Breaking Down the Action:
  • Hellmuth Pulls Out of High Roller Bounty Event; Ivey Arrives
  • Other Big Names Survive
  • Kenny Hallaert Third in Chips in Casino Employees Event

5 Minute Read

Bally's Opening Day 2022.

The opening day of the 2022 World Series of Poker saw the start of two events, the $500-entry Casino Employees Event #1 and the $100,000 High Roller Bounty Event #2. With the two tournaments challenging players at opposite ends of the spectrum, there was some fantastic poker to look back on from the opening day at Paris and Bally’s on Day 1 of the 2022 WSOP in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hellmuth Pulls Out of High Roller Bounty Event; Ivey Arrives

The opening day of the $100,000 buy-in High Roller Bounty event, Event #2 on the schedule, saw drama throughout as the first open event to take place of the 102 bracelet events on the schedule this year got underway. The preamble to the event saw Lisa Vanderpump, star of U.S. reality TV shows The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Vanderpump Rules, and Vanderpump Dogs, announcde ‘Shuffle Up and Deal!’, the most famous phrase in poker, although a stumble meant she almost opened the show with ‘Shut up and deal!’ instead.

Once the action was started, the big talking point was Phil Hellmuth’s absence. The Poker Brat, who traveled to Vegas from Mexico, complained of travel sickness relating to diarrhea and had to sit the event out. He was on the sidelines, but players such as Shaun Deeb, Daniel Negreanu, and Phil Ivey, who took a seat on Day 1 of the WSOP for the first time in ages, were all at the felt. Deeb in particular would struggle, however, despite his pre-WSOP declaration that he had slipped into a comfortable sleep routine hinting at terrific preparation.

As players such as Negreanu and Ivey both made the end-of-day counts, the chip leader was Justin Young, who bagged over 3.5 million chips, more than David Peters with 3 million in second place on the leaderboard. Ivey bagged big, so too did the 2019 WSOP Main Event runner-up Dario Sammartino, and as PokerGO presenter and Global Poker Award winner Jeff Platt led fans around the venue, it was an all-action kick-off to proceedings.

Other Big Names Survive

“Ali Imsirovic bagged the fourth-largest stack in the Paris Ballroom.”

It wasn’t just star players like Ivey and Negreanu who thrived. While alleged poker cheats Bryn Kenney and Jake Schindler both entered but busted, Ali Imsirovic, whose name has been associated with plenty of controversy over the last few weeks, bagged the fourth-largest stack in the Paris Ballroom.

Just 15 men made the cut for Day 2 in the end, with Erik Seidel (1,645,000), Cary Katz (1,570,000), and first-time WPT winner from just last week, Chance Kornuth (1,335,000), all making the top 10 chipcounts.

In a week where the former WSOP bracelet winner Cory Zeidman was charged with wire fraud, the super high roller buy-in High Roller Bounty event provided some much-needed excitement and positivity to kick off the 2022 World Series of Poker. Daniel Negreanu even made Day 2, with over 1.2 million chips, 11th of the 15 survivors. Kid Poker, who last month gave us five tips to survive at the World Series, will be a big threat on Day 2 as he shoots for his first WSOP bracelet in Las Vegas since 2008.

WSOP 2022 Event #2 $100,000 High Roller Bounty Top 10 Chipcounts:

Place Player Country Chips
1st Justin Young U.S.A. 3,565,000
2nd David Peters U.S.A. 3,085,000
3rd Koray Aldemir Germany 2,930,000
4th Ali Imsirovic Bosnia/U.S.A. 2,545,000
5th Bill Klein U.S.A. 2,240,000
6th Dario Sammartino Italy 2,180,000
7th Phil Ivey U.S.A. 1,975,000
8th Erik Seidel U.S.A. 1,645,000
9th Cary Katz U.S.A. 1,570,000
10th Chance Kornuth U.S.A. 1,335,000

Kenny Hallaert Third in Chips in Casino Employees Event

With 832 entries in the opening event, the $500-entry Casino Employees event, Belgian star and Unibet tournament director Kenny Hallaert bagged the third-biggest stack of the day as he piled up 695,000 chips and made the money.

Only  82 players made the end-of-day chipcounts, with Shaun Colquhoun (885,000) and Arturo Jimenez (848,000) top of the leaderboard as Day 1 ended. Other big names failed to make any profit on their investment, with David Tuchman and Lisa Vanderpump just two names who failed to reach the promised land of the money places.

Hallaert will make the headlines, however, with the enigmatic Belgian positioned brilliantly for a run at what would be his first WSOP bracelet. With over $2.8 million in WSOP winnings, Hallaert will likely never reach an easier Day 2 for a man of his experience and with his chip stack. He will be desperately hoping that lady luck smiles on him when play resumes at Bally’s on Day 2.

WSOP 2022 Event #1 $500 Casino Employees Top 10 Chipcounts:

Place Player Country Chips
1st Shaun Colquhoun U.S.A. 885,000
2nd Arturo Jimenez U.S.A. 848,000
3rd Kenny Hallaert Belgium 695,000
4th Kelli Phillips U.S.A. 613,000
5th Kirby Brewer U.S.A. 588,000
6th Michael Murray U.S.A. 533,000
7th Minxyun Kim U.S.A. 485,000
8th Vik Vijay U.S.A. 470,000
9th John Liu U.S.A. 427,000
10th James Sutherland U.S.A. 400,000

Photo courtesy of PokerGO, home of the 2022 World Series of Poker, with final tables live streams on throughout June and July.  

Joseph Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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