Breaking Down the Action:
  • Eslami Wins Event #36 for $135,000
  • Yuliyan Kolev Wins Millionaire Maker for $1.1 million
  • Bromfman Seals Maiden Victory
  • Fabian Brandes Claims PLO 6-Max Title on PokerGO
  • Zack Takes Seven Card Stud Win and Grabs Player of the Year Lead

6 Minute Read

Dan Zack won his second bracelet of the summer and third in his career to become the first two-time WSOP winner in 2022.

The latest WSOP 2022 bracelet events saw some great drama and the first double bracelet winner of the series. Millions of dollars were won at the famous green felt in Las Vegas, as the WSOP moved from events 31-35 and their winners to five more events, each of which would award gold at their conclusion. With plenty of fans following the action in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, the last five events have all been important ones.

Eslami Wins Event #36 for $135,000

In Event #36, the $1,500-entry Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo event,  Ali Eslami won his first-ever WSOP gold bracelet to claim the $135,260 top prize, defeating Chris Papastratis heads-up to take the title. With a total field of 471 entries, the final table was a top quality one, with Jeff Madsen coming third.

Eslami had cashed a whopping 26 times in the World Series of Poker, and won the best part of a million dollars, but the gold had always eluded him over the years, until this event when it all came together. Playing for the bracelet, Eslami outlasted other names such as Kenny Hsiung at the final table, winning his first-ever WSOP heads-up in the process.

After winning, Eslami was emotional and chose to make mention of his good friend Chad Brown, who passed recently and was remembered by the winner in his moment of glory.

WSOP 2022 Event #36 $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Ali Eslami U.S.A. $135,260
2nd Chris Papastratis U.S.A. $83,598
3rd Jeff Madsen U.S.A. $58,537
4th Scott Lake U.S.A. $41,693
5th Thomas Taylor Canada $30,215
6th Kenny Hsiung U.S.A. $22,287
7th John Holley U.S.A. $16,737
8th David Arganian U.S.A. $12,801

Yuliyan Kolev Wins Millionaire Maker for $1.1 million

“Kolev donned an upside-down Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket on his head as a hat.”

One of the biggest tournaments in recent years at the WSOP is the Millionaire Maker, which – as you might expect – promises to make each winner a seven-figure winner, turning them into a millionaire. It was the Bulgarian player Yuliyan Kolev who won this year’s Millionaire Maker in Las Vegas, cashing for an incredible $1,125,141 and his first live bracelet win amid a sea of KFC hats inside the Thunderdome.

Just nine months ago, Kolev win his first WSOP bracelet when he took down the online $777-entry Lucky 7’s event for $146,163. After outlasting 7,960 opponents in the ‘Milly Maker’, Kolev has made it to another famous victory and did so in the most extraordinary attire of his usual outfit with an upside-down Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket on his head as a hat.

With the action playing out on the live-streamed final table on PokerGO, Kolev had pocket aces in the final hand just to make those celebratory pictures all the better, Oren Rosen’s queen-jack not being able to catch up as the Israeli player cashed for $695,390 in second place.

WSOP 2022 Event #37 $1,500 Millionaire Maker Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize  
1st Yuliyan Kolev Bulgaria $1,125,141  
2nd Oren Rosen Israel $695,390  
3rd Tyler Gaston U.S.A. $522,705  
4th Yita Choong Australia $395,545  
5th Dominic Brazier U.S.A. $301,346  

Bromfman Seals Maiden Victory

A big winner in the $10,000 buy-in No Limit 2-7 Single Draw Event #38 saw Pedro Bromfman claim gold for the first time as well as a top prize worth an eye-watering $294,616. A table steeped in history and form saw Israeli player Eli Elezra bust out in seventh place ahead of Farzad Bonyadi in sixth place. Brazilian player Yuri Dzivielevski went out in fifth place, cashing for $71,315.

Alex Livingston has already claimed a WSOP bracelet this summer, but although he got close to doing so again, he fell in fourth place for $96,104 instead, leaving three terrific players fighting for the title. PokerGO owner Cary Katz went out in third place for the first six-figure score of the event, cashing for $131,362 before Scott Seiver took on Pedro Bromfman for the win.

A total of 38 events into this year’s World Series of Poker, we still hadn’t had a double bracelet winner, but Seiver had the chance to seal victory. He couldn’t quite get over the line, however, falling at the final hurdle, cashing for $182,086 as he lost out to Pedro Bromfman as the Brazilian won his first bracelet instead of Seiver claiming his fifth.

WSOP 2022 Event #38 $10,000 NL 2-7 Single Draw Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Pedro Bromfman Brazil $294,616
2nd Scott Seiver U.S.A. $182,086
3rd Cary Katz U.S.A. $131,362
4th Alex Livingston Canada $96,104
5th Yuri Dzivielevski Brazil $71,315
6th Farzad Bonyadi U.S.A. $53,687
7th Eli Elezra Israel $41,011

Fabian Brandes Claims PLO 6-Max Title on PokerGO

Running almost all the way to the finish line, Israel’s Leonid Yanovski was unable to seal the deal as he was pipped to the gold by Fabian Brandes instead. The German had, many years ago, finished second after leading in a WSOP bracelet event, and was the chip leader in an earlier event this series only to blow it late too.

This time, however, Brandes got the job done as he overcame Yanovski at the last, topping 718 opponents in the $3,000 buy-in PLO 6-Max Event #39. Just six returned to the final table felt and while American player Sean Winter might have been the favorite with his vast experience, he missed out on heads-up, busting in third place for $156,401 instead.

Brandes claimed his first bracelet win to raucous cheers from his partisan German rail and in doing so, took home the top prize of $371,358 too.

WSOP 2022 Event #39 $3,000 PLO 6-Max Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Fabian Brandes Germany $371,358
2nd Leonid Yanovski Israel $229,529
3rd Sean Winter U.S.A. $156,401
4th Thomas Morrison U.S.A. $108,604
5th Ferenc Deak Hungary $76,880
6th Grzegorz Derkowski Poland $55,501

Zack Takes Seven Card Stud Win and Grabs Player of the Year Lead

Daniel Zack finally became the first player to win two bracelets this WSOP as he claimed his third overall career WSOP victory in the $10,000-entry Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship, taking the WSOP Player of the Year lead in the process. With early bust-outs for Shaun Deeb (5th for $83,465), Chad Eveslage (6th for $63,914) and Brian Hastings (7th for $49,571), Zack, who had already beat Dustin Dirksen for a bracelet over an epic seven hours earlier in the series, had no idea that he was about to go even further to claim the win.

In the latter stages, Ziya Rahim missed out on heads-up, busting in third place for $147,800 when David Funkhouser made a straight and six-five low. Zack only had 2.5 million chips to Funkhouser’s 5.7 million, but after eight hours, got it in good and held to win with aces and deuces, meaning the title and $324,174 top prize went to the ever-impressive Zack.

WSOP 2022 Event #40 $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Daniel Zack U.S.A. $324,174
2nd David Funkhouser U.S.A. $200,356
3rd Ziya Rahim U.S.A. $147,800
4th Eric Kurtzman U.S.A. $110,379
5th Shaun Deeb U.S.A. $83,465
6th Chad Eveslage U.S.A. $63,914
7th Brian Hastings U.S.A. $49,571

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

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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