There’s something to be said for saving the best for last. The World Poker Tour has brought the end of their 2022 tournament season to the Wynn Las Vegas and simultaneously brought back a classic event (it was last officially held in 2017). The 2022 WPT World Championship has been revived and, whether it was because of the prestige of the tournament or its massive guarantee, the players have responded by smashing previous records and the guarantee for the tournament.
Nearly Doubles Guarantee Set
The three-Day Ones provided a great opportunity for players to get in on the action of the 2022 WPT World Championship. Over the three starting flights, a total of 2960 entries were received, an unheard-of number for a prestigious $10,000 buy-in event. This allowed the WPT to shatter several records and exceed the guarantee that had been set for the tournament.
First, the $15 million guarantee seems to have been the right amount to bring out the heavy hitters. The total prize pool nearly doubled the guarantee – $29,008,000, to be exact – making it the largest tournament in the history of the WPT. The previous largest event seems minuscule in comparison; the 2021 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown drew in a field of 2482 entries.
That event, however, was only a $3500 buy-in tournament. The 2022 WPT World Championship is the largest ever $10,000 buy-in event held by the organization and, as such, the players will be well compensated from the prize pool. 370 players will eventually walk away with some cash from the tournament, with a minimum payday of $17,400 for those on the bottom of the scale.
The numbers get a bit staggering when you start moving up the ladder. For the first time in WPT history, the official six-handed final table will all receive a seven-figure payday. The eventual winner of the WPT World Championship will earn the largest prize in WPT history, $4,146,400, plus the prestige of being crowned the WPT World Champion and putting their name on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions’ Cup.
Day 1C Brings Massive Final Day Crowd
Per usual at multi-Day One tournaments, the final flight of the 2022 WPT World Championship drew in the largest of the three-day fields. Day 1A saw a sizeable 615 entry field come to the tables at the Wynn Las Vegas, while Day 1B topped that by bringing in 1052 entries to eclipse the guarantee with a flight to go. That final flight would provide the most difficult battle for the competitors in this year’s tournament.
A monstrous 1293 entries were received on Thursday, bringing the final numbers for the tournament to that 2960 number. As to those who will step to the felt on Day Two for action, 235 players moved on from Day 1A, 438 players advanced from Day 1B, and unofficial estimates put 540 players through from Day 1C. It makes for an unofficial field of 1213 players who step back to the felt on Friday, with an unofficial leaderboard that looks like this:
1. Aryan Oliveira, 1.551 million (Day 1B)
2. Krasimir Yankov, 1.062 million (1C)
3. Justin Bonomo, 1.011 million (1A)
4. Nissar Quraishi, 969,000 (1C)
5. Adnan Mohammed, 958,000 (1C)
6. Tim Reilly, 943,000 (1C)
7. Joey Couden, 935,000 (1A)
8. Steven McKuin, 895,000 (1A)
9. Andrew Crookston, 879,000 (1B)
10. Gin Tillman, 825,000 (1B)
Plenty of threats remain on down the standings. Champions’ Club members (previous WPT champions) such as Dan Smith (746,000), James Carroll (624,000), Freddy Deeb (589,000), Roberto Romanello (725,000), Griffin Paul (625,000), and James Romero (600,000) are all adequately stacked to make deep runs in the tournament. Other top pros such as John Monnette (760,000), Brian Rast (530,000), Matt Stout (680,000), Frank Kassela (554,000), Upeshka de Silva (520,000), and Adam Hendrix (658,000) all present significant challenges.
If there is one thing that is a constant in tournament poker, it is that you cannot win a poker tournament on Day One. None of these names may be around when the final six players are determined. We will find out who those individuals are on Sunday when the final table will play out and the next World Champion will be determined in the 2022 WPT World Championship conclusion to the 2022 tournament poker season.