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WSOP 2022: Justin Young Leads High Roller Bounty Field on Opening Day of 2022 WSOP

Ballys Headline
Bally’s and Paris are the twin venues for the 2022 World Series of Poker.

The opening day of the 2022 World Series of Poker has concluded in Las Vegas.  After an opening day featuring “Shuffle up and deal!” from reality TV star Lisa Vanderpump, the traditional curtain-raiser of the $500-entry Casino Employees event was followed by the first day of action in a new event, the $100,000 High Roller Bounty Event #2. There was controversy and action in equal measure throughout.

Phil Hellmuth Misses Opening Day

As the day dawned in Las Vegas, one of the biggest pieces of news concerned a player who wouldn’t make the action. This wasn’t any old player, however, as the 16-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth broke the news his fans dreaded, that he would miss the $100,000 High Roller Bounty event… with a travel-related illness.

Commiserations came in from far and wide, including the man who beat Hellmuth to the 2021 WSOP Player of the Year title, Josh Arieh, who wrote: “Phil not only has the most WSOP bracelets, he also leads the way with most diarrhoea this year! #getwellsoonPH”

If Hellmuth was missing the action, the Poker Brat’s perennial rivals Shaun Deeb and Daniel Negreanu were doing no such thing.

With the arrival of a trio of controversial figures in poker, Bryn Kenney, Ali Imsirovic and Jake Schindler, Deeb was not going to drop the recent allegations made against all three on behalf of the poker world.

Others who played the event included Phil Ivey. The arrival of Ivey on the opening day of the World Series – a rarity in recent times – sent Poker Twitter into a frenzy courtesy of WSOP guru ‘Kevmath’, a.k.a. Kevin Mathers.

When it came to the poker itself, of the 43 total entries, just 15 players survived the day, with Kenney and Schindler among those to slide out of contention for one of the World Series biggest prizes. Justin Young bagged the chip lead with over 3.5 million chips and he holds a sizeable lead over most of the field heading to Day 2, with David Peters his closest rival on just over 3 million.

Elsewhere, Brian Rast was determined to focus on his game and make the most of every single hand.

When play closed, players such as WSOP Main Event champion from last year Koray Aldemir (2,930,000), Ali Imsirovic (2,545,000), and Bill Klein (2,240,000) made the top five places with stars such as 2019 WSOP Main Event runner-up Dario Sammartino (2,180,000), Ivey (1,975,000) and Erik Seidel (1,645,000) all making the top ten.

Others to star on the day included Cary Katz, who busted Alex Foxen to finish the day on 1,570,000 chips. Chance Kornuth rounded out the top 10 with 1,335,000 chips and Daniel Negreanu wasn’t far behind in 11th place of the remaining 15 players on 1,235,000.

WSOP 2022 Event #2 $100,000 High Roller Bounty Top 10 Chipcounts:                        

  1. Justin Young – 3,565,000
  2. David Peters – 3,085,000
  3. Koray Aldemir     – 2,930,000
  4. Ali Imsirovic – 2,545,000
  5. Bill Klein – 2,240,000
  6. Dario Sammartino – 2,180,000
  7. Phil Ivey – 1,975,000
  8. Erik Seidel – 1,645,000
  9. Cary Katz – 1,570,000
  10. Chance Kornuth – 1,335,000

Colquhoun Leads Casino Employees Event

The opening event of the 2022 World Series of Poker was the $500-entry Casino Employees Event, which this year saw 832 entries. With just 82 players still in seats by the close of play, plenty of well-known players in the field failed to make the money with Vanderpump’s words before the event seeing her gaining employee status just in time to take part herself. The star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills would not make the money places, but she had good company as the former event winner Chad Holloway and experienced player David Tuchman both lost their stacks without making profit too. The popular performer even had a little help at the table as you can see below.

One player who is firing for his first WSOP bracelet is Kevin Hallaert, who has a big stack of 695,000 chips heading into the second day. It represents his best chance of breaking his bracelet duck in this event with a softer field than he is used and with a stack well over the average of 253,000.

Elsewhere in the top 10 chips, Kelli Phillips (613,000) and Kirby Brewer (588,000) both made the top five chipcounts and with 2021 champion Jimmy Barnett (206,000) also surviving the day’s play, there is all to play for as players return on Day 2 to play down to a winner and claim the first bracelet of the 2022 World Series of Poker.

WSOP 2022 Event #1 $500 Casino Employees Top 10 Chipcounts:                       

  1. Shaun Colquhoun – 885,000
  2. Arturo Jimenez – 848,000
  3. Kenny Hallaert    – 695,000
  4. Kelli Phillips – 613,000
  5. Kirby Brewer – 588,000
  6. Michael Murray – 533,000
  7. Minxyun Kim – 485,000
  8. Vik Vijay – 470,000
  9. John Liu – 427,000
  10. James Sutherland – 400,000

One change for this year’s World Series of Poker that has got everyone excited is the arrival of new poker chips at Bally’s and Paris for this series.

Poker players of all levels seem happy with them on an initial basis, with Ryan Laplante commenting: “New [WSOP] chip sets look great. No more slippery chips!”

Finally, when it comes to prop bets, Landon Tice is proving that he is no young buck on the scene, laying down the gauntlet to WSOP legend and permanent Player of the Year threat Shaun Deeb on Twitter. We can’t wait to see the hairstyle if Tice somehow manages to win.

Official photographs courtesy of PokerGO, the home of live-streamed action throughout the 2022 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

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