2022 WSOP: William Alex Foxen banks $4.5M and elusive maiden bracelet; Phillip Hui wins 3rd career gold; Paul Hizer rules mighty Colossus; Menikos Panayiotou becomes first Cyprus champion


The 53rd Annual World Series of Poker concluded its fourth week of games with 54 bracelets now claimed. The batch of winners covered by this recap were from Event 45 to Event 54. Among them was American pro / 2x GPI Player of the Year champion William Alex Foxen who banked a career high US$ 4.5M and his first ever WSOP bracelet. Also locking up golds were Phillip Hui for his third career merch, Paul Hizer who persevered through the massive field of the COLOSSUS, Menikos Panayiotou who became the first player from Cyprus to ever win a bracelet, and France’s Jonathan Pastore and Bulgaria’s Simeon Spasov securing second series wins for their country.

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Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Hayley Hochstetler

This week only saw one Asian reach the final table, Korea’s Hyunwoo Lim on his WSOP debut. Korea’s Jinho Hong also fared well placing 11th at the $5K 6-Handed No Limit Hold’em for his deepest series run. At online platform, a bracelet was awarded to William Corvin at the Deepstack Championship. We’ve got those highlights down below. 

The series kicked off on May 31 and will run through July 20. A total of 54 bracelets out of 88 have been claimed on the live stage and five online. To date, over US$ 146.9 Million has been paid and nearly US$ 4.3M online. 

The tournament everyone looks forward to is creeping up fast. The US$ 10K Main Event No Limit Hold’em World Championship gets underway on July 3. There are four starting days to join the action. Last year’s champion Koray Aldemir has been attacking the felt since the series started and will be returning to defend his title. Also running deep at one of the events was 2013 champion Ryan Riess. He will surely be back on the hunt to capture the prestigious title. 

Full 2022 WSOP bracelet schedule

Festival update

Event 1 –  54 prize pool: US$ 146,974,943
Entries: 104,459
Two time series champion: Daniel Zack (Event 15 & 40)
Asia winners: Tong Li (Event 19), Chan Lok Ming (Event 35)
Most final tables: Phil Ivey (4), Daniel Zack (4)
Online Event 1 – 5 prize pool: US$ 4,298,040
Online entries: 4,790

Multi bracelet winners

Career 6th bracelet: Brian Hastings
Career 5th bracelet: Adam Friedman
Career 4th bracelet: David Peters, Scott Seiver, Brad Ruben, Jeremy Ausmus
Career 3rd bracelet: Norbert Szecsi, Daniel Zack, Phillip Hui
Career 2nd bracelet: Manig Loeser, Daniel Zack, Robert Cowen, Steven Albini, Justin Pechie, Yuliyan Kolev, Aleksejs Ponakovs, Joao Simao Peres

Event 45: Pot Limit Omaha – PHILLIP HUI – US$ 311,782

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Phillip Hui – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Katerina Lukina

Phillip Hui became the third player in the series to capture a career third bracelet. In 2014, Hui locked up his first gold at the $3K Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, five years later he took down #2 at the highly prestigious $50K Poker Player Championship, then this week, another gold for his treasure box at the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha 8-Handed. According to a brief interview with onsite media PokerNews, what made this bracelet just as special was the one up on his wife Loni Hui. Hui said, 

“I have a good life, I like winning bracelets, I like winning trophies, I have my whole life. I’m happy with everything. The more important thing is that I broke the tie with my wife. Before this, we both had two, now I have three.”

Hui bested a field of 1,437 entries that included bracelet champion David Williams in 6th place who was on his third final table. Other decorated champions were Dylan Weisman who exited the table first in 8th place and David Prociak who fell to Hui in 3rd place. At heads up, Daniel Tordjman carried in the lead and hoped to follow in Leo Soma’s footsteps in securing a series second bracelet for France, however, it was not to be. Hui raced from a near 3:1 deficit with a critical full house over a missed draw to reverse the counts. From there, he closed it out to claim the US$ 311,782 top prize. In addition to the third bracelet, Hui also has five circuit rings. With this win, his total WSOP earnings climbed to over US$ 2.7 Million.

Buy in: US$ 1,500
Entries: 1,437
Prize pool: US$ 1,918,395
ITM: 216 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Phillip Hui USA 311,782
2nd Daniel Tordjman France 192,674
3rd David Prociak USA 140,783
4th Charles Coultas USA 103,979
5th Shane Nardiello USA 77,635
6th David Williams USA 58,606
7th Paul Fehlig USA 44,735
8th Dylan Weisman USA 34,532

Event 46: 6-Handed No Limit Hold’em – JONATHAN PASTORE – US$ 771,765

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Jonathan Pastore – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Katerina Lukina

Jonathan Pastore succeeded in bringing France a second series bracelet by taking down the $5K 6-Handed No Limit Hold’em. This was only Pastore’s fourth ever WSOP cash which he turned into a life changing six-figure US$ 771,765. To capture the coveted win, Pastore overcame the 920 entry field and the solid game of bracelet holder Stephen Song. Song carried an overwhelming stack into the final table and held command up until three handed when Pastore grinded to the top and eliminated Tamer Alkamli in 3rd place. From there, Pastore stayed ahead to eventually deny Song a second gold merch. Also running deep were bracelet champion Elio Fox in 4th place and Korea’s ex-StarCraft pro Jinho Hong in 11th place. This was Hong’s deepest series run and largest WSOP cash of US$ 52,414. 

Buy in: US$ 5,000
Entries: 920
Prize pool: US$ 4,243,500
ITM: 138 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Jonathan Pastore France 771,765
2nd Stephen Song USA 476,990
3rd Tamer Alkamli USA 331,503
4th Elio Fox USA 234,036
5th Paraskevas Tsokaridis Greece 167,882
6th Patrick Sekinger UK 122,395
7th Ezequiel Waigel Argentina 90,714

Event 47: Seniors NLH Championship – ERIC SMIDINGER – US$ 694,909

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Eric Smidinger  – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Katerina Lukina

This year’s $1K Seniors No Limit Hold’em Championship was one hot ticket with 7,188 turning up to set a blazing new record for this event. Among the long list of players that joined the hunt and reached the money were several bracelet holders Ken Aldridge (33rd), Carol Fuchs (45th ), and 6x Jeff Lisandro (116th). Both Andres Korn (7th) and Kathy Liebert (5th) also found their way into the money round and into the final table but their bid for a second gold was denied. After five days, the lion’s share of US$ 6,397,320 prize pool and coveted gold bracelet was claimed by Eric Smidinger for his first ever WSOP victory. 

Leading up to the glorious moment, Smidinger trailed Ben Sarnoff for a majority of the final table. It was only at heads up where he upstaged the leader. Trailing over 3:1 in chips, Smidinger chipped away at Sarnoff’s stack and evened up without any all in showdowns. A tug of war followed with Smidinger slowly creating distance until Sarnoff was caught bluffing to pretty much seal his defeat. Sarnoff’s final stand was AhKh that failed to improve against Smidinger’s 8s8h. Smidinger walked away with a career high US$ 694,909 payout. For runner up Sarnoff, he too pocketed a career high six figure score of US$ 429,420. 

Buy in: US$ 1,000
Entries: 7,188
Prize pool: US$ 6,397,320
ITM: 1,079 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Eric Smidinger USA 694,909
2nd Ben Sarnoff USA 429,420
3rd Charles Mitchell USA 323,057
4th Biagio Morciano Italy 244,664
5th Kathy Liebert USA 186,541
6th Jan Pettersson Australia 143,189
7th Andres Korn Argentina 110,662
8th Mark Pett USA 86,112
9th Alexander Hill USA 67,471
10th Domenico Scalamogna Canada 53,234

Event 48: Eight Game Mix 6-Handed – MENIKOS PANAYIOTOU – US$ 180,783

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Menikos Panayiotou – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Spenser Sembrat

Through the years, the closest any Cypriot had gone at the series was 7th place by Peter Costa in 2005 and in 2007. However, the wait for that elusive first bracelet finally ended with Menikos Panayiotou making Cyprus very proud. Panayiotou topped the 695 entry field of the $1,500 Eight Game Mix 6-Handed, besting some of the world’s toughest to seize the coveted gold. Among the players he dodged were well known poker pros Scotty Nguyen, Ryan Leng, and 16x champion Phil Hellmuth. He defeated Chile’s Nick Yunis in a thrilling bull headed heads up match that saw both players most often at par. While it could have gone the Chilean’s way, Panayiotou’s found a winning wave at Razz and rode it to the end. Along with the golden bling, the newly minted champion also pocketed himself US$ 180,783, the biggest portion of the US$ 927,825 prize pool. Among the players that reached the money were 2x bracelet winner Erich Buchman (4th), Jake Liebeskind (6th) who was on his second final table, Robert Campbell (9th), Adam Friedman (10th), and Daniel Weinman (19th). Weinman is currently running 2nd in the WSOP POY race.

Buy in: US$ 1,500
Entries: 695
Prize pool: US$ 927,825
ITM: 105 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Menikos Panayiotou Cyprus 180,783
2nd Nick Yunis Chile 111,724
3rd Joon Park USA 75,938
4th Eric Buchman USA 52,621
5th Jason Stockfish USA 37,188
6th Jake Liebeskind USA 26,814
7th Adam Demersseman USA 19,735

Event 49: No Limit Hold’em – SIMEON SPASOV – US$ 527,944

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Simeon Spasov – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Katerina Lukina

Second series gold for Bulgaria with Simeon Spasov following in the tracks of fellow countryman Yuliyan Kolev. Spasov outlasted the 1,977 entry field of the $2K No Limit Hold’em event defeating veteran pro Mike Watson at heads up. Prior to the win, Spasov had only been cashing at the annual series since 2019 with his deepest run at the 2021 $800 NL Hold’em Deepstack in 19th place. Returning for the third year, Spasov first monied at two events before he landed the dream gold and the massive career high payout of US$ 527,944. 

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Hyunwoo Lim – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Danny Maxwell

To help Spasov on his successful hunt was was a very lucky pair of Tens turned straight that burned Ioannis Angelou Konstas’ pocket Queens set into 4th place. At three-handed, Spasov grinded down some of Watson’s towers and after the fall of Daniel Custodio (3rd), they faced off with Spasov ahead 2:1 in chips. Despite Watson’s attempts, it was not to be with the final hand Ace-Queen well dominating Watson’s Ace-Nine throughout. Only one Asian player found his way into the final table Korea’s Hyunwoo Lim who was on his WSOP debut. Lim finished in an impressive 9th place for a wadful US$ 46,253 first ever series cash. 

Buy in: US$ 2,000
Entries: 1,977
Prize pool: US$ 3,519,060
ITM: 297 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Simeon Spasov Bulgaria 527,944
2nd Mike Watson Canada 326,296
3rd Daniel Custodio Portugal 239,679
4th Ioannis Angelou Konstas Greece 177,761
5th Walter Ripper Brazil 133,129
6th Christopher Frank Germany 100,688
7th Evan Sandberg USA 76,912
8th Jack Corrigan USA 59,343
9th Hyunwoo Lim Korea 46,253
10th Steven Winsell USA 36,421

Event 50: $250K Super High Roller NL Hold’em – WILLIAM ALEX FOXEN – US$ 4,563,700

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William Alex Foxen – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Hayley Hochstetler

It was a long time coming for highly decorated American pro William Alex Foxen who had been hunting down that maiden bracelet since his first cash in 2015. The dream finally became reality and it could not have been at a more deserving moment than at the most expensive tournament of the series, the $250K Super High Roller No Limit Hold’em. Battling among fellow creme de la creme, Foxen banked the US$ 4,563,700 first prize, which is now the largest score of his outstanding poker career. It was also the heaviest first prize payout of the ongoing series to date. Foxen moved up to 5th rank in the WSOP POY race. The new champion told PokerNews, 

“It really means a lot to me. It’s kind of been a monkey on the back. I’ve always wanted a bracelet. I’ve had some close spots and always been disappointed … this feels like a really special one to get my first in. To me, what means the most is consistent performance at the highest stakes. This is one of those, so it feels really good.”

Prior to the win, Foxen’s booming career took flight in 2017 with 14 cashes at the 2017 WSOP live series in Las Vegas. That year he came very close to the gold with a 3rd finish at the $1K No Limit Hold’em. To complete the exceptional year, not only did he pocket his first ever six figure payout of US$ 204,600 for winning the $2,650 Seminole Hard Rock Open NLH event, he also scored his first seven figure payout at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event pocketing a massive US$ 1,134,202 for runner up. Foxen’s winning streak and deep runs continued into 2018 and 2019 resulting in back to back Global Poker Index Player of the Year titles. One of his biggest payouts was at the $300K Super High Roller Bowl NLH event collecting US$ 2,160,000 for runner up, which was his biggest score until his recent bracelet event takedown. 

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William Alex Foxen – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Hayley Hochstetler

To capture the title, the coveted gold bracelet, and the enormous first prize, Foxen picked up pace and the lead during the bubble round with a double up through two time series winner Daniel Zack. The hand saw pocket Aces hold firm against Ace-King. From there, Foxen proceeded to add more by cleaning out Nick Petrangelo on the bubble with pocket Fours besting another failed Ace-King. When the final table kicked off, average was 47 BB, Foxen was sitting on an enormous 142 BB. His closest challenger was Brandon Steven at 52 BB who was also seeking his first bracelet. Phil Ivey and Zack were on their fourth final table and were among the first to collect in 7th and 8th. After Martin Kabrhel fell in 6th place, the top five players were guaranteed seven figures. It was however no contest for the title with Foxen maintaining a tight grip on the lead. He entered heads up against Steven with a dominating stack of over 8:1 and closed it out fairly quick with a higher two pair. Like the champion, runner up Steven also claimed a career high payout of US$ 2,820,581. Third placer Chris Hunichen walked away with US$ 1,931,718. The top three payouts are currently the largest of the series to date.

Buy in: US$ 250,000
Entries: 56
Prize pool: US$ 13,944,000
ITM: 9 places

Payouts in USD

1st William Alex Foxen USA 4,563,700
2nd Brandon Steven USA 2,820,581
3rd Chris Hunichen USA 1,931,718
4th Adrian Mateos Spain 1,367,206
5th Sam Soverel USA 1,001,142
6th Martin Kabrhel Czech Republic 759,362
7th Phil Ivey USA 597,381
8th Daniel Zack USA 488,095
9th Henrik Hecklen Denmark 414,815

Event 51: Colossus No Limit Hold’em – PAUL HIZER – US$ 414,490

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Paul Hizer – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Danny Maxwell

Unlike the event above, the five day COLOSSUS was the cheapest of the series costing players only US$ 400 for a possible bracelet. This drew 13,565 to action for a prize pool of US$ 4,476,450. A long list of 2,009 players earned a cut with the largest of US$ 414,490 going to the lone survivor, UK’s Paul Hizer. Talking about his win to onsite media group PokerNews, 

“Played many tournaments. Had lots of deep runs. But I’ve never actually won a tournament outright. I don’t know if many people know that about me. I’m sure my close friends do. And maybe today was just written in the stars and I was meant to go all the way. I felt really confident, I felt like I had a really good game plan, and I’m just really thankful that it worked out.”

Hizer overcame a deficit at heads up against Samuel Laskowitz doubling up with AsQh straight on the river that beat 3c3d. Hizer continued to climb and impressed his loud rail with a king-high call to bust Laskowitz’s bluff. The loss led to Laskowitz end, pushing with 8c2c that didn’t improve against Hizer’s Ac3c. This was Laskowitz’s first ever WSOP cash and it was a big one of six figures, as for the champion Hizer, the golden dream was fulfilled on just his seventh WSOP cash. Hizer’s other accomplishments include 3rd place at the 2019 WPTDS Hollywood Main Event for US$ 119,820. 

Among the thousands of entries was a big contingent of Asian players however the deepest was very far from the gold. In the top 200 were Korea’s Ayoung Na (94th), Philippines Jeff Abutan (125th), India’s Siddharth Karia (142nd), Pakistan’s Muhammadkhurram Tharani (161st), and bracelet champion Taiwan’s Carlos Chang in 199th place. 

Buy in: US$ 400
Entries: 13,565
Prize pool: US$ 4,476,450
ITM: 2,009 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Paul Hizer UK 414,490
2nd Samuel Laskowitz USA 256,170
3rd Jordan Pelon France 193,240
4th James Scott UK 146,680
5th Luong Quach USA 112,060
6th Jeffrey Loiacono USA 86,160
7th Anthony Ruttler USA 66,670
8th William Gian USA 51,930
9th Syed Shah USA 40,710
10th Patrick Choueiri USA 32,130

Event 52: Nine Game Mix 6-Handed – KIJOON “KT” PARK – US$ 219,799

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Kijoon “KT” Park – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Hayley Hochstetler

Facing a final table lineup of bracelet champions at the Nine Game Mix 6-Handed, Kijoon “KT” Park stayed headstrong, building a substantial lead, and eventually disposing of the last three players to claim his first ever WSOP title and gold bracelet. It is difficult to say what variant Park favored as he raked in numerous pots at every game he faced. At heads up it was no contest with Brazil’s Andre Akkari unable to shake Park’s 11:1 chip advantage. It took only two hands for Park to clinch it and pocket US$ 219,799, his largest series score to date. The new champion has now matched up the WSOPC ring he won last year at Caesars Atlantic City. He has over US$ 328K in WSOP career earnings. 

Buy in: US$ 2,500
Entries: 456
Prize pool: US$ 1,014,600
ITM: 69 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Kijoon “KT” Park USA 219,799
2nd Andre Akkari Brazil 135,848
3rd Phillip Long UK 90,411
4th David Bach USA 61,588
5th Taylor Paur USA 42,965
6th Michael Chow USA 30,713
7th Nick Guagenti USA 22,512

Event 53: Mixed NL Hold’em / PL Omaha 8-Handed – JOAO SIMAO PERES – US$ 686,242

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Joao Simao Peres – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Hayley Hochstetler

Career second bracelet for Brazilian pro Joao Simao Peres at the the $5K Mixed No Limit Hold’em / Pot Limit Omaha 8-Handed. This was the first bracelet for the country in this series. Peres came out shining on top of the 788 entry field that was littered with some of the world’s best in these variants. One player at the final table hunting down his second bracelet was 2013 Main Event champion Ryan Riess who finished 3rd. Another player in the lineup was Fred Goldberg who was on his second final table. Goldberg‘s hunt for a second gold was denied in 7th place. On Peres’ road to victory, he eliminated five players at the final table before facing Germany’s Marius Gierse at heads up. With an advantage over 3:1, Peres gave no room for Gierse to become a threat. He cleaned out Gierse at PLO with same two pair but higher kicker. With the win, Peres pocketed US$ 686,242, besting his previous high score of US$ 228,946 earned at his first bracelet win in 2020. He now has over US$ 1.8 Million in WSOP earnings. Peres moved up to 4th rank in the WSOP POY race.

Buy in: US$ 5,000
Entries: 788
Prize pool: US$ 3,634,650
ITM: 119 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Joao Simao Peres Brazil 686,242
2nd Marius Gierse Germany 424,122
3rd Ryan Riess USA 302,980
4th Dante Goya Brazil 219,472
5th Aden Salazar USA 161,239
6th Mr Mcswiney Germany 120,165
7th Fred Goldberg USA 90,864
8th Cody Rich USA 69,727
9th Joni Jouhkimainen Finland 54,313

Event 54: SALUTE to Warriors – JAMES TODD – US$ 161,256

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James Todd – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews – Hayley Hochstetler

Another big crowd filled up the floor as the SALUTE to Warriors event drew 3,209 entries. Due to the fast structure, the event ran a quick three days with USA’s James Todd emerging out of the heap victorious. Impressively, everyone at the final table entered with 9 or less WSOP cashes in their portfolio. For Todd, the win was only his second ever WSOP cash. On the road to victory, Todd and runner up Brett Coltman took turns cleaning out players starting at 7-handed. Todd carried in a big lead at heads up then quickly wrapped it up to turn his lowly US$ 500 buy in into a sweet US$ 161,256 six figure payout. The event also raised US$ 74,809 for the United Service Organizations that assist American war veterans. 

Buy in: US$ 500
Entries: 3,209
Prize pool: US$ 1,444,050
ITM: 482 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st James Todd USA 161,256
2nd Brett Coltman USA 99,676
3rd Patrick Pilko USA 75,486
4th Randy Levin USA 57,544
5th RIgoberto Rodriguez USA 44,180
6th Nicholas Sena-Hopkins USA 34,146
7th Todd Saffron USA 26,574
8th Elias Neto Brazil 20,824
9th Maximo Martinez USA 16,433
10th Qasem Zyad USA 13,059

Online Event 5: Deepstack Championship – WILLIAM CORVINO – US$ 143,319

The fifth Online bracelet event saw 1,248 take advantage of the cheap US$ 600 buy in, each one hoping to turn it into gold. Making that happen was William Corvino who overcame a final table surrounded by a few minted players. Based on his WSOP stats, this was Corvino’s biggest series score and his first outside of circuit cashes. 

Buy in: US$ 600
Entries: 1,248
Prize pool: US$ 938,520
ITM: 289 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st William Corvino USA 149,319
2nd Pavel Plesuv Czech Republic 92,350
3rd Alex Soares USA 67,104
4th Nicolas Zolofra USA 49,178
5th Yudhister Jaswal UK 36,415
6th Jesse Yaginuma USA 27,217
7th Jeremiah Williams USA 20,554
8th Taylor Black USA 15,673
9th Dan Schmiech USA 12,107

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
2022 WSOP: Bracelet winners Event 15 – 25
2022 WSOP: Bracelet winners Event 26 – 36
2022 WSOP: Bracelet winners Event 37 – 44

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead 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 and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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