The first Saturday of the 2022 World Series of Poker is upon us, and it is chocked full of poker action across the board. Want the “high rollers” to make you say “wow?” Then there is an event for you. How about getting in contention for a bracelet on the cheap? ‘The Housewarming’ is in the middle of its action. Add in a couple more events and the floor will be busy between Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas this afternoon and evening.
Final Four Left in $25,000 Heads Up Championship
The bracelet for Event #6, the $25,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold’em championship at the 2022 WSOP, will be awarded on Saturday. Sixty-four of the toughest heads-up players in the game today have been whittled down to the Final Four, all of which are in the hunt for their first ever WSOP bracelet. The matchups themselves promise to feature unique dynamics and styles of play.
Up first will be the matchup between Kevin Rabichow and Christoph Vogelsang. Rabichow is the unknown in this tournament, having come through Phil Ivey and Dylan Destefano to earn his spot in the Final Four. Vogelsang’s trek to the semifinals was not easy, either, as he had to go through poker’s reigning World Champion, Koray Aldemir, and high roller veteran Sean Winter to take his seat.
Once the champion has been determined there, Dario Sammartino and Dan Smith will square off for the other final position. Sammartino, who was the runner up to Hossein Ensan in 2019 at the WSOP Championship Event final table, worked his way through two difficult players in William Stanford and Chance Kornuth to make the semifinal round of the heads-up matches. Smith’s path was equally difficult in taking down Alex Foxen and Jonathan Jaffe, only to find Sammartino in the semifinals.
Each man is guaranteed $193,537 at this point, but the goal is to reach that final round battle. The gold WSOP bracelet and a $509,717 payday awaits the winner, while the runner up must settle for “only” $315,029 for his $25K investment.
‘The Housewarming’ Halfway Through Four Day Ones
Saturday will see ‘The Housewarming’ fill out some more seats as they try to reach their $5 million guarantee for the event. On Friday, another 3913 entries were put up for Day 1B, bringing the total so far to 7286 entries. That covers about $3.5 million of that guarantee, meaning that the final two days, which should be the busiest of the schedule, should push the total prize pool well above the listed price.
For Day 1B, Gianluca Pace was the one who, well…set the pace for the remainder of the field. Pace would pack up 4.085 million chips after the day’s action, holding on to a slim lead over Yavine Brewer (3.705 million) and Will Failla (3.7 million). Thus far, the Top Five for ‘The Housewarming’ lines up like this (unofficially):
1. Justin Liberto, 4.225 million
2. Gianluca Pace, 4.085 million
3. Jordan Huffy, 3.765 million
4. Yavine Brewer, 3.705 million
5. Will Failla, 3.7 million
There are two more days to go, with Day 1C in action on Saturday and the finale of Day 1D on Sunday. At that point, the players will learn what they are playing for…other than the 2022 WSOP bracelet.
Yehuda Buchalter, Amnon Filippi Top Omaha Leaderboard
Day One of the $1500 Omaha Hi/Lo 8 or Better tournament, Event #7 on your roster, is in the books and it is one for the memory banks. The field broke the record for the total number of entries (1036) that was set in 2014, with 1067 players coming together in 2022. 413 will come to Paris Las Vegas on Saturday, the base for those who have survived the Bally’s Day One carnage, to continue their festivities.
Topping the leaderboard for Day Two will be Yehuda Buchalter, who was able to cobble together a stack of 261,500 in the split-pot format game. He is closely pursued by veteran pro Amnon Filippi, who sits with 205,000. These are the only players over the 200K threshold, but such names as Carol Fuchs, Phil Hellmuth, Shaun Deeb, and Benny Glaser are also still in the hunt and with sizeable stacks in front of them.
1. Yehuda Buchalter, 261,500
2. Amnon Filippi, 205,000
3. Robert Tanita, 187,500
4. David Flores, 182,500
5. Van Law, 180,500
Two Tournaments Starting Out at Bally’s
Two events will start their action on Saturday at Bally’s. Up first is Event #8, the $25,000 High Roller tournament, which is the third of seven High Roller tournaments on the 2022 WSOP schedule. Last year, 139 players came out to take part in this event, which was taken down by Tyler Cornell.
Also up on the board is the $1500 Seven Card Stud tournament, which is Event #9 on the 2022 WSOP schedule. 261 players showed up for this event in 2021, which is remarkable for a non-Hold’em tournament. In the 2021 version of this tournament, Rafael Lebron was able to stave off David Williams to capture the WSOP bracelet and the $82,262 bounty that came along with it.