Sign Up For Card Player's Newsletter And Free Bi-Monthly Online Magazine

Espen Jorstad and Matthew Su Lead The Final 10 In The 2022 World Series of Poker Main Event

It Took Roughly 17 Hours To Narrow The Field From 35 Players Down To The Unofficial Final Table


It took a marathon day 7 session to do it, but the unofficial final table has finally been set in the 2022 World Series of Poker $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event. This year’s big dance drew 8,663 entries, the second-largest field in the tournament’s history. After 11 consecutive days of main event action, including a 17-hour session on Wednesday, that huge figure has been decreased to just ten hopefuls, each with their eyes on the championship bracelet and the top prize of $10,000,000.

Sitting atop the leaderboard are two players tied for first place. 2022 World Series of Poker $1,000 tag team event winner Espen Jorstad and Matthew Su bagged up identical stacks of 83,200,000. The Norwegian and the Washington DC resident (pictured above, left and right) are both 34 years old. This is the first time that either of the two leaders have cashed in the live WSOP main event held in Las Vegas, although Jorstad did finish sixth in the 2021 WSOP Online main event for a career-best score of $603,058. Su has just $49,340 in prior earnings to his name.

While that pair is in the lead, they each bagged up roughly 16 percent of the chips in play, a far cry from the runaway leads held by several players in recent main events heading into the final table. Koray Aldemir held approximately 35 percent of the chips in play last year, and Hossein Ensan had essentially the same share in 2019. Of course, this is not an apples-to-apples comparison, given that day 7 play ended with an extra player still in contention this year.

Matija DobricMatija Dobric sits in third chip position with 68,200,000. The 32-year-old Croatian finished 32nd in the main event in 2021. Incredibly, he returned this year and managed to outdo that performance. Dobric and the rest of the remaining contenders have now all locked up at least $675,000 by making it this far. The seven-figure payouts are set to start when the final eight are reached. Dobric will multiply his career earnings several times over no matter how he does from here on out, though.

Aaron Duczak will look to become the first Canadian main event winner since 2010 when he takes his seat with 56,000,000. The 40-year-old from Kamloops, British Columbia has nearly $410,000 in prior tournament earnings to his name, with his biggest win being $58,800 for taking down the $1,100 pot-limit Omaha eigh-ot-better event at the 2006 B.C. Poker Championships.

John Eames will be one of two players from the UK at the final table. The 33-year-old Southport resident ended day 7 with 54,950,000. This accomplishment was particularly impressive after he lost a huge hand early in the day, making a big call on the turn with pocket queens after a king hit the board. His opponent, two-time World Poker Tour main event winner Aaron Mermelstein, had A-K and a stranglehold on the hand with one card coming. Check out a clip of the hand from PoekrGO’s exclusive live coverage below:

Michael DuekAustralia’s Adrian Attenborough sits in the middle of the pack with 50,800,000. The 28-year-old Melbourne resident has more than $1.1 million in prior tournament earnings, including a third-place showing in the 2017 Bellagio Cup main event for $361,660.

At just 23, Michael Duek is the youngest player still in contention. The Aventura, Florida resident has 49,775,000 in his stack, putting him in seventh place. Duek has more than $651,000 in prior earnings, including a breakout third-place finish in the $10,000 pot-limit Omaha eight-max event that wrapped up just over a week ago. He earned $548,015 for that deep run.

Jeffrey Farnes came into day 7 with the lead. The 39-year-old Dallas, Oregon resident ended up with 35,350,000, good for eighth on the leaderboard. He will blow away his previous top live score of $61,250 regardless of how the rest of this event goes. He only secured that score eight days ago for a seventh-place finish in the Grand Summer Series $2,000,000 guaranteed $2,5000 buy-in event at the Golden Nugget.

The second-shortest stack remaining (24,400,000) belongs to birthday boy Asher Conniff, who celebrated turning 34 in style by making the biggest (unofficial) final table of his career. The 2015 World Poker Tour Championship main event winner is the most accomplished live tournament player remaining, with more than $2.8 million in career cashes under his belt.

Ahser Conniff

Rounding out the final table is the UK’s Philippe Souki. He has more than $515,000 in prior cashes, including a $102,214 score in the $1,600 buy-in event at the Wynn Summer Classic in late June of this year. The 33-year-old’s 13,500,000 stack will be good for just over 11 big blinds when play resumes.

Day 7 came to a conclusion with the elimination of Baldwinville, Massachusetts resident Robert Welch (11th – $675,000). His run came to an end just after sunrise when his KDiamond Suit5Diamond Suit ran into the AClub SuitKClub Suit of Jorstad. Neither player improved on a queen-high runout and Welch hit the rail with the largest score of his career.

Other notable eliminations on day 7 included two-time bracelet winner Marco Johnson (35th – $262,300), cash game crusher Brian Kim (23rd – $323,100), two-time WPT champion Aaron Mermelstein (20th – $323,100), bracelet winner Kenny Tran (17th – $410,000), and bracelet winner David Diaz, who made one of the most impressive folds in main event history when he got away for queens full of deuces on a KHeart SuitQDiamond Suit2Diamond SuitQSpade Suit2Spade Suit board.

Diaz bet 7,000,000 of his remaining 18,800,000 on the river with ASpade SuitQHeart Suit. He could only lose to quad deuces, kings full, and queens full of kings. Incredibly, Farnes had one of those exact holdings with KSpade SuitKDiamond Suit. Farnes raised enough to put Diaz all-in, and after plenty of thought, Diaz managed to find the massive fold to preserve some of his stack. He was unable to spin it up from there, though, and was eliminated in 13th place ($525,000 ). Check out the incredible hand below:

Efthymia Litsou almost became the first female player since Barabara Enright to make the main event final table. Enright is the only woman to have achieved the feat, with a fifth-place finish made in 1995. Litsou, a 43-year-old project manager from New York, was ultimately knocked out in 18th place this year when her A-10 ran into the pocket kings of Jorstad. She earned $323,100 for her impressive run.

Damian Salas2020 main event champion Damian Salas was also eliminated early in the day. The Argentinian has had incredible success in the main event, making the money six times over the past decade, including a seventh-place finish in 2017 for $1,425,000 and his victory in the online-live hybrid event held in the place of the standard-issue world championship in 2020 due to the pandemic. He earned more than $2.5 million and the championship bracelet with that win.

Salas’ this year came to an end when his K-10 ran into the K-Q of Mermelstein, who was among the leaders at the time. Neither player improved and Mermelstein’s superior high cards were enough to take down the pot. Salas earned $262,300 as the 27th-place finisher. With that, he increased his career earnings to more than $6.2 million, while ensuring that a new world champion would be crowned in 2022.

The final 10 will return at 2:00 PM local time on Friday, July 15. The plan will be to play down to the final four that evening, with the winner to be determined on Saturday, July 16. Blinds will resume at 600,000-1,200,000 with a 1,200,000 big-blind ante.

Here is a look at the chip counts heading into the final table:

Rank Player Chips
1 Espen Jorstad 83,200,000
2 Matthew Su 83,200,000
3 Matija Dobric 68,650,000
4 Aaron Duczak 56,000,000
5 John Eames 54,950,000
6 Adrian Attenborough 50,800,000
7 Michael Duek 49,775,000
8 Jeffrey Farnes 35,350,000
9 Asher Conniff 24,400,000
10 Philippe Souki 13,500,000

You can follow the 2022 World Series of Poker on Card Player’s series landing page, sponsored by Global Poker, the fastest growing online poker room in the world. Check out the series schedule, as well as event recaps, news, and player interviews.