The final of the 2022 Card Player Poker Tour’s Venetian Main Event lived up to its hype last night as two Moreno brothers tried in vain to win, edged out by John Riordan at the last as the top prize of $176, 221 was claimed in Las Vegas.

Early Stages see Andrew Moreno Ousted

With only nine players starting the final table, one of those players was Andrew Moreno who won the Wynn Millions Main Event in recent years and starred in the recent Wynn Fall Classic too. In this tournament, of course, not one Moreno brother reached the final but two, as Johnnie ‘Vibes’ Moreno also made the final nine in style on Monday night.

With the 11th annual Venetian-based Card Player Poker Tour seeing a prizepool of $816,750 gathered by the class of 2022, it was Jayakrishnan Nair who busted the final table first. Losing a big pot with ace-king, as he lost valuable chips to pocket kings and pocket aces in an astonishing run out, it wasn’t long before Nair was on the rail in ninth place for $14,400.

Next to go in eighth place was Ben Palmer, who cashed for $18,434 as the adopted Vegas resident missed out on the latter stages in another clash of premium hands. All-in with pocket jacks, the popular Floridian crashed out to pocket aces and added another nibble of profit to a total of $1.28 million he has won at the Venetian.

Big Names Fall Short of Glory

Out in seventh place was the popular CardPlayer contributor Barry Schulman, whose result of $24,065 came after his pocket sevens were one card behind pocket eights pre-flop. Nothing came on the board to help Schulman survive and he missed out on the top half-dozen players as his pursuit of another major poker title ended with his lifetime earnings at the live felt just short of $6 million.

There were two Morenos in the final six players, but Andrew cracked first, busting in sixth for $32,026. Losing with two pair to a set on the river for his opponent, Moreno junior did manage his fifth final table appearance of 2022, with his latest cash bumping him past the $3.5 million mark in live earnings alone.

Daniel Colpoys became the next casualty of a frantic final table, busting in fifth place for a score of $43,433. The reigning Mid Stakes Poker Tour champion ended Day 1a in charge and had the biggest stack heading into Day 2. He was not so dominant on the penultimate day of the event, however, and busted in fifth when his ace-jack was dominated pre-flop and defeated post-flop by ace-king.

Moreno Misses Out in Third

“I knew if some good things happened it was anybody’s tournament.” ~ John Riordan

With four players left, the fine margins really told. Former chip leader Zach McDiarmid was the next player to leave the action, busting in fourth for a coffee over $60,000 when his ace-ten ran into ace-king too. While the skilful McDiarmid made the final four, he couldn’t seal the title which was the only way he could have improved on the $136,100 he won for coming 46th in the 2021 WSOP Main Event.

With three players left, momentum swung this way and that, but eventually ended with the popular YouTube legend Johnnie ‘Vibes’ Moreno on the rail. Supported by his brother Andrew to the end, Moreno lost with exactly the same hand effectively, his two pair also falling to a set that came on the river, leaving him with $84,416 but no place in the heads-up battle for the title.

Both John Riordan and Carl Oman had roughly 60 big blinds when heads-up began, but the duel did not last for long. Oman shoved with ace-deuce on the board of K-5-2-3 but was quickly called by Riordan with pocket fives for a flopped middle set. Only a four would save Oman, but it never came, another deuce giving him trips but improving Riordan to a full house, giving him the title and top prize of $176,221. Oman’s runner-up score of $120,900 saw his lifetime winnings at the live felt improve to over $720,000, but it was Riordan’s title.

“I wasn’t expecting much coming into the final table, coming in sixth of nine,” said the newly-crowned champion upon victory. “But I knew if some good things happened it was anybody’s tournament. I’m very happy and fortunate that it turned out to be mine. The biggest turning point came on Day 2 where I had the starting stack all day long. Then I went from 100,000 to 2,000,000 in two hours, just winning everything, making tons of hands. It was very fun.”

Card Player Poker Tour 2022 Venetian Main Event Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize  
1st John Riordan U.S.A. $176,221  
2nd Carl Oman U.S.A. $120,900  
3rd Johnnie Moreno U.S.A. $84,416  
4th Zach McDiarmid U.S.A. $60,004  
5th Daniel Colpoys U.S.A. $43,433  
6th Andrew Moreno U.S.A. $32,026  
7th Barry Shulman U.S.A. $24,065  
8th Ben Palmer U.S.A. $18,434  
9th Jayakrishnan Nair U.S.A. $14,400  


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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