In 2022, the World Series of Poker awarded 214 gold bracelets. There were 89 in Las Vegas this summer, fifteen that just wrapped in Europe, and a total of 110 online throughout the year.
While 214 sounds like a big number – and it is – last year was the year with the biggest year-over-year increase of bracelets awarded. From 2019 to the pandemic year of 2020, the number of bracelets dropped – understandably without live poker – from 105 to 86 in total. But the number jumped significantly to 188 total bracelets in 2021. And this year, not to be outdone, the WSOP doled out 214 gold bracelets.
One can only imagine what 2023 may bring.
One of the reasons for the ever-increasing number of online WSOP bracelets is the launch of sites in new territories. The United States market is fragmented, so the WSOP offers bracelet tournaments in Michigan and Pennsylvania separately and then Nevada/New Jersey as one. The complicated market now extends to Canada, as Ontario ring-fenced its market this year, too.
The WSOP operates in American states on an 888poker platform. In Canada, though, the WSOP worked with partner GGPoker to launch on a GG-powered platform. And to celebrate, they put three bracelet events online for players located in Ontario at the end of October.
Complete with GGPoker branding in the name of each tournament, the three bracelet events went off as scheduled.
The Championship event, though, had a guarantee of $250K on its prize pool. It failed to meet that number, so GG and WSOP covered the $43K overlay.
- Event 1: $150 NLHE MILLION$ = 1310 entries / $180,780 prize pool / “Schneids” of Canada won for $28,968 (We were unable to locate any information on the real name of the winner.)
- Event 2: $210 Omaholic PLO Bounty MILLION$ = 247 entries / $130,200 prize pool / Xing He of Canada won for $8,239
- Event 3: $1,050 GGMasters NLHE Online Championship = 207 entries / $250K prize pool / David Cowling of Canada won for $50,992
It’s important to note that all amounts listed are in Canadian dollars. In addition, information about the results came from multiple sources, not one of which was the WSOP website, as it provided no updates.
🏁The WSOP 2022 Online campaign is finally done and dusted with the conclusion of the bracelet series that ran exclusively for players on @WSOPCa
A total of 3️⃣ bonus bracelet events were on offer for Ontario online poker players taking place on October 23 and October 30.
— pokerfuse (@pokerfuse) November 2, 2022
WSOP Europe Event Results
The 2022 WSOP Europe offered 15 total bracelet events. Each tournament had a prize pool guarantee, and each one of the events exceeded their amounts, some by quite a lot.
In total, the 2022 WSOP Europe awarded €18,140,182 across 15 tournaments. This wildly surpassed the €12M guaranteed.
Here are the individual tournament results:
- Event 1: €350 NLHE Opener = 2,454 entries / €734,259 prize pool (€500K GTD) / 369 players paid / Fabio Peluso of Italy won for €95,670
- Event 2: €550 PLO 8-Max = 566 entries / €268,850 prize pool (€200K GTD) / 86 players paid / Helmut Phung of Germany won for €55,132
- Event 3: €1,350 NLHE Mini Main Event = 1,431 entries / €1,631,340 prize pool (€1M GTD) / 215 players paid / Elija Savevski of Macedonia won for €245,319
- Event 4: €2K PLO = 221 entries / €388,407 prize pool (€200K GTD) / 34 players paid / Anson Tsang of Hong Kong won for €95,461
- Event 5: €550 NLHE Colossus = 2,982 entries / €1,416,450 prize pool (€1M GTD) / 360 players paid / Lubos Laska of Slovakia won for €170,568
- Event 6: €5K PLO = 223 entries / €1,006,287 prize pool (€150K GTD) / 34 players paid / Roman Verenko of Ukraine won for €247,288
- Event 7: €1,650 NLHE 6-Handed = 413 entries / €588,525 prize pool (€200K GTD) / 62 players paid / Max Kruse of Germany won for €134,152
- Event 8: €25K NLHE Platinum High Roller = 67 entries / €1,565,790 prize pool (€1M GTD) / 11 players paid / Paul Phua of Malaysia won for €482,433
- Event 9: €2,200 Short Deck = 91 entries / €172,900 prize pool (€100K GTD) / 14 players paid / Emil Bise of Switzerland won for €49,521
- Event 10: €2K 8-Game Mix = 102 entries / €179,265 prize pool (€100K GTD) / 16 players paid / Thomas Pidun of Germany won for €49,245
- Event 11: €50K NLHE Diamond High Roller = 45 entries / €2,116,125 prize pool (€2M GTD) / 7 players paid / Orpen Kisacikoglu of Turkey won for €748,106
- Event 12: €10,350 NLHE Main Event = 763 entries / €7,248,500 prize pool (€5M GTD) / 115 players paid / Omar Eljach of Sweden won for €1,380,128
- Event 13: €1,650 PLO/NLHE Mixed = 251 entries / €357,675 prize pool (€200K GTD) / 38 players paid / Yair van Ruiten of Netherlands won for €85,405
- Event 14: €1,100 NLHE Bounty Hunter = 436 entries / €283,400 prize pool (€200K GTD) / 66 players paid / Karim Maekelberg of Belgium won for €62,111
- Event 15: €1K NLHE Turbo Freezeout = 211 entries / €182,409 prize pool (€150K GTD) / 32 players paid / Andriy Lyubovetskiy (Ukraine) won for €45,606
Eljach’s Excellent Adventure
The 763 entries tallied over the two starting days of the Main Event created a massive €7,248,500 prize pool, well beyond the €5M set as the guarantee. It provided enough for the top 115 finishers to be paid at least €16,520 for their work.
Omar Francisco Eljach Huang of Sweden came to WSOP Europe this year with some solid results in the past several years. He final tabled events on the European Poker Tour, Poker-SM, and Master Classics of Poker series. In 2019, he played the WSOPE in Rozvadov and came very close to winning a bracelet, taking second place in the €2,200 PLO event. In August of this year, Eljach won a PLO event at EPT Barcelona for his largest score to date of €129,820.
His 2023 WSOP Europe started well. He played the €5K PLO event (Event 6) and finished second for €152,827, a new career best. Eljach just missed another bracelet, though.
So, he played the €10,350 buy-in Main Event with high hopes and some momentum on his side.
- Day 1B: Eljach finished with 172K chips, putting him 27th of the 84 survivors.
- Day 2: He bagged 587K chips, good for 47th place among the 166 remaining players.
- Day 3: The field broke through the money bubble, and Eljach had 2.33M chips, sitting ninth of the 42 players still in the tournament.
- Day 4: Eljach took some hits from Onur Unsal who doubled through Eljach twice in an hour. But the latter climbed back, taking pots from Timothy Adams and Patrik Zidek. Eljach battled several times with Unsal, each besting the other at various times. Saar Wilf doubled through Eljach, too, though the latter busted Henok Mariam in 17th place to take the lead into the final two tables. He built on that stack by taking chips back from Wilf and others. He won a big pot against Paul Covaciu and Barny Boatman to climb above 17 million, and more from Covaciu to soar past 21M. Eljach lost some but then busted Timothy Adams in ninth place on the final table bubble. He was the chip leader of the final eight players.
At the final table, these key moves propelled him forward.
- Eljach eliminated Alexandre Reard in eighth place to climb to 25,675,000 chips.
- Shaun Deeb busted Boatman in seventh place.
- Eljach ousted Armin Rezaei in sixth.
- Vladas Tamasauskas eliminated Covaciu in fifth.
- Eljach kept stacking as Jonathan Pastore climbed and Deeb kept up the battle for the chip lead. Eljach then took a pot worth 16M from a hand against Pastore, though Deeb quickly acquired nearly half of the final table chips with 35M.
- Pastore busted Tamasauskas in fourth place.
- Deeb took from both competitors, and Pastore took from Eljach to leave Eljach as the shortest. But the Swede nearly doubled through Deeb to reclaim the overall lead and climb above 40M.
- Eljach took out Deeb in third place.
Heads-up play began with Eljach holding 43M chips to the 33M of Pastore. That’s when the battle began, one that lasted approximately six hours.
With Eljach in the lead, Pastore raised a hand preflop. Eljach three-bet, and Pastore pushed all-in. Eljach snap-called with pocket queens, but Pastore had a fair shot with A-8. The board delivered 2-8-7-J-J, and Pastore settled for second place.
Omar Eljach won the tournament, his first bracelet, and a prestigious WSOPE Main Event. He tried to describe his feelings to a reporter after the win, saying there were so many emotions, and the heads-up battle was draining, but he said, “I feel relief. I feel incredible joy. Yeah, it’s an amazing feeling.”
The payouts for the final table were:
- 1st place: Omar Eljach (Sweden) €1,380,128
- 2nd place: Jonathan Pastore (France) €852,949
- 3rd place: Shaun Deeb (USA) €607,531
- 4th place: Vladas Tamasauskas (Lithuania) €438,978
- 5th place: Paul Adrian Covaciu (Romania) €321,838
- 6th place: Armin Rezaei (Austria) €239,466
- 7th place: Barny Boatman (UK) €180,867
- 8th place: Alexandre Reard (France) €138,702
🥇🏆🥇Announcement of the Winner 🥇🏆🥇
Congratulations go to Omar Eljach from 🇸🇪 Sweden 🇸🇪, who has won the WSOPE NLH MAIN EVENT [BRACELET EVENT #12] and took home €1,380,129 ! 💰💰👏🎊🎉
⭐️ Be the next winner! ⭐️
Find your tournament here!https://t.co/zgg7foGS5k pic.twitter.com/hGL0WeMvqE
— King's Resort (@PokerroomKings) November 17, 2022