In what was a rather quick fashion, the 2022 World Series of Poker Championship Event went from “unofficial” to the final three. In less than 12 hours, the unofficial final table of ten players was whittled down to three fortunate finalists. As Saturday prepares to crown poker’s next World Champion, Norway’s Espen Jorstad is the man in the prime position with a massive chip stack over Australian Adrian Attenborough and Argentinian Michael Duek.
Opening Action a Bit Slower…
The Day Eight action for the 2022 WSOP Championship Event did not get off to a roaring start. After an impassioned “shuffle up and deal” speech from poker legend Doyle Brunson, the final ten men set about the task of getting to the nine-handed official final table with Jorstad and Matthew Su tied atop the leaderboard with 83.2 million chips. It would take all of seven hands, surprisingly, to make the final table official, and it came in a stunning fashion.
Asher Conniff had come to the action with the second lowest chip stack, and he knew he was going to have to make some moves. Thus, on Hand 7 he would jam his 17.7 million chips to the center, daring anyone to come along. Duek was the one who would look him up and, when the cards were on their back, the race was on:
Conniff: pocket tens
The flop ended absolutely any drama that might have been created. Coming down with the THREE remaining Kings in the deck, the flopped quads for Duek eliminated any chances that Conniff had for doubling up. The dealer went through the formalities of dealing out the turn (4♦) and the river (6♦), but it was all over for the former World Poker Tour World Champion as Conniff left on the official final table bubble.
After Conniff’s departure, the tournament went into an extended slumber. Nearly 100 hands would be played before the next player left the event, and it would be one of the start-of-day chip leaders.
Matthew Su would find pocket eights and shove over the opening bet of Attenborough, only to see Phillippe Souki pop it up even higher. That was enough to get Attenborough out, and he was correct in his fold. Souki’s pocket Kings cooled Su’s pocket eights, and the ensuing Jack high board did not help Su come from behind. Souki stacked up Su’s chips as Su left the tournament in ninth place.
…Before Picking Up the Pace
The elimination of Su seemed to get the chips to start flowing at the final table. Within four hours, the number of players went from eight to three. It was in this mix that Jorstad and Attenborough made their moves towards the top of the leaderboard.
Jorstad did not seem to make any missteps throughout the Day Eight play, consistently adding to his stack without much risk. By far the more active of the two men was Attenborough, who yo-yoed up and down the standings while maintaining an upwards trajectory. Jorstad’s steady play seemed to be the way to go, however, as he brought the tournament to the final three players.
Originally the intentions of WSOP officials were to play down to the final four players and call the action. That plan was adjusted, however, as the tournament reached that mark fairly quickly. With four players left, WSOP officials announced that the tournament would play to three players or the end of Level 42, and Jorstad took care of the rest.
On what would be the final hand of the night, Jorstad raised the betting to six million chips and John Eames jammed his remaining 75 million in over the top. Neither Attenborough or Duek wanted any part of this, but Jorstad was more than happy to call the bet and show pocket Kings against Eames’ A-J off suit. A Jack would come on the flop to open some doors for the Brit, but they would be slammed shut when a trey and a six came on the turn and river. With that, Eames was out in fourth place and the final three players were set.
1. Espen Jorstad (Norway), 298 million
2, Adrian Attenborough, 149.8 million
3. Michael Duek, 72.1 million
These men left with a new resume entry on their Hendon Mob page and the acknowledgement as a member of the 2022 WSOP Championship Event final table:
4. John Eames (United Kingdom), $3,000,000
5. Matija Dobric (Croatia), $2,250,000
6. Jeffrey Farnes (USA), $1,750,000
7. Aaron Duczak (Canada), $1,350,000
8. Phillippe Souki (United Kingdom), $1,075,000
9. Matthew Su (USA), $850,675
Conniff, the tenth-place finisher for a $675,000 payday, was not a member of the official final table. The champion will be crowned on Saturday, beginning at 2PM in “The Mothership.” These men are all playing for a massive stack of cash, with $4 million going to the third-place finisher, $6 million to the runner-up and $10 million to the eventual champion. The action will be a part of the streaming offerings from PokerGO, which will be broadcast beginning at 3PM on a 60-minute delay until a champion is crowned.
(Photo courtesy of PokerGO.com)