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Jose Ignacio 'Nacho' Barbero Wins first Bracelet In World Series of Poker Super Turbo Bounty Event

The Argentinian Poker Pro Overcame A Field of 419 Entries To Secure The Hardware and $587,520


The quest to win a World Series of Poker bracelet might have felt like a marathon to Argentina’s Jose Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Barbero. The 40-year-old poker pro first cashed at the WSOP back in 2006, and has made four final tables at the series over the 16 years since that first in-the-money finish. While Barbero has been steadily chasing this goal for quite some time now, the final stretch turned out to be a sprint. He ultimately secured the gold as the winner of the fast-paced 2022 WSOP $10,000 no-limit hold’em super turbo bounty event. Barbero beat out a field of 419 players in the speedy event that took just two days to complete, seizing the bracelet and the top prize of $587,520.

“It feels amazing. I’m so happy. Literally, my dream in poker was to win one. It’s amazing,” Barbero told WSOP reporters after it was all over. “So many close ones and never could close it out. And, finally.”

Plenty of big names made the money in this speedy affair, including ten-time bracelet winner Phil Ivey (41st – $13,730), five-time bracelet winner Michael Mizrachi (25th – $18,625), two-time bracelet winner JC Tran (24th – $18,625), bracelet winner Andrew Brown (19th – $18,625), bracelet winner Kyle Julius (15th – $18,625), World Poker Toru and European Poker Tour main event winner Mike Watson (10th – $33,924), and Super High Roller Bowl winner Rainer Kempe (7th – $72,683).

The second and final day of this event began with just six remaining and Barbero in the lead. Bracelet winner Andrew Lichtenberger (6th – $97,002) was the first to fall, with his A-3 failing to outrun the 9-8 of Barbero in a battle of the blinds.

Maria Ho’s run came to an end when her K-10 lost a preflop race against the pocket sevens of Brazil’s Fabiano Kovalski. A set on the flop left Ho in rough shape, and the board pair on the turn made her elimination in fifth place certain. Ho earned 4131,655 for her deep run, increasing her career earnings to more than $4.1 million.

Rob Hollink (4th – $181,667) got the last of his stack in preflop with K-J suited facing the A-8 suited of Barbero, who remained the clear chip leader. Barbero made aces up to secure the pot and further extend his chip advantage going into three-handed play.

Ilya Nikiforov was ahead when the chips went in, with his A-8 suited leading the A-7 of Barbero. A seven on the turn left Nikiforov in need of an eight on the river to keep his hopes alive in this event. No such help came and he was sent home with $254,791 for his third-place showing.

Barbero held more than a 2:1 lead of Kovalski when heads-up play began. He extended that advantage to more than 3:1 by the time the final hand was dealt. Kovalski shoved from the big blind with KDiamond Suit2Spade Suit facing a limp from his opponent. Barbero called with KClub SuitQClub Suit. The board ran out JDiamond Suit6Spade Suit5Club Suit6Diamond SuitKHeart Suit and Barbero’s kings and sixes with a queen kicker took down the pot to eliminate Kovalsi in second place ($363,116).

Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Jose Barbero $587,520 1800
2 Fabiano Kovalski $363,116 1500
3 Ilya Nikiforov $254,791 1200
4 Rob Hollink $181,667 900
5 Maria Ho $131,655 750
6 Andrew Lichtenberger $97,002 600
7 Rainer Kempe $72,683 450
8 David Mzareulov $55,401 300
9 Paul Chauderson $42,970 150

Winner photo credit: WSOP / Alex Rome.

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