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WSOP 2022: Leo Soma Claims First Bracelet as French Rail Celebrates at Bally’s

Leo Soma
Leo Soma won his first WSOP bracelet and by far the biggest score of his career on Thursday night in Las Vegas.

On a dramatic day of action, seven events took place at both Paris and Bally’s casinos in the heart of Sin City on the Las Vegas strip. With Frenchman Leo Soma winning a career-high score of over $450,000 and his first bracelet, there were wild celebrations on his rail. The victory, which came after a dominant display at the final table, saw France claim their first WSOP bracelet of the 2022 series.

Soma Claims Maiden Win for Massive Score

In WSOP Event #14, Leo Soma won by far the biggest live score of his career as he took down Event #14, the $1,500-entry Six-Max tournament, for $456,889. Before winning, Soma had only earned less than $5,000 in live events or WSOP Online tournaments but now has a flagship title to himself after an incredible display of dominance at the final table.

There was an early exit for Anson Tsang on the final day where 16 played down to a winner. His short stack couldn’t double back into contention. The former bracelet winner called it all off with Ah9s but was way behind the aggressor in the hand, Ronit Chamani, who held TdTs and hit gin on the flop of a board showing Th4s3c2sAs. Tsang, unable to add to his previous bracelet win, won $27,858 for his run to 15th place.

After eliminations for Tianyi Mu and Mustapha Kanit in 14th and 13th places respectively, plenty more busted before the final table of seven convened, and once there, it was the 2009 WSOP Main Event champion Joe Cada who busted, his KdKs cracked by Soma’s AsKh after a brutal runout of AcJd6dQd9s put paid to Cada claiming his fifth WSOP bracelet.

Soma used his momentum to bust four of his remaining five opponents, as he continued to overcome the odds to eliminate his opponents. Sitting with a massive chip lead, overnight chip leader Daniel Wellborn’s move for four big blinds with AhJh held no fear for Soma, who flicked in the micro-call with 6c7c. Once again, the board paid him off and he improved his lead from huge to unassailable.

After taking out Max Gallardo in third place, Soma had a 10:1 chip lead and made light work of Thomas Schultz heads-up, winning the final hand with Jc3h against Gallardo’s Ks9s after the board came Jd6h3s7[s]Tc.

WSOP 2022 Event #14 $1,500 6-Handed NLHE Final Table Results:                     

  1. Leo Soma – $456,889
  2. Thomas Schultz – $282,358
  3. Maximiliano Gallardo – $203,451
  4. Daniel Wellborn – $148,171
  5. Derek Sudell – $109,083
  6. Ivan Zhechev – $81,188
  7. Joe Cada – $61,098

Bronshtein Bags Up Lead for Omaha Championship

In Event #15, the $10,000 buy-in Omaha Hi-Lo or 8 Better Championship, Day 3 began with 24 players and ended with just five in their seats as the final table was reached with Yuval Bronshtein in the lead.  Players such as Jake Schwartz (24th for $17,680) and Johannes Becker (22nd for the same amount) were quick to depart, with the latter going from the chip leader to out in four places of the day beginning.

Before the final table was reached, there were plenty of big names who lost their stacks, with Phil Hui, Connor Drinan and Kosei Ichinose busting between 19th – 17th, and Day 1 chip leader Bryce Yockey didn’t last much longer, with his run ending in 16th for just $23,098. After the eliminations of Freddy Deeb and Todd Brunson shortly before the final table, it was Kane Kalas busting in eighth place for $48,839 that really set the race rolling to a finish.

Alex Livingston saw his bid for two bracelets in this summer’s series ended in seventh place for $61,991, and when Bart O’Connell crashed out in sixth place for $80,250, the final five were set. They’ll play down to a winner who’ll bag the top prize of $40,757 tomorrow afternoon on PokerGO, live from the Bally’s Thunderdome.

WSOP 2022 Event #15 $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship:

  1. Yuval Bronshtein – 4,175,000
  2. Dustin Dirksen – 3,165,000
  3. Daniel Zack – 2,440,000
  4. Ray Dehkharghani – 1,695,000
  5. Jake Liebeskind – 295,000

Foxen Leads After Day 2 of $3,000 NLHE

Event #16, the $3,000-entry NLHE bracelet event, saw Alex Foxen end Day 2 as chip leader, bagging up 2,070,000 as he was chased down by players such as Niall Farrell (1,610,000), David Miscikowski (1,315,000) and Adrian Mateos (1,165,000), all of whom made the top 10. With others to bag big including Felipe Ramos (970,000) Ben Dobson (835,000), Jeff Platt (790,000), Alex Theologis (695,000) and Amir Levahot (655,000), just 75 players made the cut, with Ramos loving life at the felt, celebrating his experience on Twitter.

With the money places starting at 160, plenty made money on the day without reaching the end of day counts, with Michael Gathy (135th for $5,276), Faraz Jaka (112th for $6,029) and Ali Imsirovic, (89th for $6,962) all ticking the profit box on the day.

WSOP 2022 Event #16 $3,000 No Limit Hold’em Top 10 Chipcounts:

 

  1. Alex Foxen – 2,070,000
  2. Niall Farrell – 1,610,000
  3. Michael Marder – 1,595,000
  4. Stefan Lehner – 1,395,000
  5. Arnaud Enselme – 1,350,000
  6. David Miscikowski – 1,315,000
  7. Lander Lijo – 1,175,000
  8. Adrian Mateos    – 1,165,000
  9. Tyler Hirschfeld – 1,130,000
  10. Toby Boas – 1,105,000

Jerry Wong Chasing Lead in Event #17

The second day’s play in Event #17, the Mixed Triple Draw event, which cost $2,500 to play, was a busy one and ended with just 17 players still in seats. Of them, Bariscan Betil was the man with the most by the close of play, bagging up 1,190,000. Chasing him down, however, is Jerry Wong (1,140,000), who came 8th in the 2016 WSOP Main Event.

Elsewhere in the top 10, there were stacks for Frank Kassela (750,000) and Alex Epstein (475,000), while Daniel Strelitz (425,000), Galen Hall (310,000) and Steve Zolotow (135,000) all have hopes of making the final day count, with 134 players having starting the day. Hall freely admitted on social media that he is not a mixed game expert by any means.

With players such as Scotty Nguyen, Shaun Deeb, James Opie and Daniel Negreanu all failing to make the final day, there are nine former bracelet winners among the final 17 players – over half the field.

WSOP 2022 Event #17 $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Top 10 Chipcounts:                          

  1. Bariscan Betil – 1,190,000
  2. Jerry Wong – 1,140,000
  3. Andrew Brown – 1,010,000
  4. Yehuda Buchalter – 980,000
  5. Alejandro Torres – 885,000
  6. Dominick Sarle – 815,000
  7. Frank Kassela – 750,000
  8. Matthew Schreiber – 740,000
  9. John Monette – 600,000
  10. Alex Epstein – 475,000

Big Field Led By Little 

Event #18 kicked off on Thursday as the $1,000 NLHE Freezeout event began in style with a mammoth 2,663 playing the event. Just under 200 players made the cut with James Little (765,000) leading the field. Behind him, some excellent players will challenge for a final day lead, with Lily Lotfy (755,000) and Thomas Stocker (720,000) closest in pursuit.

Others such as top 10 rivals Jordan Griff (690,000), Paul Lee (695,000) as well as Shaun Deeb (395,000), Ben Yu (270,000), Yaser Al-Keliddar (185,000) and Ismael Bojang (375,000) will all wan to have a say in who wins gold.

WSOP 2022 Event #18 $1,000 NLHE Freezeout Top 10 Chipcounts:                     

  1. James Little – 765,000
  2. Lily Lofty – 755,000
  3. Thomas Stocker – 720,000
  4. Paul Lee – 695,000
  5. Jordan Griff – 690,000
  6. Dustin Cullimore – 675,000
  7. Ryan Yu – 635,000
  8. Jason Reels – 635,000
  9. Austin Farmer – 630,000
  10. Amirpasha Emami – 625,000

Final Two Events End Day 1 Flights

In Event #19, 196 players took on the $25,000-entry PLO High Roller event. As play ended, just 124 players bagged up chips, with Jared Bleznick top dog with 601,500.

Pursued by players such as Chris DeMaci (586,000), Sean Winter (578,000) and James Chen (553,000) in the top 10, there were strong appearances from Scott Ball (403,500), Chance Kornuth (333,000) and Poker Hall of Famer Phil Ivey (360,500), who all did very well. Others didn’t do so well, with Norbert Szecsi, Daniel Negreanu and Julien Martini all eliminated on the day.

WSOP 2022 Event #19 $15,000 PLO High Roller Top 10 Chipcounts:

  1. Jared Bleznick – 601,500
  2. Chris DeMaci – 586,000
  3. Sean Winter – 578,000
  4. Frank Crivello – 575,000
  5. James Chen – 553,000
  6. Ben Lamb – 540,500
  7. Dmitrii Perfilev – 536,500
  8. Duarte Baptista – 484,500
  9. Kristopher Tong – 444,500
  10. Conrad De Armas – 437,500

Lastly, the final event of the day was Event #20, the $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball event. With 350 total entries, just 116 players made Day 2, with Justin Geary bagging the most with 259,000 chips at close of play. Karl Tretter (222,000), Kevin Gerhart (178,500) and Robert Mizrachi (149,500) all made the top 10, with Calvin Anderson (134,000), Adam Friedman (130,500), Daniel Ospina (96,500), Ken Aldridge (76,500) and former world champion Joe McKeehen (69,500) all making the counts.

Players such as Scott Clements, reigning Main Event winner Koray Aldemir, Michael Mizrachi and Randy Ohel were unable to make Day 2, with Barry Greenstein and Joao Vieira two more who bricked out on the day.

WSOP 2022 Event #20 $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Top 10 Chipcounts:

  1. Justin Geary – 259,500
  2. Karl Tretter – 222,000
  3. Hasan Kural – 192,500
  4. Yufei Zhong – 180,500
  5. Kevin Gerhart – 178,500
  6. John Prather – 172,500
  7. Pawel Andrzejewski – 160,000
  8. Michael Balan – 157,500
  9. Robert Mizrachi – 149,500
  10. Von Altizer – 148,000

With COVID-19 one player we didn’t hope to see at the 2022 WSOP, Matt Waxman eulogised on how some players’ casual attitude to playing once having tested positive doesn’t fit logic.

Brian Rast and Daniel Negreanu discussed the finer points of the $25k Fantasy Draft scoring system.

Phil Hellmuth gave us a COVID update from his suite…

…Ryan Depaulo had a witty suggestion for the gatekeepers in Las Vegas at the WSOP…

….while Max Silver got practical.

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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