The 2022 World Series of Poker Main Event enters Day 5 on Monday and with just 380 players remaining, the real serious money is in view. Not that most of us wouldn’t be thrilled with a $36,000 payday, which is the minimum cash at this point in the tournament, but six-figure payouts aren’t far away. Leading the charge into the new week is Taylor von Kriegenbergh with 5.305 million chips; he is the only player to finish Day 4 with over 5 million.

Five players have over 4 million chips, including von Kriegenbergh’s fellow Massachusetts resident Dan Colpoys, who is sitting in second place with 4.835 million. Johan Schumacher is in third with 4.600 million, and Aaron Mermelstein, who was the chip leader to start Day 4, is in fourth with 4.285 million chips. Rounding out the top six are Victor Li with 4.200 million and Rafael Mota with 4.050 million.

Only two former Main Event champions are still in the tournament and they happen to be the winners of the last two Main Event: Damian Salas, who won the hybrid online/live 2020 Main Event after the live WSOP was cancelled because of the pandemic, and last year’s champ Koray Aldemir. Both are in solid shape. If I did the math correctly, the average stack at this juncture is about 1,367,842 chips. Salas has 2.355 million and Aldemir has 1.285 million.

Past champions John Cynn, Chris Moneymaker, Ryan Reiss, and Greg Merson, were all eliminated on Sunday.

One of the highlights of Day 4 – or lowlights, depending on your perspective – was a good, old, “Matusow blowup.” During the poker boom, Mike Matusow was a frequent focus of televised poker and almost without fail, viewers could count on him making some insane move that completely backfired, costing or nearly costing him the tournament.

Yesterday, his table was one of the ones featured on GGPoker’s live stream. With the board reading 5♣-Q♣-5-4, both Matusow and Mikolaj Zawadzki checked to bring on a river K♣. Matusow had A-7♣ and Zawadzki had 8♣-9♣, so Zawadzki hit his flush, while Matusow had essentially nothing. That didn’t stop Matusow, though, as he led out for 70,000 on the river. Zawadzki played back, raising to 175,000, at which point Matusow shoved for 390,000 total on a pure bluff.

Zawadzki thought about it hard. After all, someone getting that aggressive on that board could mean a better flush or perhaps a full house (we don’t know the betting before the turn, so we might presume Zawadzki was worried about a better flush).

The commentators on the stream certainly thought it was an odd move by Matusow, but clearly he was banking on his opponent being weaker than he was, hoping for a fold. With about 4-to-1 odds, though, Zawadzki pretty much had to call (plus he had a really good hand) and that was that.

“I went for it. I didn’t think you had a flush. Nice hand,” Matusow said. Hey, even Poker Hall of Fame finalists make incorrect reads sometimes. That’s poker.

Day 5 of the 2022 WSOP Main Event begins at noon Vegas time on Monday as those still in contention try to position themselves for a final table run.

2022 World Series of Poker Main Event – Day 4 Chip Leaders

  1. Taylor von Kriegenbergh – 5,305,000
  2. Dan Colpoys – 4,835,000
  3. Johan Schumacher – 4,600,000
  4. Aaron Mermelstein – 4,285,000
  5. Victor Li – 4,200,000
  6. Rafael Mota – 4,050,000
  7. Carlos Leiva – 3,860,000
  8. Shelby Wells – 3,840,000
  9. Jorge Hou – 3,800,000
  10. Dingxiang Ong – 3,630,000

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