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Sean Banahan Tops Field of 2,999 In World Poker Tour World Championship Kickoff Event

The $600 Buy-In Event's $500,000 Guarantee Was More Than Tripled Thanks To The Huge Turnout

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Sean BanahanThe hype for the 2022 World Poker Tour World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas has been growing ever since the record-breaking $15 million guaranteed $10,400 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event was announced back in June. Now, after months of build-up, the series is finally here.

The series spans from Dec. 1-20, with $22 million in guaranteed prize money across 23 events. The first tournament on the schedule was a $500,000 guaranteed $600 buy-in no-limit hold’em event. The tournament sported six total starting flights, and when all was said and done a total of 2,999 entries had been made. As a result of this huge turnout, the guarantee was more than tripled, with $1,559,480 in total prize money eventually awarded.

Late on Sunday, Dec. 4, the event came to a close with Sean Banahan securing the trophy and the top prize of $136,220 after striking a deal. World Series of Poker bracelet winner Jesse Lonis took home $122,184 as the runner-up.

This win was the first-ever six-figure score for Banahan. Prior to this victory, his largest cash came when he finished second in a $1,100 buy-in event during the 2021 Wynn Winter Classic for $80,000. The Twin Falls, ID resident now has more than $270,000 in lifetime cashes to his name.

Lonis earned 500 Card Player Player of the Year points for his second-place showing. This was his 16th POY-qualified final table of the year. With 3,102 total points and $643,457 in to-date POY earnings, Lonis now sits inside the top 50 in the 2022 POY race standings sponsored by Global Poker.

Lonis now has more than $2.1 million in lifetime earnings after this deep run. Other notables who made it to the final table included recent _Card Player Poker tour bestbet Jacksonville main event ninth-place finisher Lunique Petiote (7th – $25,915) and six-time WSOP Circuit ring winner La Senghpet (5th – $61,222).

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

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Sean Banahan $136,220 600
2 Jesse Lonis $122,184 500
3 Richard Alati $84,433 400
4 David Chavez $82,900 300
5 La Sengphet $61,222 250
6 Jatinder Singh $30,307 200
7 Lunique Petiote $25,915 150
8 David Yokoyama $22,852 100
9 Thomas Zanot $20,227 50

While the centerpiece of this series is undeniably the $15 million guaranteed championship event, there are several other tentpole tournaments on the schedule, including the $2 million guaranteed $1,100 WPT Prime Championship no-limit hold’em event (Dec. 8-12), the $200,000 guaranteed $1,100 Ladies Championship (Dec. 16-18), and the $2 million guaranteed $1,600 Wynn Mystery Bounty. The unique mystery bounty event, which was pioneered by Wynn, will once again see players draw for cash prizes after they secure bounties, with possible bounty payouts up to $100,000.

There will also be a pair of high roller events, with a $25,700 buy-in running Dec. 11-12 and a $10,500 buy-in on Dec. 18.

In addition to a variety of price points and formats for no-limit hold’em players, the series also sports a number of other games to choose from, including a $600 H.O.R.S.E. event (Dec. 5), a $600 Omaha eight-or-better event (Dec. 6), $3,000 eight-game mix event (Dec. 8-9), an $1,100 H.O.R.S.E. championship (Dec. 12-13), and a $1,100 Omaha eight-or-better championship (Dec. 13-14).

Check out the full schedule on Card Player’s tournament database, or via the image below (click to enlarge):

Photo credit: Wynn Poker Room Twitter account.