The first day of action in the 2022 PokerGO Cup is in the books and Andrew ‘Chewy’ Lichtenberger leads the first final table of the series.

With a total of 77 entries across 51 unique players, the $10,000 buy-in event saw a total prize pool of $770,000 amassed by the close of registration. With just six of those players still holding chips, it is the eponymous ‘Lucky Chewy’ who holds an important — and large – lead.

Big Names Miss Out on the Money

With just 11 places paid, that meant 40 players would be returning home at least $10,000 worse off than when they arrived to take their seat. The first prize of the event is $200,200, as well as some valuable PokerGO Tour Leaderboard points, but players such as the reigning WPT Player of the Year Jacob Ferro, four-time WSOP bracelet winner Anthony Zinno, 2021 PGT Leaderboard winner Ali Imsirovic, multiple WSOP winner Jeremy Ausmus and modern poker legend Dan Smith all busted before the final 40 players were reached.

After the exits of players such as Alex Foxen (40th), Bryn Kenney (36th), Chance Kornuth (30th), and Daniel Negreanu (25th), play got nearer the bubble, and players such as Dan Shak (22nd), Stephen Chidwick (21st) and Sam Soverel (18th) all got close to profit without making the cut. Bubble boy in 12th place was Mitchell Halverson, who lost two crucial pots against Darren Elias, one a coinflip, the other ace-queen against aces, to bust just outside the money.

Wesam Abdallah was the player who snuck into the money places, finishing 11th for $23,000, the same amount won by Jesse Lonis (10th) and Cary Katz in ninth place, before Jake Schindler slid out in eighth place for $30,800 when his ace-queen ran into Lichtenberger’s pocket aces and couldn’t find a miracle to survive.

Shorr Bubbles Final Table

Just seven players remained, but one more player needed to bust before the opening day of the 2022 PokerGO Cup was in the books. When play concluded, the average stack was at 1,604,167, but the dominance of the chip leader saw Lichtenberger pile up more than double that of his nearest opponent, four-time WPT Main Event winner Darren Elias.

Shannon Shorr was the unfortunate player to miss out on being one of the players at the inaugural final table of the series. He moved all-in with pocket nines but ran into Daniel Colpoys’ pocket jacks and couldn’t catch him across the ten-high board, busting instead for a result worth $38,500.

With six players left, the top prize on offer is $200,200, which comes with – you’ve guessed it – 200 PGT Player of the Year Leaderboard points. Andrew Lichtenberger looks a big favorite with a chip lead and over 3.8 million chips. But as ever at a six-handed table, anything can happen.

Darren Elias Chief Among Lichtenberger’s Challengers

“It’s important to stay in the moment and not to look too far ahead.” – Darren Elias, four-time WPT champion.

Lichtenberger came into the final table of nine with over two million chips and has only grown his advantage in the time three players have left. During that stage, however, Darren Elias also picked up chips and will go into the final directly opposite ‘Chewy’ at the table with 1.74 million chips.

“Yesterday went pretty well for me, I was able to show up with some big hands in some big spots and build a nice stack,” Elias told us. “Although not very interesting strategically, the big AA v AQ hand did a lot towards propelling me to the final table.”

Elias has played ‘Chewy’ many times, and told us that he has ‘a lot of respect for him’.

“In addition to being a strong player, he’s also just a very good person which is rare to come by in our world.”

When it comes to navigating the final table and pushing for the win, Elias is not getting ahead of himself. Having won four six-handed WPT Main Events, he’s a man to trust on knowing how to convert a decent chance into the title.

“I’m just going to take things one hand at a time and make the best decisions I can,” he says. “It’s important to stay in the moment and not to look too far ahead in these spots.”

Also well in contention after busting Shorr, Colpoys bagged up 1.71 million chips, with Matthew Wantman (980,000), Michael Lang (735,000) and Scott Ball (615,000) all still in contention. Ball tweeted about his hopes despite being down to just 15 big blinds.

With a day of drama on the horizon, we’ll soon find out which great player of the six remaining takes the first title of the 2022 PokerGO Cup.

2022 PokerGO Cup Event #1 Final Table Chipcounts:

Position Player Country Chips
1st Andrew Lichtenberger U.S.A. 3,875,000
2nd Darren Elias U.S.A. 1,740,000
3rd Daniel Colpoys U.S.A. 1,710,000
4th Matthew Wantman U.S.A. 980,000
5th Michael Lang U.S.A. 735,000
6th Scott Ball U.S.A. 615,000


Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller is a veteran casino writer with decades of experience under his belt. He's played at –and reviewed– countless of online casinos, and has written dozens of casino game guides. His strategy articles, and gambling news updates have been a fixture in the industry since 2004. A native of North Texas, Cliff is a long-suffering Dallas Cowboys fan. He enjoys sports and games of all sorts, including sports betting.

Back To Top
Back To Top