2022 WSOP first time bracelet winners: Henry Acain, Dan Smith, Amnon Filippi, Chad Eveslage, and Alex Livingston; over US$ 24.8M already paid out


The 53rd Annual World Series of Poker is in full swing at its new home in Ballys and Paris Las Vegas Casino. As players continue to pour in for the biggest yearly spectacle, bracelets are quickly being snatched. The next batch of stars were all first time series champions: Henry Acain, Dan Smith, Amnon FIlippi, Chad Eveslage, and Alex Livingston. Also delivering stellar performances were 2021 WSOP Main Event champion Koray Aldemir and 4x bracelet winner Brad Ruben, both players reaching their second final table. Nine out of the 88 bracelets have now been claimed. Nonstop action continues with the series running from May 31 to July 20. 

Photo credit – WSOP / PokerNews / Hayley Hochstetler

Festival update

Event 1 – 9 prize pool: US$ 24,811,690
Entries: 23,870
Multiple final tables: Koray Aldemir (2), Brad Ruben (2)
Career 4th bracelet: David Peters, Scott Seiver, Brad Ruben

Event 5: The Housewarming NLH – HENRY ACAIN – US$ 701,215

To break in the WSOP’s new home, opening week featured The Housewarming No Limit Hold’em tournament with buy in at an affordable US$ 500. As expected, it brought everyone out of the woodwork. The largest turnout was seen at Day 1D with 7,268 hitting the felt. In total, 20,080 signed up across four starting days for an enormous US$ 8,433,600 prize pool.  

Henry Acain – Photo credit – WSOP / PokerNews / Hayley Hochstetler

Two days later, the big field was down to the final 12 players. With the exception of bracelet winner Jordan Hufty, everyone was seeking their first gold. That dream came true for American player Henry Acain who seemed to have lady luck on his side throughout. Acain came from behind on numerous occasions to dust a couple of players including Jared Kingery at heads up. Kingery was all in with AsAd, Acain had Ac3s, the board ran Ah7c8cKc4c for an unbelievable flush over set victory. Acain captured the coveted bracelet and the hefty six figure US$ 701,215 first prize. Unlike many players that hunt down bracelets year after year, Acain won the gold on just his second WSOP cash. 

Outside of the world stage, Acain has picked up numerous cashes and small wins in the USA and in the Philippines. This incredible achievement sent his live tournament earnings soaring to nearly US$ 1M. Notable Taiwanese player Cheli Lin also ran deep, finishing in 40th place.

Buy in: US$ 500
Entries: 20,080
Prize pool: US$ 8,433,600
ITM: 2,778 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Henrieto Acain USA 701,215
2nd Jared Kingery USA 433,255
3rd Christian Taylor USA 326,965
4th Orez Mokedi USA 248,340
5th Jen-Yue Chiang USA 189,850
6th Darnell White USA 146,080
7th Jordan Hufty USA 113,145
8th Erik Carvalho USA 88,214
9th Isidro Martinez USA 69,235
10th Yavine Brewer USA 54,705

Event 6: Heads Up NLH Championship – DAN SMITH – US$ 509,717

Spectators gathered around to catch glimpses of the world’s elite as they pulled up seats to the mightiest showdown in town, the Heads Up No Limit Hold’em Championship. This was the second consecutive year the event cost a steep US$ 25,000 to enter, and unlike last year, all 64 seats were snatched up. 

Dan Smith – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews / Spenser Sembrat

To reach the money round, players had to get past three battles. Among those that couldn’t crack their third were Phil Ivey, Koray Aldemir, Anthony Zinno, and Alex Foxen. Having recently missed the gold at the $100K High Roller Bounty, Chance Kornuth hoped to redeem himself in this event however, once again he was stopped, this time settling for a fourth round finish that tripled his buy in. 

Italian pro Dario Sammartino fared one step better, reaching the semis but no further. That meant Sammartino’s hunt for that ever so elusive first career bracelet continues. At the finals, it was USA’s Dan Smith and Germany’s Christoph Vogelsang, both players seeking their maiden WSOP title. With a bit of help from the poker gods, Smith clinched it along with the US$ 509,717 first prize. This payout may pale in comparison to the seven figure payouts commanding his WSOP portfolio –  US$ 4 Million for 3rd at the 2018 WSOP The Big One for One Drop and US$ 3.078 Million for 2nd at the 2016 High Roller for One Drop – but it is one he will treasure as it came with an accompanying gold bracelet. 

Buy in: US$ 25,000
Entries: 64 (maximum)
Prize pool: US$ 1,512,000
ITM: 8 places

Payouts in USD

1st Dan Smith USA 509,717
2nd Christoph Vogelsang Germany 315,029
3rd Dario Sammartino Italy 193,537
4th Kevin Rabichow USA 193,537
5th Sean Winter USA 75,045
6th Jonathan Jaffe USA 75,045
7th Chance Kornuth USA 75,045
8th Dylan Destefano USA 75,045

Event 7: Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better – AMNON FILIPPI – US$ 252,718

Omaha is the second most popular poker variant worldwide, and at the series, this was proven by the US$ 1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better bracelet event which drew a record breaking 1,086 entries. Scattered around the tables were some of the world’s toughest contenders such as multiple bracelet holders Phil Hellmuth, Mike Matusow, Robert Campbell, David “Bakes” Baker, Robert Mizrachi, and Shaun Deeb to name a few. While all of them did end up with a portion of the US$ 1,449,810 prize pool, the biggest cut was seized by USA’s Amnon Filippi after outlasting fellow countryman Matt Vengrin at heads up. Filippi walked away US$ 252,718 richer and finally locked up his first ever WSOP bracelet on his 52nd series career cash. 

Amnon Filippi – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews / Danny Maxwell

Taking a look at Filippi’s stats, his first series cash was in 2005 for US$ 10K. Two years later, he banked it big at the US$ 50,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship pocketing US$ 586,080 for 4th place. To date, that remains his highest series score. The years that followed saw a fourteen year final table drought which ended last week with a long overdue victory. At the final table, Filippi bested bracelet holders Mel Judah, Rami Boukai, and Murilo Figueredo. As for Asia, Japanese pro Kosei Ichinose finished strong in 14th place and China’s Ziyuan Wang cashed out in 21st. 

Buy in: US$ 1,500
Entries: 1,086
Prize pool: US$ 1,449,810
ITM: 165 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Amnon Filippi USA 252,718
2nd Matt Vengrin USA 156,198
3rd Paul Zappulla USA 111,501
4th Murilo Figueredo Brazil 80,671
5th Matt Glantz USA 59,166
6th David Funkhouser USA 43,997
7th Rami Boukai USA 33,178
8th Mel Judah Australia 25,377
9th Ronan Nally Ireland 19,692

Event 8: High Roller NLH 8-Handed – CHAD EVESLAGE – US$  1,415,610

Another bracelet event burning the pocket US$ 25,000 was the High Roller No Limit Hold’em 8-Handed yet it did not deter the big guns from coughing it up. It attracted 251 runners for a prize pool of US$ 5,929,875, making it the second largest pot after eight completed events.

Chad Eveslage – Photo credit WSOP / PokerNews / Danny Maxwell

Among the top 38 that earned a cut were Phil Ivey (34th) for his second cash, David Peters (27th) for his third cash, Brian Rast (19th) who went on to reach the final table of the next event, and 2021 WSOP Main Event champion Koray Aldemir (6th) who became the first player to reach two final tables. Aldemir finished 5th at the earlier $100K High Roller Bounty NLH. Going even deeper was 2021 WSOP Player of the Year Josh Arieh in 3rd place to leave the gold chase between Jake Schindler and Chad Eveslage.

Both players were backed by impressive WSOP results throughout their career but had yet to snag one of the coveted golden merchs. In the end, Eveslage prevailed, capturing the bracelet and a career high US$ 1,415,610 payout. This boosted his WSOP earnings to over US$ 2.5 Million across 62 total cashes. As for runner up Schindler, it was his career fifth WSOP final table and largest series payout. Coming this close once again, he will no doubt be back to hunt down that gold in the next few days.  

Buy in: US$ 25,000
Entries: 251
Prize pool: US$ 5,929,875
ITM: 38 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Chad Eveslage USA 1,415,610
2nd Jake Schindler USA 874,915
3rd Josh Arieh USA 616,047
4th Christopher Brewer USA 442,213
5th Brekstyn Schutten Germany 323,730
6th Koray Aldemir USA 241,791
7th Antonio Lievano USA 184,324
8th Ognyan Dimov Bulgaria 143,480
9th Dan Colpoys USA 114,094

Event 9: Seven Card Stud – ALEX LIVINGSTON – US$ 103,282

Alex Livingston
Alex Livingston – Photo credit – WSOP / PokerNews / Hayley Hochstetler

The US$ 1,500 buy in Seven Card Stud pulled in a sizable 329 entries to generate a prize pool of US$ 439,215. Among the 50 players that reached the money was Japanese player Tamon Nakamura in 26th place. Nakamura has been holed up in Las Vegas since March attending the US Poker Open where he shipped a couple of the events. 

Tamon Nakamura – Photo credit Asian Poker Tour

While he continues his hunt for that first gold, up the rung were numerous players decorated with WSOP bling. In 7th place was Brad Ruben who won his fourth bracelet at the earlier Event 4: Dealers Choice 6-Handed. He became the second player to reach two final tables. Bracelet holders John Racener and Kenny Hsiung finished 6th and 5th respectively. Locking up the win was Canadian pro Alex Livingston for his first ever bracelet. This achievement comes three years after finishing an incredible 3rd place at the 2019 WSOP Main Event where he pocketed a handsome US$ 4 mil. Livingston defeated WSOPC ring winner Daniel Weinman at heads up. 

Buy in: US$ 1,500
Entries: 329
Prize pool: US$ 439,215
ITM: 50 places

Final table payouts in USD

1st Alex Livingston Canada 103,282
2nd Daniel Weinman USA 63,835
3rd Thomas Taylor Canada 44,112
4th Hojeong Lee USA 31,083
5th Kenny Hsiung USA 22,344
6th John Racener USA 16,391
7th Brad Ruben USA 12,276
8th John Evans USA 9,391
9th Matthew Aronowitz USA 7,342

More 2022 WSOP recaps to follow here at Somuchpoker.

2022 WSOP underway: first five bracelet winners

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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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