On a busy day of action in Las Vegas, Nevada, the rooms were packed at both Bally’s and Paris casinos as Steve Albini won a WSOP bracelet and the first day of the Millionaire Maker took place with over 3,500 entries.
Music Guru Albini Claims Second Bracelet
American musician and poker player Steve Albini won his second WSOP bracelet after conquering the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. Event #32, taking down the top prize of $196,089 after a thrilling final table victory. The guitarist, record producer and music engineer has worked with musicians and bands such as Robert Plant, Nirvana, The Pixies and PJ Harvey. This week, he’s now become a multiple WSOP bracelet winner after an entertaining race to the title.
Starting the final table in middle position and very much part of the chasing pack, former WSOP Main Event runner-up and bracelet winner David Williams busted in ninth place to Eddy Vataru, and afterwards expressed his disappointment on Twitter.
Brutal last stretch and came up short. Two 9th place in 6 days get no “final tables”. Funny how that works.
— David Williams (@dwpoker) June 17, 2022
By that point, Albini, who had also come into play as one of the chasing pack, had taken the chip lead. With 5.3 million chips, only Jason Daly (3.9m) was within range. One of the most in-form players in poker, Japanese player Tamon Nakamura was the next to go, busting in eighth place for $19,373. Vataru followed him from the felt shortly after, with Richard Bai again the beneficiary.
Bai was again the victor as he claimed a third scalp in a row, busting Peter Brownstein in sixth place for $33,552 and bumping up to 4.7 million chips. Albini was staying ahead, claiming small pots, but suffered a big loss to James Morgan to slip down the pecking order. That changed again, however, as Albini – who rang a small bell at the felt when he won the pot was dinging his way up the leaderboard again with a series of pot wins.
After the elimination of Kyle Loman in fifth place and an extended period where no-one busted, the remaining four players went to the dinner break, with Bai and Albini both short-stacked behind the massive chip lead of Jason Daly. Both short stacks had just a third of Morgan’s stack, who himself had only half of Daly’s monster stack.
When Morgan took out Bai in fourth shortly after play resumed, Albini knew that he had to make a move or one might not be there to make. Relentless in his aggression, Albini went from short stack to a massive chip leader with 11.3 million, his two opponents barely scraping 6 million between them. Albini took out Daly in third place and in doing so gave himself a 5:1 chip lead going into the heads-up battle for the bracelet against his Canadian opponent Morgan.
Heads up lasted a short while, but it didn’t take too long for Albini to get the job done in Stud 8 or Better after winning three successive hands in Seven Card Stud. Morgan was consigned to the runner-up position, cashing for $121,195, while Albini won $196,089 and his second WSOP bracelet. Albini was delighted and shared his success with fans on Twitter, many of them poker’s finest.
— steve albini (@electricalWSOP) June 18, 2022
WSOP 2022 Event #32 $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. Final Table Results:
- Steven Albini – $196,089
- James Morgan – $121,195
- Jason Daly – $85,943
- Richard Bai – $61,862
- Kyle Loman – $45,209
- Peter Brownstein – $33,552
- Eddy Vataru – $25,294
- Tamon Nakamura – $19,373
French Connection Leads Freezeout Field
Just 10 players remain in the hunt for gold in Event #34, the $1,500-entry Freezeout event, which worked its way down from 158 players to just survivors on the penultimate day of the tournament which has a $364,899 top prize. Players such as Koray Aldemir (133rd), Andre Akkari (120th), Cary Katz (111th) and Garry Gates (99th) all busted early for less than $4,000 and soon it was a race to the final ten.
Landon Tice and Martin Jacobson were two of the biggest names to crash out, with the pair each busting with three tables left. Soon only 10 remained and of those, it was Samuel Bifarella (10,375,000) who has the most chips. With fellow French players Maxine Parys (9,000,000) and Michel Leibgorin (4,000,000) both in the top four, Justin Pechie (4,890,000) is the American in a French sandwich at the top.
Previous bracelet winners Steve Zolotow (3,775,000) and Jeremy Wien (2,100,000) will be looking to claim their third and second bracelets respectively.
WSOP 2022 Event #34 $1,500 Freezeout NLHE Final Table Chipcounts:
- Samuel Bifarella – 10,375,000
- Maxime Parys – 9,000,000
- Justin Pechie – 4,890,000
- Michel Leibgorin – 4,000,000
- Steve Zolotow – 3,775,000
- Dwayne Sullivan – 3,445,000
- David Dibernardi – 2,850,000
- Jeremy Wien – 2,100,000
- Kenny Robbins – 2,040,000
- Orson Young – 1,790,000
Big Names Survive Big Bet Event on Day 2
Just 17 players survived from the 101 players who took part in Day 2 of the $2,500-entry Event #35, the Big Bet event. Among them, some of the biggest names in mixed game poker made the cut, with no fewer than nine former bracelet victories among the 17 players to make the final day.
Leading the field in terms of chips is Drew Scott, who bagged up 1,340,000 chips and a comfortable lead over stars like Galen Hall (1,127,000) and Chris Smith (1,048,000), both of whom are the only other players to top a million chips. Others to make the top 10 chipcounts included Michael Trivett (742,000), Patrick Leonard (495,000) and Keith Lehr (459,000).
Plenty of stars of the felt also busted on Day 2, with Mike Watson, Dario Sammartino, George Alexander, Jerry Wong, Benny Glaser, Frank Kassela, Daniel Weinman, Brian Rast and the 2021 WSOP Player of the Year Josh Arieh all busting out, with Areih sharing a pro tip from the event for his followers.
Tourn poker tip 183: When on the bubble, bluffing the richest guy in the tournament is a bad idea. #imanidiot
— Joshua Arieh (@golferjosh) June 18, 2022
WSOP 2022 Event #35 $2,500 Mixed Big Bet Top 10 Chipcounts:
- Drew Scott – 1,340,000
- Galen Hall – 1,127,000
- Christopher Smith – 1,048,000
- Lok Chan – 909,000
- Ryan Moriarty – 908,000
- Rami Boukai – 792,000
- Michael Trivett – 742,000
- Patrick Leonard – 495,000
- Keith Lehr – 459,000
- Scott Bohlman – 416,000
Jeff Madsen Chases Fifth Bracelet on Final Day of Seven Card Stud Event
With just 15 of the 152 players who started the day surviving, U.S. player Chris Papastratis built a huge chip lead, holding 3,200,000 chips by the close of play, more than Kenny Hsiung (1,560,000) and Jeff Madsen (1,340,000) in second and third place respectively. Madsen especially will be desperate to catch up on the final day, chasing his fifth gold bracelet and the top prize of $135,260.
With the top 71 players making the money places on Day 2, some, such as Andrew Barber, Mike Matusow, Alex Livingston and John Cernuto came close but failed to make profit. Others did so but couldn’t make the final day’s play, with Michael Mizrachi (71st for $2,421), Max Pescatori (61st for $2,421) and Barry Greenstein (45th for $3,026) all cashing.
WSOP 2022 Event #36 $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Top 10 Chipcounts:
- Chris Papastratis – 3,200,000
- Kenny Hsiung – 1,560,000
- Jeff Madsen – 1,340,000
- John Holley – 1,030,000
- Jon Kyte – 825,000
- Scott Lake – 615,000
- Chad Campbell – 600,000
- John Bunch – 600,000
- Brian Scholl – 535,000
- Ali Eslami – 490,000
Two More Events Close Day 18 Play
On Day 1a of the Millionaire Maker, an incredible 3,546 entries were whittled down to 738 players on Day 1. Rick Alvarado (466,500) led the field as play stopped for the night, but he is followed closely by Russian professional Anatoly Filatov (429,500) and Federico Castaing (427,000), with Perry Johnson (413,500) not far back.
Some very big names also survived the day, with Jason Wheeler bagging 369,500 for a top 10 chip stack, with Elio Fox (275,000) Shannon Shorr (244,000), Maria Ho (114,500) and Niall Farrell (99,000) all making the cut too. Big names such as Daniel Lazrus, David Pham, Kevin Gerhart, DJ Alexander, Upeshka De Silva and Ben Heath all hit the rail.
WSOP 2022 Event #37 $1,500 Millionaire Maker Day 1a Top 10 Chipcounts:
- Rick Alvarado – 466,500
- Anatoly Filatov – 429,500
- Federico Castaing – 427,000
- Perry Johnston – 413,500
- Stanislav Angelov – 412,500
- Vu To – 389,000
- Ian Modder – 386,000
- Santiago Plante – 375,500
- Jason Wheeler – 369,500
- Cosmin Joldis – 368,000
Finally, in the $10,000-entry No Limit 2-7 Single Draw Championship, the 38th event of the 2022 WSOP concluded its Day 1 with Mark Johns (424,500) in the lead of 40 others who survived from 110 entries.
With players such as 2022 WSOP bracelet winner Alex Livingston (320,000) and four-time WPT winner Darren Elias (267,500) chasing him down, the chip leader will surely not have everything his own way on Day 2, with Jeremy Ausmus (262,500), Bradley Anderson (233,000), Scott Seiver (226,000), and Phil Hellmuth (197,500) all staying the Day 1 course.
Some to lose their stacks on the opening day included Shaun Deeb, Ben Lamb, Koray Aldemir, David ‘ODB’ Baker, Chad Eveslage, Dario Sammartino and Dan Smith.
WSOP 2022 Event #38 $10,000 NL 2-7 Single Draw Top 10 Chipcounts:
- Mark Johns – 424,500
- Alex Livingston – 320,000
- Darren Elias – 267,500
- Farzad Bonyadi – 267,000
- Thomas Newton – 265,500
- Jeremy Ausmus – 262,500
- Ben Diebold – 257,500
- Dan Shak – 241,000
- Maxx Coleman – 240,500
- Yuri Dzivielevski – 240,500
Optimization is a thing in poker and Darren Elias is here with a little advice for anyone looking to get into the game or make it as a winning player.
Many different ways to make a living in poker. Tournaments/cash games, online/live, mixed/NL etc. Few players win across the board in all formats. It’s important to find your most profitable niche and put in volume in that arena. (1/2)
— Darren Elias (@DarrenElias) June 17, 2022
Some players attend the World Series to Poker purely to tick something off their bucket list.
One for the bucket list: busted Phil Ivey in PLO, boat > flush. 71k at break, 1k/2k blinds next.
— Marcel Vonk (@MrSparco) June 17, 2022
Scott Seiver reported good times from one particular table and its clear that the four-time bracelet winner is loving the game as much as ever.
— Scott Seiver (@scott_seiver) June 18, 2022
Finally, imagine meeting one of your poker heroes for the first time after working in the same industry for years and this is what happens. It could only be Chainsaw.
Me: “How’s it going Allen?”
Allen: “You wouldn’t believe it, so I had pocket sixes…”
😂😂😂 Allen is the best.
— Johnnie VIBΞS (@JohnnieVibes) June 18, 2022
Official photographs courtesy of PokerGO, the home of live-streamed action throughout the 2022 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.