The 2022 Poker Masters has reached its halfway stage and with its latest new winner, the leaderboard is wide open with only half a dozen events to go until the Purple Jacket is won.

With nine finalists instead of six this time, the final $10,000-entry event of the series before the buy-ins increase saw Martin Zamani win the tournament and $223,100 top prize, with players such as Anthony Hu, Jesse Lonis and Dan Shak falling short.

Shak is First to Leave

With nine players filling the final table at the PokerGO Studio at ARIA in Las Vegas, it wasn;t long before No Limit Hold’em did its work and the field started losing players. Dan Shak was the first player to depart, getting in his last chips with pocket sevens, only to run into Anthony Zu’s pocket tens. Shak received no help at all from the board and left with a cash worth $38,800.

Recent WSOP bracelet winner Jesse Lonis busted in eighth when his ace-king was unable to triumph against Masashi Oya’s pocket jacks with all the chips into the middle pre-flop. The flop of Q-J-2 wasn’t great for Lonis, but a ten would bring Broadway and there were four of them out there. Lonis just couldn’t hit any of them as turn and river passed him by without completing his straight, sending Lonis home for the same amount as Shak.

Ken Aldridge departed in seventh place for 48,500. Aldridge was all-in with the very best of it, holding pocket aces, but was called by Matthew Wantman with jack-ten and a jack and ten on the flop ended up doing for Aldridge’s chances.

Middle Stages Mark Out Winners

All three players who eliminated the lower order would lose their seats during the middle stages. Masashi Oya was up against it when he called Jared Jaffee’s all-in with ace-five against Jaffee’s ace-king, and a king on the flop, and an ace on the turn quickly doubling up Jaffee.

Oya was out soon after, his pocket nines unable to hold against Martin Zamani’s ace-queen as a massive pot would make one of the two men chip leader, Zamani hitting an ace in the window to take out the dangerous Oya for $58,200.

Next to leave the party in fifth was Anthony Hu, whose ace-jack all-in was crushed by both Jaffee’s ace-queen and Zamani’s pocket kings pre-flop, with Hu busted for $77,600 as Jared Jaffee rivered an ace and catapulted himself into second place, preventing Zamani taking a massive lead and double elimination.

Zamani Gets the Gold

“The Purple Jacket would look good on The Frogman.”

With four men left and that incredible previous hand having levelled up the counts considerably, no-one had less that 2.3 million or more than 3.42 million in chips. Wantman wanted to hold when he shoved for just two and a half bigs with king-four and he was called and eliminated by Jared Jaffee who went runner-runner spades to take out ‘Bucky’ in fourth place for $97,000.

Down to three, it was Zamani who held a strong lead at that point, with 6.8 million ahead of Jaffee (3.3m) and Justin Saliba (1.8m). Saliba couldn’t survive, all-in with pocket eights and called by Jaffee with pocket nines. The board came A-T-T-2-J and that was the end for Saliba, crashing out in third for $116,400.

Heads-up, Zamani held 6.4 million a touch ahead of Jaffee’s 5.7 million, with the news coming through that whoever won the battle would take third place on the overall leaderboard. In the final hand, Zamani’s queen-nine of hearts was up against Jaffee’s ace-jack with one heart. The board of K-T-9-3-9 saw Jaffee a favorite on the flop, but no cards came to help him see it out and “too many outs” ended his hopes, Zamani winning his first-ever PokerGO title.

PokerGO Commentators Jeff Platt and Brent Hanks commented that “the Purple Jacket would look good on The Frogman.”

Poker Masters Event #6 $10,000 NLHE Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Martin Zamani U.S.A. $223,100
2nd Jared Jaffee U.S.A. $155,200
3rd Justin Saliba U.S.A. $116,400
4th Matthew Wantman U.S.A. $97,000
5th Anthony Hu U.S.A. $77,600
6th Masashi Oya Japan $58,200
7th Ken Aldridge U.S.A. $48,500
8th Jesse Lonis U.S.A. $38,800
9th Dan Shak U.S.A. $38,800


Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson writes for about the gambling industry. His experience ranges from crypto and technology to sports, casinos, and poker. He went to Douglas College and started his journalism career at the Merritt Herald as a general beat reporter covering news, sports and community. Arthur lives in Hawaii and is passionate about writing, editing, and photography.

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