The 2022 World Series of Poker came to a close on Wednesday, with the Tournament of Champions playing down to a winner after a total of three days of play. Benjamin Kaupp managed to earn his first career WSOP gold bracelet in the last event of the series, and we’ll break down just how the final two days of the invitation-only tournament played out for a talented field of 2022 WSOP bracelet and ring winners.
Woof Has a Ball En Route to Day 2 TOC Chip Lead
A few new players jumped in with the 149 who bagged during Day 1 action to try and spin fifteen-big blind stacks up, bringing the total field in the $1 million dollar freeroll up to 470; those names included bracelet winners “Cowboy” Dan Smith, Stephen Song and Chad Eveslage. With the field finalized, 60 players were eligible to earn a piece of the seven-figure prize pool, with a min-cash good for $3,500 while the eventual winner would pocket a $250,000 payday and the final WSOP gold bracelet of the 2022 WSOP.
2022 WSOP Main Event champ Espen Jorstad was another of the final players to register, but he would join fellow bracelet winners Ari Engel, David Jackson, and Katie Kopp on the rail in the early going. A pair of WSOP Main Event champs fell just before the bubble between Joe McKeehen and Joe Cada, and when the field was down to the direct bubble, it looked like Event #73: $1,500 Razz champ Daniel Strelitz was going to be the last player to leave empty-handed, until he hit a pure one-outer to survive.
ITM of the $1M freeroll after tripling up with queens, then called off queens again in a 3way allin on stone bubble. Was up against TT and Q8, board game KT7QA, hit the one outter resuck to cash
— Daniel Strelitz (@dDeoxyribo) July 20, 2022
Daniel Weinman ended up as the unfortunate bubble boy after running kings into the aces of Carlos Loving, and the remaining 60 players were in the money. 2022 WSOP Player of the Year Dan Zack (55th – $3,500) was one of the first players who earned a payday, while Christopher Bissinger went on an absolute tear to head into the dinner break as the only player with over a million chips. Maxx Coleman (41st – $4,600) was one of the first to go after dinner, and he was followed by Fred Li (35th – $5,300), the aforementioned Strelitz (29th – $5,300) and Dan Smith (28th – $5,300), who already experienced some runbad during the dinner break before busting just short of the final three tables.
One hour dinner break in the tournament of “champions.”
Pull out my phone to document my awesome and I time out. Can’t breathe. pic.twitter.com/1wcfbQuNBn
— Dan Smith (@DanSmithHolla) July 20, 2022
Before play ended for the day, Bissinger (22nd – $6,200) had his hot run come crashing to a halt after losing a series of hands, and Daniel Sepiol (18th – $6,200) and Ivan Deyra (17th – $7,400) were the final two casualties before play concluded for the day. Jonathan Woof, who won a monster pot against Robert Cowen just before the redraw to the final three tables, ended the day with the chip lead over the remaining field of 16, with Loving and Cowen both in striking distance, while Benjamin Kaupp was the only other player above 50 big blinds at the end of the day.
WSOP 2022: Tournament of Champions Day 2 Top Ten Chip Counts
- Jonathan Woof – 2,190,000
- Carlos Loving – 1,800,000
- Robert Cowen – 1,685,000
- Benjamin Kaupp – 1,250,000
- Erik Bauer – 985,000
- Gregory Wish – 955,000
- Raul Garza – 915,000
- Yuliyan Kolev – 870,000
- Ali Eslami – 790,000
- Ryan Messick – 660,000
Kaupp Claims Final Bracelet of 2022 WSOP
The final sixteen players returned on Wednesday to duke it out for the Tournament of Champions bracelet, and Benjamin Kaupp, who earned his ticket to the freeroll by winning a ring during the 2022 WSOP Online Pennsylvania Circuit, added a cool quarter-million dollars and a WSOP bracelet to the $14,954 and WSOP ring he won after a ten-and-a-half hour final day on the felt.
Alan Gibson (16th – $7,400) was first to go, busting his short stack to Kaupp, and Antoine Vranken (15th – $7,400) and Ryan Hohner (14th – $7,400) swiftly followed. Kaupp continued his ascent up the counts after dispatching Dominick Sarle (13th – $9,100) with aces, and Carlos Loving (12th – $9,100) and Erik Bauer (11th – $11,400) were the final two to fall before the field combined to the unofficial final table of ten.
Jonathan Woof’s chip lead at the start of the day had evaporated by the time the final table was reached, and he three-bet shoved his stack of just over 32 big blinds in with eights early on at the final table. Ali Eslami was waiting with kings, however, and Woof’s bark ran out of bite in tenth, bringing the table down to the official final table of nine. Gianluca Speranza would bust his short stack shortly after, and once Eric Bensimhon fell in eighth, the final seven players reconvened on the PokerGo Mothership for the final livestream of the 2022 WSOP.
Kaupp began the stream in the middle of the pack, but quickly rose up the ranks after finding aces and doubling through the Big Slick of Ryan Messick, who earned a WSOP bracelet online Monday morning in the WSOP Pennsylvania Online Bracelet Series then flew in on a red-eye to claim his seat. Kaupp would maintain his momentum, knocking out Yuliyan Kolev and his KFC bucket hat a few hands later.
Yuliyan Kolev is our first final table casualty as the bracelet winner from earlier this summer ran into the queens of Benjamin Kaupp.
Kolev collects $27,500 for his efforts.
— PokerGO (@PokerGO) July 21, 2022
Gregory Wish lost the remaining crumbs of his short stack a few hands later, and Ali Eslami ran top pair into the nut flush of Messick to lose all but a single 5k chip, which was gone one hand later. The final four, who at this point were fairly evenly stacked up, would then play for nearly two hours before the next major confrontation, which saw Kaupp put a bad beat on Messick to essentially swap stacks.
Brutal beat for Messick as Kaupp stays in the hunt for the bracelet and the $250,000 top prize.
— PokerGO (@PokerGO) July 21, 2022
With the blinds finally starting to catch up to the final four, Robert Cowen made a stand with for his last 18 big blinds, but failed to improve against the of Messick to bust. Kaupp then caught a big bluff from Raul Garza to take a commanding lead, and while Messick managed one double through Kaupp, he wouldn’t be so lucky a few hands later, leaving the newly-minted Pennsylvania bracelet winner out in third and ensuring the winner of the Tournament of Champions would be earning their first WSOP gold bracelet.
Kaupp began heads-up play with a huge 8:1 chip lead, but Garza notched an early double to keep his hopes for his first WSOP bracelet on life support. On the fourth hand of heads-up, Garza ripped his last 14 big blinds in with , and Kaupp made the call with . A flop and turn left Garza looking to pair up to survive, but the river left Kaupp overcome with emotion, as he rested his head on the rail of the final table, drinking in his accomplishment before embracing Garza. Kaupp earned $250,000 and his first WSOP gold bracelet, while Garza had to settle for a hefty $150,000 consolation prize.
Congratulations to Benjamin Kaupp for winning the 2022 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions for $250,000! pic.twitter.com/QLA2uw8fOm
— PokerGO (@PokerGO) July 21, 2022
WSOP 2022: Tournament of Champions Final Table Results
- Benjamin Kaupp – $250,000
- Raul Garza – $150,000
- Ryan Messick – $100,000
- Robert Cohen – $75,000
- Ali Eslami – $50,000
- Gregory Wish – $37,500
- Yuliyan Kolev – $27,500
- Eric Bensimhon – $20,000
- Gianluca Speranza – $15,000
- Jonathan Woof – $11,400
Official photographs courtesy of PokerGO, the home of live-streamed action throughout the 2022 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.