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The 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Event #85: $1,500 The Closer was initially meant to be a two-day extravaganza. But due to the stampede on Saturday, Day 1B of the event was paused during Level 17 and had to be restarted on Sunday, with Day 2 commencing after a delayed start at 5:15 PM (PDT). While initially, the event was to play down to a winner on Sunday, an extra day was added to the schedule due to the delayed start. After all the chaos and intense action, New Jersey’s Minh Nguyen (cover image) championed the 2,039-entry field to bank the lion’s share of the $962,280 prize pool worth $536,280.
The final day had 17 players returning to the felts, with Nguyen starting with a dominating chip lead. He made an aggressive run through the FT, knocking out several players to clinch his career-first gold bracelet!
Nguyen defeated Ahmed Karrim (2nd for $331,470) heads-up after the two players dominated the final table and came to the endgame nearly even in chips. Karrim was followed in third place by Michael Liang ($247,890) and in fourth by Madelyn Carr ($186,770), both of whom were eliminated by Nguyen in a double knockout that sent the tournament into heads-up play.
“It was a rough start for the series,” Nguyen said in his post-win interview. “I was 0-5 before I min–cashed one. Then I went 0-26 or 27. Overall it was a pretty bad year.”
“I’ve actually been on a year-and-a-half downswing. For me to come this far in the last tournament of the series is a dream. It’s awesome,” he added.
Nguyen had a lively rail, and he promised them a party whether he won or lost. Before entering the Tournament of Champions, Nguyen has an obligation to fulfill.
“I’m going to take my rail out to eat and find something fun to do,” he said.
Team India’s Run in The Closer
The Closer has always been a favorite for Indian players, and the team has had two standout finishes in the event in recent years. Paawan Bansal finished runner-up in the event in 2018, while Young Gun Abhinav Iyer took down the event in 2019 to win the bracelet.
The Indian contingent entered the event in good numbers across the two starting flights. Only six Indians made the cut for Day 2. However, none progressed to Day 3.
MPL Poker Pro Siddharth Karia ran the deepest, finishing 28th for $16,740 (~₹13.37 Lakhs).
Raghav Bansal (40th for $13,730, ~₹10.96 Lakhs), Young Gun Neel Joshi (46th for $11,360, ~₹9.07 Lakhs), Kunal Punjwani (164th for $3,800, ~₹3.03 Lakhs), Sriharsha Doddapaneni (185th for $3,800, ~₹3.03 Lakhs) and Aditya Agarwal (213th for $3,360, ~₹2.68 Lakhs) round out the Indian scores in the event.
Team India’s The Closer Payouts
Rank Player Prize Amount
28th Siddharth Karia $16,740 (~₹13.37 Lakhs)
40th Raghav Bansal $13,730 (~₹10.96 Lakhs)
46th Neel Joshi $11,360 (~₹9.07 Lakhs)
164th Kunal Punjwani $3,800 (~₹3.03 Lakhs)
185th Sriharsha Doddapaneni $3,800 (~₹3.03 Lakhs)
213th Aditya Agarwal $3,360 (~₹2.68 Lakhs)
292nd Chiraag Patel $3,006 (~₹2.40 Lakhs)
299th Paawan Bansal $2,631 (~₹2.10 Lakhs)
378th Arsh Grover $2,406 (~₹1.92 Lakhs)
Chris Moorman (14th for $25,480), Ian Steinman (23rd for $20,570), Shaun Deeb (30th for $16,740), Jonathan Dokler (34th for $16,740), Barry Hutter (42nd for $13,730), Brett Shaffer (45th for $11,360), Tommy Nguyen (60th for $9,470), Bryan Piccioli (80th for $6,750) and Yuliyan Kolev (81st for $5,770) were some of the notables who finished in the money.
Following Tjan Tepeh‘s 11th place ($40,020) exit, the ten-handed final table was formed.
Final Table Chip Count
Final Table Recap
Ten minutes after the unofficial final table redraw, Vincent Lam doubled up Ahmed Karrim. Shortly after that, Lam shoved all-in for 3,000,000, and Daniel Tabello matched the bet.
The community cards opened and Tabello hit a straight on the turn to take down the pot, eliminating Lam in tenth place.
Fifteen minutes later, Michael Liang scored a double knockout when he called Zach Johnson’s open-shove from under the gun for 4,800,000. Rudy Cervantes re-shoved for 5,000,000 from late position, which Johnson called.
The board was a harbinger of bad news for Cervantes and Johnson, who fell out in places eighth and ninth, respectively.
In Level 39, after a 15-minute break, Samuel Brown open-shoved for 13,200,000 from the button with . Madelyn Carr in the small blind called off with , putting Brown at risk. Brown got no help on the board and walked out in seventh place.
Early in Level 40, Ahmed Karrim eliminated Daniel Tabello in sixth place.
The play slowed down after Tabello elimination and almost an hour later Manuel Herrera Garcia’s fell prey to Minh Nguyen’s on a board. Nguyen`s pair of fives knocked Garcia out in fifth place.
Twenty minutes after eliminating Garcia, Nguyen sped things up by scoring a double elimination. Madelyn Carr jammed her last 7,200,000 from the cutoff, and Michael Liang called from the small blind. Nguyen shoved his big stack from the big blind, and Liang tossed his remaining 4,000,000 in the pot after tanking for a moment.
The community cards opened , giving Nguyen trip tens to see off Liang and Carr in third and fourth place, respectively.
An hour of to and fro heads-up battle later, Ahmed Karrim shoved all-in on the turn with the board open in an attempt to win the 25,000,000 chips in the pot. However, the move backfired as Nguyen snap-called with for a straight. Karrim with the was drawing dead before an inconsequential hit the river. Unable to pull off the bluff, Karrim was relegated to a runner-up finish, while Nguyen picked up his maiden WSOP bracelet and $536,280.
Final Table Results (USD)
*The final table recap will be updated shortly.
Content & Images Courtesy: PokerGO, PokerNews & WSOP
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