Breaking Down the Action:
  • Punnat Punsri Wins Opening Event for $118,000
  • Second $10,000-Entry Event Won Punsri Again for $133,000
  • Foxen Claims Win in Third Event After Wang Chop Heads-Up
  • Imsirovic Claims Win as 2021 Champion Battles to Victory

6 Minute Read

Ali Imsirovic won the final event of the Venetian Deepstack Series, but does it give him the overall lead?

The Venetian Deepstack Series isn’t only the first high roller event series to take place in 2022, it is also the first series that will contribute points to the PokerGO Tour (PGT). After a spectacular weekend of poker in Las Vegas, the four tournaments, which cost between $10,000 and $25,000 to enter, produced terrific poker and success for some of poker’s biggest names, including last year’s PokerGO Tour winner.

Punnat Punsri Wins Opening Event for $118,000

The Venetian Deepstack Series got underway on Wednesday night in the inaugural event, which cost $10,000 to enter. It was won by a comparatively new name in Las Vegas high rollers, certainly in terms of outright winners — Punnat Punsri. The enigmatic Thai player got the better of Erik Seidel’s heads-up, or rather got the better end of a deal.

With the night closing in, the two men agreed to a chop and with Punsri ahead, ICM-style workings allowed both men to cash out with a six-figure score to show for their efforts. Elsewhere in the five money places, there were cashes for Barry Hutter and Alex Foxen, while Jake Schindler snuck in for a min-cash worth $23,800. Some very big names missed out, however, with Ryan Riess, Dylan Linde, and reigning 2021 PokerGO Tour winner Ali Imsirovic all failing to make a profit.

PGT Venetian Deepstack High Roller Series Event #1

Place Player Country Prize
1st Punnat Punsri Thailand $118,037*
2nd Erik Seidel U.S.A. $106,363*
3rd Barry Hutter U.S.A. $54,400
4th Alex Foxen U.S.A. $37,400
5th Jake Schindler U.S.A. $23,800

Second $10,000-Entry Event Won Punsri Again for $133,000

The second event to take place was also a $10,000 buy-in and was won in the small hours of Friday morning by none other than Punnat Punsri again. Punsri got the better of Chris Brewer heads up to claim the second title in as impressive fashion as he bossed the first tournament.

This time around, a total of 37 entries meant six players rather than five got paid, meaning Barry Hutter snuck into the money places to cash for $18,500.

Hutter was followed from the felt by John Flynt, who made the money after bubbling the opening event, this time cashing for $29,600. Andrew ‘Chewy’ Lichtenberger was in bad shape with four left, busting with a lower ace-high hand to Japanese player Masashi Oya, who led the final table when it was formed with nine players, but then slipped back in the chipcounts. He was short stack when he lost with pocket sixes as Chris Brewer won a coinflip to bust Oya and went into heads-up with a slight lead over Punsri.

Punsri, however, was about to go back-to-back, and after a rivered straight gave the Thai player a strong lead, Brewer was left struggling. The American managed to double-up, but Punsri won another important hand with a pair and a few hands later, turned a flush then called Brewer’s river shove to claim the title and the top prize of $133,200.

PGT Venetian Deepstack High Roller Series Event #2

Place Player Country Prize
1st Punnat Punsri Thailand $133,200
2nd Chris Brewer U.S.A. $88,800
3rd Masashi Oya Japan $59,200
4th Andrew Lichtenberger U.S.A. $40,700
5th John Flynt U.S.A. $29,600
6th Barry Hutter U.S.A. $18,500

Foxen Claims Win in Third Event After Wang Chop Heads-Up

Alex Foxen may have courted controversy more than the top of the GPI in the past year, but there is no doubting the former number one ranked player’s strength when he’s at the live felt. With a staredown that is up there with the best, Foxen completed another big win in his career as he chopped the third event with Michael Wang.

With Erik Seidel cashing for the second time in three events by finishing fourth, there was a third-place result for Steven Grady, who won $62,400 after missing out on the heads-up battle when his pocket tens were overtaken by Foxen’s ace-queen. Almost immediately, the two remaining players agreed to a chop for the win, and Foxen was pronounced the victor without needing to play a heads-up hand.

PGT Venetian Deepstack High Roller Series Event #3

Place Player Country Prize
1st Alex Foxen U.S.A. $153,615*
2nd Michael Wang U.S.A. $134,985*
3rd Steven Grady U.S.A. $62,400
4th Erik Seidel U.S.A. $39,000

Imsirovic Claims Win as 2021 Champion Battles to Victory

The final event of the four-tournament series saw Ali Imsirovic reign supreme as the 2021 PGT leaderboard winner claimed his only cash by winning the final $25,000-entry event of the series. Imsirovic won heads-up against Japanese player Masashi Oya, who had a formidable series overall, the Bosnian winning the heads-up after a rivered flush and flopped two pair in two late hands gave him the title.

Sam Soverel missed out on the money in the most painful way, crashing out in fourth place for no return in a series of no results for the high roller regular, as Steven Grady finished third in consecutive events, this time cashing for $80,000 when his top pair fell to Oya’s overpair.

PGT Venetian Deepstack High Roller Series Event #4

Place Player Country Prize
1st Ali Imsirovic Bosnia/U.S.A. $270,000
2nd Masashi Oya Japan $150,000
3rd Steven Grady U.S.A. $80,000

After four events, the Venetian Deepstack series saw seven players win six figures as the year got off to an exciting start. Punnat Punsri’s two victories in the opening two events saw the Thai player look an early favorite to top the overall leaderboard, but Event #4 winner Ali Imsirovic did just enough with that single victory to take first position.

They’re followed in the counts by Japanese player Masashi Oya, who may not have won any of the four events, but whose two cashes still amounted to more than Event #3 winner Alex Foxen, who banked $191,015 for a good return of profit after four events.

Quietly sneaking into the top five with two cashes and another consistent run of form on four straight days was the nine-time WSOP bracelet winner and poker legend Erik Seidel, who banked over $145,000 as he put himself in the chasing pack for a run at Player of the Year in his 63rd year.

PGT Venetian Deepstack High Roller Series Event Money Leaderboard

Place Player Cashes Winnings
1st Ali Imsirovic 1 $270,000
2nd Punnat Punsri 2 $251,237
3rd Masashi Oya 2 $209,200
4th Alex Foxen 2 $191,015
5th Erik Seidel 2 $145,363
6th Steven Grady 2 $142,400
7th Michael Wang 1 $134,985
8th Chris Brewer 1 $88,800
9th Barry Hutter 1 $72,900
10th Andrew Lichtenberger 1 $40,700
11th John Flynt 1 $29,600
12th Jake Schindler 1 $23,800

* denotes a deal made between players.

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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