Thursday 21st July, 2022

Brits and Irish players thrive in WSOP Main Event

By Mark Valentine


British and Irish players put up a great showing in this year’s World Series of Poker! With four WSOP bracelet winners, more than 60 cashes in the Main Event and countless other victories and deep runs around Sin City, it’s been a bumper Vegas summer for home-grown talent.


WSOP Main Event

In the $10,00,000 Main Event, two British players shouldered past some 8,654 other entrants to make it all the way to the final table. John Eames finished fourth for $3 million while Philippe Souki was eighth for $1,075,000. In total, there were 8,663 entries creating a $80,782,475 prize pool and making it the second largest Main Event in WSOP history. Main Event champion Espen Jorstad, who hails from Norway but now lives in London, won $10,000 for his stunning victory after beating Adrian Attenborough  heads-up.


Former EPT finalist John Eames secured his biggest ever live cash by a long chalk. He has now won more than $5 million at live poker tournaments around the world including victory in a WSOP Circuit event at Planet Hollywood in 2014 and third place at EPT Copenhagen in 2011. Incidentally, his final table appearance in this year’s 53rd annual World Series Main Event was his first cash in a live tournament since pre-Covid. He now shoots up to 13th in the England all-time money list. Philippe Souki's (pictured below) superb run more than doubled his total for live tournament earnings to date. Souki’s huge $1,075,000 prize came only a month after his previous best cash when he finished fourth in a $1,600 NLHE event at the Wynn for $102,214.

Other deep runs in the WSOP Main Event came from likes of Andrew Taylor (25th, $323,100), George Turner (37th, $214,200),  Jack Allen (69th, $121,500), Bassam Elia  (94th, $101,700) and Nicholas Ramsey  (96th, $73,100). In total, 64 British and Irish players cashed in the Main Event winning nearly $6.5 million between them. A host of big names cashed, including Talal Shakerchi, Toby Lewis, Craig McCorkell , Brandon Sheils, Tom Middleton , Jareth East (who was eighth last year), Simon Trumper , Benny Glaser , Padraig O’Neill, and Patrick Clarke.


Hippodrome Ambassador Chris Da-silva, who was playing his first WSOP since the pandemic, came to the event with a large group of Hippodrome qualifiers. He managed to better his last WSOP Main Event result by one – finishing in 98th place for $73,100 compared to 99th place in 2019 for $66,330. He said: “The new location on the Strip is fantastic. Much better than the Rio in my opinion. It’s a nicer venue and feels more prestigious. My favourite part of being at the series was catching up and seeing people that I hadn't seen for years! And also perhaps running deep in the Main.” Aside from the Main, Chris had quite a few cashes in Vegas this summer including 139th in the Monster Stack for $7,584 and 1284th for $1,327 in the $1k Million Dollar Bounty


Patrick Leonard rocks the Series (pictured below with Espen Jorstad and friends)

The “man behind the throne” in the Main Event also deserves a big mention; online pro and Run It Once coach Patrick Leonard played a pivotal role in helping eventual champion Espen Jorstad win the event. The pair, who are close friends and both live in London, had already secured their first ever WSOP bracelets earlier in the Series when they joined forces to win the $1,000 Tag Team event for $74,042. Leonard then helped his friend and team-mate prepare for the final table.


Leonard, who has been ranked the world’s top online MTT player multiple times and has more than $18 million in live and online earnings, said: “It’s been a good series! 13 cashes, 1 bracelet, a little bit of profit and also watched Espen, my close friend and tag team partner, win the Main! It was my first WSOP since before Covid and I loved the new location. I ate at Cafe Americano 53 times!”


Looking ahead for the rest of 2022, Leonard says his next live event is likely to be the giant PokerStars festival EPT Barcelona which is taking place in the Catalan capital from August 8-12. After that Leonard may head back to Vegas to compete in the WPT Five Diamond Classic at the Bellagio in October, or the WPT World Championship at the Wynn in December.


Article Credits: Mad Harper, Mark Valentine

Photo Credits: WSOP, PokerNews

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