers had thinned and by the time the final table was formed, only India bracelet winner Abhinav Iyer was left representing the region. Iyer’s pursuit of bracelet #2 was cut short in 7th place, settling for a payout of US$ 56,388 instead.

Abhinav Iyer – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Katerina Lukina

Going the distance was Rob Wazwaz to capture the dream first ever WSOP win and a gold bracelet to prove it. The highly emotional champion also shipped an enormous US$ 358,246, a career high for the newly minted, boosting his total live tournament earnings to nearly US$ 1.9 Million. Prior to achieving this milestone, Wazwaz’s largest career cash was for US$ 173,385 for his victory at the 2017 Heartland Poker Tour East Chicago Main Event.

Buy in: US$ 800
Entries: 4,062
Prize pool: US$ 2,859,648
ITM: 609 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Rob Wazwaz USA 358,246
2nd Robert Crow USA 221,399
3rd Terence Reid USA 166,011
4th Sean Legendre USA 125,371
5th Dov Markowich Canada 95,363
6th Maxime Duhamel Canada 73,064
7th Abhinav Iyer India 56,388
8th Sebastien Clot France 43,839
9th Liran Betito Israel 34,336

Online Event 3: No Limit Hold’em Ultra Deepstack – BRIAN ALTMAN – US$ 110,662

Brian Altman – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Joe Giron

Highly decorated Brian Altman, boasting multiple WPT titles and three WSOP circuit rings, finally scored himself a first ever career bracelet at online event No Limit Hold’em Ultra Deepstack. Altman has been tearing up some of the world’s biggest stages since 2015 and even has two Asia Championship of Poker cashes from 2017 with a deep 5th place run at that festival’s Main Event. To snatch up his first gold bracelet, it took 40 prior cashes and three circuit rings before it materialized. Altman also earned US$ 110,662 for his triumph. His WSOP earnings increased to US$ 1.147 Million which pales in comparison to his other achievements that sum up to well over US$  5.5 Million. Eighth placer Zachary Grech reached his second final table with his first at live Event 23 6-Handed Limit Hold’em. 

Buy in: US$ 400
Entries: 1,641
Prize pool: US$ 757,440
ITM: 371 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Brian Altman “JackBogle” USA 110,662
2nd Eric Salazar “Stackattack5” USA 68,397
3rd Gianluca Speranza “inmyhouse” Italy 50,218
4th “ninjaG0” USA 37,190
5th “bvays” USA 27,798
6th Sean Legendre “Hurricane27” USA 20,905
7th Chris Ginley “Glive” USA 12,119
8th Zachary Grech “Kings702” USA 15,830
9th Vinny Pahuja “MrSinister” USA 12,119

More 2022 WSOP recaps to follow here at Somuchpoker.

2022 WSOP underway: first four bracelet winners
2022 WSOP: Bracelet winners Event 5 – 9
2022 WSOP: Bracelet winners Event 10 – 14


Triccia David

Triccia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits. She spent a year working part time with Poker Portal Asia and later became the editor and writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live blogger for several other major events in the Philippines. Currently, she is in charge of events reporting for Somuchpoker.

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