Tie at the top
Sometimes you just have to veer from the original plan to do what is best for the players. The 2022 World Series of Poker Main Event final table was supposed to be nine-handed, but after a nearly 17-hour Day 7, tournament officials decided to end the day with ten players still remaining. Thus, the final table will begin on Friday as an “unofficial” ten-handed final table.
two players are in a dead heat for the chip lead entering final table play
Adding to the uniqueness of this year’s Main Event is what is going on at the top of the leaderboard. In what is almost certainly a first in the 53 years of the WSOP, two players are in a dead heat for the chip lead entering final table play. Both Matthew Su and Espen Jorstad have 83.200 million chips; their closest competitor (besides each other) is Matija Dobric, with 68.650 million.
Wednesday’s action began at 2pm PT with just 35 players left of the original 8,663-entrant field. Jeffrey Farnes was the chip leader entering Day 7 and he is still alive, though now 7th in chips. A long day and night were clearly possible, as eliminations slow dramatically late in the Main Event as the pay jumps become substantial, but when it was almost 7am by the time Robert Welch was eliminated in 11th place, the wise decision to call it a morning was made for the health and sanity of everyone involved.
Fold of the decade
The highlight of Day 7 was not some incredible all-in and call for a massive pot, but one of the best laydowns you will ever see, especially considering the circumstances. With 14 players remaining in the Main Event and blinds at 400,000/800,000, Farnes raised to 2.3 million from early position with K♠-K♦. David Diaz called from the small blind with A♠-Q♥.
The flop was a big one: K♥-Q♦-2♦, giving Farnes top set and Diaz middle pair, top kicker. Farnes bet 2.7 million and Diaz called once again.
The Q♠ on the turn was horrible for Diaz. It gave him trips, but also gave Farnes a full house and a stranglehold on the hand. Diaz bet 4 million and Farnes called, waiting for the river to strike. The 2♠ on the river was even worse for Diaz, as he now also had a boat, but a worse one than did Farnes. This was it. Diaz was going home in 14th place. Nobody is getting away from that hand.
Diaz bet 7 million, confident in his monster hand, but Farnes quickly moved all-in. Farnes had Diaz slightly covered, so Diaz had to make a decision for his tournament life. Though it seemed like an easy call with a full house, Diaz smelled a rat. He tanked for six minutes before making a nearly impossible fold.
Diaz only lasted one more spot, bowing out in 13th place, but that meant an extra $115,000 in prize money, so it was quite the lucrative lay down.
Two days to go
The 2022 WSOP Main Event began on July 3 with the first of four starting flights. By the end of late registration on Day 2D (July 8), the field closed at 8,663 players, making this the second-largest Main Event of all time, just shy of 2006’s 8,773 entrants.
The money bubble surprisingly popped on Day 3; tournament officials had told players not to expect to make the money that day, but eliminations came fast and furious on Saturday. With 1,302 players remaining and the Main Event paying to 1,300 spots, five tables had all-ins and calls at the same time and only two of those all-in players won their hands. The three players who got knocked out split 1,300th-place money.
Last year’s Main Event champ, Koray Aldemir, finished in 75th place, concluding an incredible two-year Main Event run. Efthymia Litsou was the “last woman standing,” finishing in 18th place, the deepest run for a woman in the Main Event since Gaelle Baumann finished 10th in 2012. Barbara Enright is the only woman to make the Main Event final table, placing 5th in 1995.
Today is a day off for the players and a much needed one at that. The final table – now with ten players instead of nine – will begin at 1:30pm Las Vegas time on Friday, July 15 and will play down to four players. The champion will be determined on Saturday.
Those who wish to watch the Main Event final table will need to subscribe to PokerGO, which is live-streaming every hand. PokerGO has monthly, quarterly, and annual subscription plans available.