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Espen Jorstad Leads The Final Three In The 2022 World Series of Poker Main Event

The Bracelet Winner From Norway Has 57 Percent Of The Total Chips In Play


Clockwise: Espen Jorstad, Adrian Attenborough, Michael Duek

There are now just three players remaining in the 2022 World Series of Poker main event, with the championship bracelet and top prize of $10,000,000 just one day from being claimed.

Leading the way is Norwegian poker pro Espen Jorstad. The 34-year-old won his first WSOP gold bracelet earlier this year by taking down the $1,000 tag team no-limit hold’em event alongside teammate Patrick Leonard. Now, with his 298,000,000 stack representing 57 percent of the total chips in play, he is well positioned to add to his collection.

Australian poker pro Adrian Attenborough ended the day in second place with 149,800,000. The 28-year-old will have 50 big blinds when cards get back in the air for the final day of this event, and will be looking to join Joe Hachem as the second player from his home country to win this prestigious tournament.

Rounding out the final three is 23-year-old venture capitalist Michael Duek of Aventura, Florida. Duek bagged up 72,100,000 (24 big blinds). The final three players have all locked up at least $4,000,000 for lasting this long in this event which drew 8,663 entries to build a prize pool of $80,782,475.

Final table action got underway at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, July 15. There were ten players still in contention instead of the typical nine due to day 7 running longer than expected. It had taken 17 hours to narrow the field from 35 contenders to 10, and the tournament directors decided to stop play at the unofficial final table instead of pressing on well past sunrise.

Asher ConniffThe official final table was set with the elimination of Asher Conniff in 10th place. On the seventh deal of the day the 34-year-old poker pro moved all-in with 10Heart Suit10Diamond Suit from the lojack. Michael Duek called from the small blind with AHeart SuitKHeart Suit.

Everybody else got out of the way, setting up a classic coin flip. The suspense was taken out of the race situation when the KSpade SuitKHeart SuitKClub Suit flop gave Duek quad kings to leave Conniff drawing dead. The 2015 World Poker Tour Championship winner earned $675,000 for his deep run in this event, the second-largest score of his career. He now has more than $3.5 million in lifetime earnings.

“This was definitely the coolest poker experience I’ve ever had,” Conniff told PokerGO sideline reporter Kara Scott after being eliminated. “It was amazing. It was an unfortunate way to go out, but I guess at least they put me down quickly, ya know. It’s unfortunate. I appreciate every moment, though.”

Matija Dobric had overtaken the lead early in the day, and he became the first player to surpass 100 million in chips when he won a hefty pot off of Attenborough with flush over flush. The board paired on the end, otherwise, Attenborough might have lost even more.

Matthew SuJohn Eames won the next big all-in confrontation, with his pocket kings holding against the pocket nines of Duek. Eames chipped up to over 88 million after the hand, good for third place on the leaderboard at the time.

There were eight all-in and calls during nine-handed play, with several short-stacked players finding crucial double-ups along the way. More than five hours after Conniff’s bustout, start-of-day co-leader Matthew Su broke the streak of the all-in player coming out on top. Su ran his pocket eights ran into the pocket kings of Philippe Souki.

Earlier, Su had lost a big chunk of his stack during the double-up bonanza. Attenborough’s pocket nines had cracked his pocket queens. Then his pocket jacks lost a race to Aaron Duczak’s A-K. Su earned $850,675 as the ninth-place finisher, by far the largest score of the 34-year-old poker pro from Washington DC’s career.

“I’m a little disappointed to finish ninth, but at the end of the day, I got really lucky to get here. So, I am happy that a lot of my friends got to experience this,” said Su after hitting the rail.

Despite busting Su, Souki was ultimately the next to fall. He lost a big chunk of his stack when Duek ran a multi-street bluff on him. He picked up ASpade SuitAHeart Suit on the button and moved all-in for just shy of eight big blinds. Dobric called with QSpade SuitJSpade Suit from the big blind. Souki improved to top set on an AClub Suit10Diamond Suit8Heart Suit flop, but Dobric picked up a double gutshot. The KHeart Suit turn gave Dobric the broadway straight for the lead. When the 4Diamond Suit didn’t pair the board on the river, Souki was knocked out in eighth place.

The 33-year-old poker pro from the UK earned $1,075,000 for his strong showing in this event. He now has nearly $1.6 million in recorded tournament earnings.

Philippe Souki

The next big clash began with Duczak raising to 6,000,000 from the lojack with ADiamond SuitKDiamond Suit. Eames just called with AHeart SuitAClub Suit and the flop came down 10Diamond Suit9Spade Suit4Diamond Suit. Eames checked and Duczak bet 6,500,000 with his nut flush draw and two overcards to the board. Eames check-raised to 14,300,000 with his under-represented overpair. Duczak moved all-in and Eames called to put himself at risk. The QHeart Suit and 4Spade Suit river were of no help to Duczak and Eames doubled up to over 100 million.

Aaron DuczakDuczak was left with just over four big blinds after that hand. He was all-in moments later, with his 7Diamond Suit6Diamond Suit facing the ASpade SuitKDiamond Suit of Duek. The board came down JSpade Suit8Diamond Suit2Club SuitJClub SuitAHeart Suit and Duek made aces and jacks with a king kicker to eliminate Duczak in seventh place.

The 40-year-old logger and fireman from Kamloops, British Columbia earned $1,350,000. Even with more than $1.7 million in lifetime earnings, he isn’t looking to quit his day jobs.

“I feel the same as I did before. I don’t want to play professionally,” said Duczak in his bustout interview. “I’m happy to be doing what I’m doing, and travel and play in my offseason.”

Jeffrey Farnes came into the final table in eighth chip position. He survived to the top six, but couldn’t seem to get anything going during short-handed play.

In his final hand, Farnes flat called with 2Spade Suit2Diamond Suit from the small blund, facing a button raise from Eames. Jorstad came along in the big blind and the flop came down 6Diamond Suit6Club Suit5Club Suit. Farnes moved all-in for 26.3 million and Jorstad got out of the way. Eames called with 9Club Suit8Club Suit for the flush draw, straight draw and overcards to Farnes’ small pair.

Jeffrey FarnesThe 3Diamond Suit on the turn kept Farnes’ ahead, but the 3Spade Suit on the river counterfeited his hand, Eames played his nine kicker with the sixes and threes on the board to secure the pot.

“I had a blast. This is a great event. What a marathon,” said Farnes. The 39-year-old from Dallas, Oregon was awarded $1,750,000 for his sixth-place showing.

Despite starting the final table strong, Dobric came into five-handed play as the short stack. He had doubled up multiple short stacks during nine-handed action to fall out of the lead and had been relatively quiet since then.

Matija DobricDobric, who finished 32nd in this event in 2021, was ultimately knocked out in fifth place. Fresh off of winning three hands in a row, Dobric min-raised to 6,000,000 from under the gun with 6Diamond Suit6Club Suit. Jorstad three-bet to 21,000,000 with AClub SuitQSpade Suit. Dobric four-bet shoved for 70,100,000 total and Jorstad made the call to set up a coin flip for the chip lead. The KHeart SuitQClub Suit7Club Suit10Diamond Suit8Club Suit runout saw Jorstad make a pair of queens to win the pot.

Dobric earned $2,250,000 as the fifth-place finisher. The 32-year-old Croatian poker pro now has nearly $2.5 million in live tournament scores.

Play came to an end with the elimination of Eames in fourth place. The 33-year-old poker pro from Southport, England three-bet shoved from the big blind facing an under-the-gun raise from Jorstad. Jorstad quickly called with KHeart SuitKDiamond Suit. Eames held ADiamond SuitJClub Suit. The board came down JSpade Suit10Heart Suit8Heart Suit3Spade Suit6Heart Suit to send the pot to Jorstad.

John Eames“You’d think the tournament would only get edgier and edgier, but I actually think, once you settle into it and get to day 4 or 5, it’s like you get acclimatized to the stakes of the situation and you’re just playing a regular tournament,” said Eames busting.

Eames took home $3,000,000 for his fourth-place showing. The 2015 WSOP Circuit Planet Hollywood main event winner now has nearly $4.8 million in recorded earnings.

With that, the three players bagged up their chips. They are set to return at 2:00 PM local time and play until a champion is decided. Blinds will be 1,500,000/3,000,000 with a big blind ante of 3,000,000 for the remaining 25:20 of level 42.

Here is another look at the chip counts of the remaining three players:

Rank Player Chips
1 Espen Jorstad 289,000,000
2 Adrian Attenborough 149,800,000
3 Michael Duek 72,100,000

Here are the payouts for the final table:

Place Player Earnings
1 TBD $10,000,000
2 TBD $6,000,000
3 TBD $4,000,000
4 John Eames $3,000,000
5 Matija Dobric $2,250,000
6 Jeffrey Farnes $1,750,000
7 Aaron Duczak $1,350,000
8 Philippe Souki $1,075,000
9 Matthew Su $850,675
10 Asher Conniff $675,000

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