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Salim Admon Wins Stairway To Millions $8,000 Buy-In Poker Tournament

The Sherman Oaks Resident Defeated A Field of 56 Entries To Earn $138,880


The fourth event of the 2022 Stairway To Millions featured an $8,400 buy-in. A total of 56 entries were made, building a prize pool of $448,000. After two days of high-stakes action, Salim Admon emerged victorious with the title and the top prize of $138,880.

The Stairwway To Millions features eight events, with progressively larger buy-ins throughout the series. Players who make the money in an event are automatically entered into the next tournament, building up to the grand finale: the $1.2 million guaranteed $100,000 buy-in event.

“I love the series and the idea,” Admon told PokerGO Tour reporters when asked about this series’ unique format. “It’s a really good way for players to get in on a smaller buy-in and play against really good competition. I like the idea of the potential to have a huge [return on investment]. If somehow you make it from the $1,000, $2,000, or $4,000 level to the $25,000, $50,000, or $100,000 level, it would be a pretty big accomplishment.”

This was Admon’s first major live tournament victory and his third six-figure score. His largest-ever payday came when he finished fourth in the 2021 Wynn Millions $10,000 buy-in event for $619,160 last summer. He now has more than $1.1 million in lifetime earnings to his name.

“It feels really, really good,” said Admon after coming out on top. “I’ve come close a couple of times and it’s not the same. I’ve actually had a bigger cash, but this feels a little bit better.”

In addition to the title and the money, Admon also earned 240 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win, enough to see him move into 44th place in the 2022 POY race standings.

Admon came into the second and final day of this event in second chip position with six players remaining. Bill Klein was the first to hit the rail His A-9 failed to outrun the Q-J suited of 2021 high-stakes tournament breakout Chris Brewer, who rivered an ace-high straight. Klein earned $31,360 as the sixth-place finisher.

Two-time bracelet winner Nick Petrangelo was the next to be eliminated. He got all-in in a battle of the blinds against Jesse Lonis, and his K-2 failed to come from behind against his opponent’s A-J. Petrangelo took home $35,840 for his first cash of the year, increasing his lifetime earnings to more than $21.7 million in the process.

Jeremy Ausmus secured his third cash and second final-table showing of the series in this event, finishing fourth for $44,800. The three-time bracelet winner raised with KClub SuitJClub Suit from the small blind and called all-in when Lonis shoved from the big blind. Lonis had Ausmus in rough shape with a dominating KHeart SuitQSpade Suit. The runout changed nothing and the field was narrowed to just three contenders.

Admon fell to the bottom of the chip counts during three-handed play, but managed to double up through Lonis to overtake the lead. Lonis took a chunk out of Brewer’s stack with flopped quads, leaving Brewer on around 10 big blinds after he called with his rivered queens and sevens. Brewer was knocked out not long after that, with his JSpade Suit10Diamond Suit failing to beat the AHeart Suit8Diamond Suit of Admon. Brewer earned $58,240 as the third-place finisher. This was his second podium finish of the young year, having also placed second in a $10,000 high roller at The Venetian. With 360 total points, he now sits in 16th place in the POY rankings.

Jesse LonisHeads-up play began with Lonis holding a slight lead over Admon. By the time the key hand of the match arose, Admon had battled his way on top. Lonis picked up ASpade SuitJDiamond Suit on the button and raised to 150,000. Admon three-bet all-in with AClub SuitKDiamond Suit and Lonis made the call. The board ran out
ADiamond SuitKSpade Suit6Diamond Suit7Heart Suit4Heart Suit to secure the pot and the title for Admon.

Lonis was awarded $89,600 and 200 points for his third final-table finish of the year. Lonis took down a $600 buy-in event at Venetian just a handful of days into the year, earning $58,301 and 420 points. He also finished sixth in event #3 at the Starway To Millions for another $20,160 and 96 points. With 716 total points and $168,061 in POY earnings, he has climbed into second place on the POY leaderboard.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded in this event:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Salim Admon $138,880 240
2 Jesse Lonis $89,600 200
3 Chris Brewer $58,240 160
4 Jeremy Ausmus $44,800 120
5 Nick Petrangelo $35,840 100
6 Bill Klein $31,360 80
7 Shannon Shorr $26,880 60
8 Michael Lang $22,400 40

Photo credits: PokerGO / Antonio Abrego.