The 2023 World Series of Poker has certainly been one for the record books. Besides the five new members of the Six Bracelet Club (Josh Arieh, Jeremy Ausmus, Shaun Deeb, Jason Mercier, and newly inducted Poker Hall of Famer Brian Rast) and the record-breaking non-Texas Hold’em tournaments, the 2023 WSOP Championship Event shattered the record by drawing in an unbelievable 10,043 players (not entries, people…PLAYERS). We have another year to wonder if that record is going to ever be touched, but right now we have a final table to play out.

As the players are resting on Saturday in preparation for the resumption of their battles on Sunday, it gives us some time to examine the players left in the tournament. Whipping out the Poker News Daily Crystal Ball, we have looked into the future and are giving our fearless predictions here. Remember…all predictions are guaranteed unless they fail!

To give you a rundown of how they will line up, take a look at this rundown and their chip stacks (and big blinds):

Seat 1: Steven Jones, 90.3 million (75 big blinds)
Seat 2: Juan Macieras, 68 million (57)
Seat 3: Daniel Holzner, 31.9 million (27)
Seat 4: Adam Walton, 143.8 million (120)
Seat 5: Ruslan Prydryk, 50.7 million (42)
Seat 6: Dean Hutchison, 41.7 million (35)
Seat 7: Toby Lewis, 19.8 million (17)
Seat 8: Daniel Weinman, 81.7 million (68)
Seat 9: Jan-Peter Jachtman, 74.6 million (62)

Ninth Place – Toby Lewis

I would love to pick Lewis higher up the final standings than this ninth-place finish because the British pro has the skills and has been in this spot before. The reality of the situation is that 1) he is the short stack at the final table with his 19.8 million in chips, 2) he’s got two hungry players in Ruslan Prydryk and Dean Hutchison that would just love to dice up his stack when he’s in the blinds, and 3) he’s got the chip leader, Adam Walton, who will be in the hijack when he’s in the big blind. Unless the deck hits him square between the eyes – and quickly – on Sunday, Lewis will be the first player out of the tournament’s final table.

Eighth Place – Dean Hutchison

It was a tough choice for the Crystal Ball between Hutchison and Holzner in the eighth position, but it went with Hutchison for one reason – Adam Walton. Walton will be on the button when Hutchison is in the big blind and Walton has shown himself to be a bit of a loose cannon on occasion. The combination of those two traits will put pressure on Hutchison, pressure that could very well see Hutchison depart the table because of a clash between the two.

Seventh Place – Daniel Holzner

Holzner will be able to outlast Hutchison, but it will not be for long, and he could very well go before Hutchison depending on the cards. To say Holzner is surrounded by the sharks would be a huge understatement, as he’ll have to be in the small blind against Walton’s big blind and face off against Juan Maceiras and Steven Jones when Holzner has the big blind. Having to constantly fight with the big stacks is either a recipe for climbing the leaderboard or heading to the cage – Crystal Ball believes that Holzner will have to settle for the latter.

Sixth Place – Daniel Weinman

This is where Crystal Ball thinks that the course of the 2023 WSOP Championship Event will change. Weinman and Jachtmann are side by side and both hold very impressive stacks. The duo are also exceptionally talented players who are not going to make a mistake. Since they will share the blinds, the Crystal Ball sees a big clash between these two, with two high-quality hands, and Jachtmann taking the hand as Weinman is eliminated from the tournament.

Fifth Place – Juan Maceiras

Despite being in the Top Ten of the tournament for several days, Maceiras has demonstrated a wildly aggressive style that has seen his chip stack yo-yo on the way to the final table. That is a crowd-pleaser, for sure, but it usually does not bode well when it gets down to crunch time. Maceiras has done well in this tournament, but he will have to settle for fifth place and a nice payday.

Fourth Place – Ruslan Prydryk

In every tournament, there is that one player that just lurks in the weeds, laddering up the board, and before you know it, they are in the final four. Prydryk is that type of player in this tournament. He isn’t going to wow you with brilliant bluffs or hero calls, but he is going to play a slow, steady tournament and look for his moments to get his chips into action. This is going to allow him to go much deeper in this final table than many might give him credit for.

Third Place – Steven Jones

Jones is another player who has been tough to figure out at the final table. He has shown the ability to sniff out bluffs, but he has also shown the same ability to give up chips once he gets them from his opponents. That works only so long, and it will eventually lead to his demise in third place.

Second Place – Adam Walton

In some ways, Walton has already won by just being at the final table. He was facing his tournament mortality during his Day One, having given up four-fifths of his starting stack (48K of his 60K), and barely scraped through the remainder of that day. Since then, he knuckled down and played some decent poker, but he was the huge beneficiary of a monster pot against Maceiras that gave him the chip lead. Crystal Ball does not believe he can battle it out with the man who will win…

First Place – Jan-Peter Jachtmann

Besides making the final elimination on Friday night, Jachtmann has steadily climbed up the leaderboard over each day of the tournament. Jachtmann is not making any mistakes at the table, perhaps because he is a bit on the older side (55), but he is also comfortable in the performance that has brought him to this point. When you have no fear of what is coming, then you can play at your best and, in this case, it might just be enough to bring Jachtmann to the pinnacle of the poker world.

So, who do you have winning the 2023 WSOP Championship Event? Who will be poker’s next World Champion?

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