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WSOP 2022: Anik Ajmera, Aditya Sushant, Paawan Bansal & Neel Joshi Add to Team India’s Tally on Day 20   

Anik Ajmera, Aditya Sushant, Paawan Bansal and Neel Joshi
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  • Attreyee Khasnabis June 20, 2022
  • 5 Minutes Read

The 53rd annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) has completed 20 of its 51-day scheduled run, and Team India seems to be going strong and steadily adding to the scorecard. Three bracelets were awarded on Sunday to Pedro Bromfman (Event #38: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Championship), Ramsey Stovall (Event #41: $1,000 Super Bounty No-Limit Hold’em), and Matt “PmpknHead” Szymaszek (Online Event #4: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Max).

Anik Ajmera‘s run in Event #39: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed was the standout performance from the Indian contingent on June 19. The Bengaluru-based player picked up his career-first WSOP score, finishing 25th for $12,143 (~₹9.45 Lakhs). Israel’s Leonid Yanovski (5,000,000) bagged the end-of-day chip lead among 16 survivors.

Event #37: $1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER No-Limit Hold’em has always been a major attraction for Indians, and several players from the Indian contingent qualified for Day 2. Even though no Indian was able to make the cut for Day 3, 11 players from the team scored in the event, namely, Aditya Sushant (316th for $5,816 ~ ₹4.54 Lakhs), Paawan Bansal (359th for $5,165 ~ ₹4.04 Lakhs), Neel Joshi (494th for $4,172 ~₹3.26 Lakhs), Nipun Java (528th for $4,172 ~ ₹3.26 Lakhs), Ankit Ahuja (536th for $4,172 ~ ₹3.26 Lakhs), PokerGuru Ambassador Kartik Ved (592nd for $3,795 ~ ₹2.97 Lakhs), Kunal Patni (717th for $3,218 ~ ₹2.51 Lakhs), Kunal Punjwani (752nd for $3,218 ~ ₹2.51 Lakhs), Meherzad Munsaf (1,002nd for $2,400 ~ ₹1.88 Lakhs), Muskan Sethi (1,083rd for $2,400 ~ ₹1.88 Lakhs), and Dilip Ravindran (1,182nd for $2,400 ~ ₹1.88 Lakhs).

Aditya Sushant
Aditya Sushant


The MILLIONAIRE MAKER logged in a massive 7,962 entries from two starting flights, with about 1,700 players making it to Day 2. The field was further whittled down with just 232 runners advancing to Day 3, headlined by Tom Thomas (2,875,000).

Chad Eveslage (1,131,000) bagged the chip lead on Day 2 of Event #40: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship with 15 players remaining.

Day 1 of Event #42: $100,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em saw Japan’s Masashi Oya (2,765,000) bag the most enormous stack among the 23 survivors from a starting field of 52 entries. With late registration open till the start of Day 2, several players might fire a second bullet, or others might join in.

Now that we have the tournament part of the series out of the way, let’s talk about some of the crazy shenanigans happening at the series.

A week ago, PokerStars Cultural Ambassador Neymar Jr. made his playing debut at the 2022 WSOP when he entered Event #26: $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship. While he busted the event early, he picked up his first-ever WSOP cash in Event #41: $1,000 Super Turbo Bounty No-Limit Hold’em, where he finished 49th for $3,959.

Neymar Jr.
Neymar Jr.


After the money bubble burst in Event #41 and Neymar was assured his career-first WSOP score, he excitedly went to the rail to talk to his friends, including PokerStars Team Pro Andre Akkari. Since players were supposed to remain at their seats, a security member, diligent in their duty and unaware that Neymar Jr. was in action, strolled up and said, “Sorry guys, I gotta kick you out, you can’t stay here.” “I’m playing,” Neymar Jr. deadpanned and returned to his seat. It goes on to show that no matter how big you get, there will always be people who don’t know you.

Another bizarre turn of events took place in Event #38: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Championship, when Phil Hellmuth went on a break only to discover his chips had been swiped by defending champion Farzad Bonyadi, who wasn’t at fault in the incident.

Phil Hellmuth
Phil Hellmuth


During the break, as the tournament dwindled down to 21 players, the staff broke the fourth table, merging them into three tables. When Hellmuth returned, he noticed his chips were gone and that they had somehow ended up in Bonyadi’s possession.

Immediately after the situation arose, the WSOP staff approached the table to investigate. There was no doubt that Hellmuth had a stack in play before leaving the table, but the exact size of his stack wasn’t clear. The surveillance camera was reviewed to determine the size of Hellmuth’s stack, which the 16-time bracelet winner estimated was more than 130,000.

Sharing his side of the story, Hellmuth said, “We went on break, and I’m kind of smart; I knew it was going to take them a while, so I went to the bathroom, but I left my chips in a rack and then Scott Seiver said leave Phil’s chips in a rack. And then one of the other players took them and put them in his stack.”

“Phil, it was an accident,” Chino Rheem jumped in to say.

“Yeah, it was a complete accident,” Hellmuth agreed with Rheem. “He’s a class guy; he would never do it intentionally. Stuff happens.”

Upon further review, about 20 minutes later, the WSOP staff confirmed that Hellmuth had 135,000 chips and removed them from Bonyadi’s stack. It’s unclear why Hellmuth didn’t bring his rack of chips to his new table before going on break. Additionally, it’s unknown how Bonyadi’s stack got accidentally merged with Hellmuth’s.


Event #37: $1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER No-Limit Hold’em – Day 2

Day 2 of Event #37: $1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER No-Limit Hold’em is now in the books. A starting field of 1,700 returning players dwindled to just 232 survivors by the time the bags were brought out.

While no Indians made it through to Day 3, eleven of our ‘desi’ players did secure cashes, including Aditya Sushant (316th for $5,816), Paawan Bansal (359th for $5,165), Neel Joshi (494th for $4,172), Nipun Java (528th for $4,172), Ankit Ahuja (536th for $4,172), PokerGuru Ambassador Kartik Ved (592nd for $3,795), Kunal Patni (717th for $3,218), Kunal Punjwani (752nd for $3,218), Meherzad Munsaf (1,002nd for $2,400), Muskan Sethi (1,083rd for $2,400), and Dilip Ravindran (1,182nd for $2,400).

Tom Thomas (2,875,000) holds the chip lead heading into Day 3, while Paul Ahn (2,650,000), Seamus Cahill (2,560,000), Raul Martinez (2,370,000) and Maxime Chilaud (2,250,000) carry the other top stacks.

The MILLIONAIRE MAKER has always been a crowd favorite, and unsurprisingly this year’s tourney also attracted a massive field of 7,962 entries across two starting flights, generating a $10,627,935 prize pool. As the event’s name suggests, the eventual winner will walk away a Millionaire, taking home a hefty $1,125,189 payday.

The remaining 232 runners will return for Day 3 at 10 AM (PDT) on June 20.

Tom Thomas
Tom Thomas


Top 10 Chip Counts at the End of Day 2

  1. Tom Thomas – 2,875,000
  2. Paul Ahn – 2,650,000
  3. Seamus Cahill – 2,560,000
  4. Raul Martinez – 2,370,000
  5. Maxime Chilaud – 2,250,000
  6. Harsukhpaul Sangha – 2,200,000
  7. Chen-An Lin – 2,145,000
  8. Tyler Gaston – 2,140,000
  9. Thibault Renard – 1,990,000
  10. Alain Bauer – 1,950,000


Event #39: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed – Day 2

Sixteen players bagged and headed home after Day 2 of Event #39: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed. From the starting field of 719 entries, only 156 returned for Day 2.

The sole Indian reported in the event, Anik Ajmera, made Day 2 with the second highest stack of 641,500. Unfortunately, he couldn’t last through the day and his excellent run ended at 25th place, earning him a $12,143 (~₹9.45 Lakhs) payday. This was Ajmera’s career-first WSOP score, and we hope to see more of him in the coming days.

Anik Ajmera
Anik Ajmera


Israel’s Leonid Yanovski ended the day with a commanding chip lead of 5,000,000, sure to give him a considerable advantage to pave his way to the final five, which will be the primary goal of the 16 players returning on Day 3.

However, the road to victory won’t be easy for Yanovski as he is set to face two recent runner-up finishers in Pot Limit Omaha events. Jamey Hendrickson (3,660,000), who finished second in Event #30: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed, and Fabian Brandes (2,060,000), who came second in Event #19: $25,000 High Roller Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed, are both hot contenders hungry to lock in their maiden WSOP bracelets.

Amongst the former WSOP bracelet winners who advanced to Day 2, we have Ukraine’s Andriy Lyubovetskiy (3,180,000), Jan-Peter Jachtmann (1,130,000), and short-stacked Jason DeWitt (580,000).

The 719-entry field created a whopping $1,919,730 prize pool. All remaining 16 players have assured themselves a minimum $18,494 payout, while the winner will collect the $371,358 top prize and the coveted gold bracelet.

The remaining players will return to Bally’s Event Center at 2 PM (PDT) on June 20, where they will resume play until only five players are left.

Leonid Yanovski
Leonid Yanovski


End of Day 2 Chip Counts

  1. Leonid Yanovski – 5,000,000
  2. Jamey Hendrickson – 3,660,000
  3. Jason Stockfish – 3,320,000
  4. Andriy Lyubovetskiy – 3,180,000
  5. Sean Winter – 2,590,000
  6. Fabian Brandes – 2,060,000
  7. Ferenc Deak – 1,855,000
  8. Thomas Morrison – 1,545,000
  9. Jan-Peter Jachtmann – 1,130,000
  10. Amirhossein Shayesteh – 1,000,000
  11. Botond Barat – 910,000
  12. Benjamin Francisco – 900,000
  13. Grzegorz Derkowski – 625,000
  14. Jason DeWitt – 520,000
  15. Andrei Mitsiuk – 485,000
  16. Brian Brunner – 480,000


Event #40: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship – Day 2

Day 2 of Event #40: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship had 75 players returning to their seats for a shot at winning the bracelet, and only 15 among them could keep their bracelet hopes alive.

The Event #8: $25,000 High Roller champion Chad Eveslage (1,131,000) bagged the chip lead, while Shaun Deeb (1,017,000), Eric Kurtzman (873,000), David Funkhouser (805,000), and Long Tran (720,000) are close on his coattails.

The day’s highlight was the hand-for-hand play during the money bubble that lasted for 45 hands. Dominik Baud money bubbled the tournament leaving the remaining 21 players in the money.

A slew of notables fell out after reaching the money, including Brandon Shack-Harris (18th for $16,358), Chris Tryba (19th for $16,358), Perry Friedman (20th for $16,358), and Day 1 chip leader Peter Gelencser (21st for $16,358).

Yuval Bronshtein (16th for $17,892) was the day’s last elimination.

The 15 finalists have locked in at least $17,892, with the eventual champion guaranteed $324,174 and the WSOP bracelet.

Day 3 will begin at 3 PM (PDT) on June 20 at the Bally’s Event Center.

Chad Eveslage
Chad Eveslage


End of Day 2 Chip Counts

  1. Chad Eveslage – 1,131,000
  2. Shaun Deeb – 1,017,000
  3. Eric Kurtzman – 873,000
  4. David Funkhouser – 805,000
  5. Long Tran – 720,000
  6. Daniel Zack – 568,000
  7. Todd Brunson – 540,000
  8. Felipe Ramos – 530,000
  9. Brian Hastings – 483,000
  10. Eric Wasserson – 428,000
  11. Ziya Rahim – 408,000
  12. John Monnette – 271,000
  13. Steven Loube – 198,000
  14. PJ Cha – 188,000
  15. Daniel Negreanu – 162,000


Event #42: $100,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em – Day 1

The penultimate High Roller tournament of the series, Event #42: $100,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em, hosted its opening day on June 19. The action-packed Day 1 saw 52 entries grabbing a seat, and after 12 levels of play, only 23 advanced to Day 2.

Headlining the survivors is Japan’s Masashi Oya (2,765,000). Oya put forward a great game eliminating defending champion Michael Addamo and Jake Schindler on his way to the top.

The 2021 WSOP Main Event Champion Koray Aldemir (2,390,000), GGPoker ambassador Jason Koon (2,230,000), ten-time bracelet winner Phil Ivey (1,410,000), and Dan Smith (1,560,000) featured among the top 10 stacks of the day.

Though not in the top ten, the list of notables advancing to Day 2 also includes Nick Petrangelo, Stephen Chidwick, David Peters, and Chance Kornuth.

Players were allowed to re-enter once with the entry cost of $100,000, and Michael Addamo, Jake Schindler, Chris Brewer, and Andrew Lichtenberger blew through both bullets without much success.

Other notables who entered but failed to make Day 2 include Erik Seidel, Dario Sammartino, and Adrian Mateos, all of whom have a chance to re-enter before the start of play on Day 2.

The remaining players will begin playing at noon (PDT) on June 20. The plan is to play down to the final five players, who will then return on Day 3 for a shot at the WSOP gold bracelet.

End of the Day 1 Chip Counts

  1. Masashi Oya – 2,765,000
  2. Aleksejs Ponakovs – 2,490,000
  3. Koray Aldemir – 390,000
  4. Benjamin Heath – 2,275,000
  5. Jason Koon – 2,230,000
  6. Gregory Jensen – 2,150,000
  7. Seth Davies – 1,580,000
  8. Dan Smith – 1,560,000
  9. Christoph Vogelsang – 1,450,000
  10. Phil Ivey – 1,410,000
  11. Henrik Hecklen – 1,265,000
  12. Eric Worre – 1,260,000 Paris
  13. Nick Petrangelo – 1,200,000
  14. Michael Moncek – 975,000
  15. Matthew Gonzales – 850,000
  16. Talal Shakerchi – 835,000
  17. Taylor von Kriegenbergh – 825,000
  18. Shannon Shorr – 770,000
  19. Brekstyn Schutten – 750,000
  20. Stephen Chidwick – 610,000
  21. David Peters – 515,000
  22. Chance Kornuth – 375,000
  23. Darren Elias – 275,000


Content & Images Courtesy: PokerGO, PokerNews & WSOP

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