The WPT World Championship at Wynn Vegas Day 1a was an overwhelming success, with 615 participants. This included some of poker’s most prominent stars like Justin Bonomo who landed a huge stack.

A guaranteed prize pool of $15 million is available for the $10,400 buy-in tournament, which sets a new live poker record. However, the guarantee will be void after just one session. The pot is likely to be larger.

There are still two more Day 1 starting flights — Tuesday and Wednesday. You can only register one time per session. Most of the best pros from Day 1a or 1b will continue to fire until they have a stack of chips, or run out of options. Like most tournaments that rebuy, the final session is likely to be the largest.

Combination of Poker Royalty and Grinders as well as Recreational Players

Lynn Gilmartin is a World Poker Tour host.

Many poker players were attracted to the last event of the 20th World Poker Tour. Many of the players, who wouldn’t normally be able enter this expensive tournament, made it through satellites at Wynn and winning qualifiers on ClubWPT. There were also those who participated in social media contests such as Liam Gannon from PokerNews. He won a free slot and was able to compete on Day 1a. The 23-year old Chicagoan was forced to leave after his Chicago pocket queens ran into Dan Shak’s pocket kings just a few hours before session ended.

We can’t even begin to list all the familiar faces who were present on the field. Alex Foxen was there ready to go, as were Chance Kornuth and Brian Rast. Brad Owen and Andrew Neeme were both WPT ambassadors. Among the 615 entries were talented female poker players Farah Galfond, Kristen Bicknell and Vanessa Kade.

The World Poker Tour’s regulars, Darren Elias, Anthony Zinno and Brian Altman, began the quest to win another WPT title. Freddy Deeb (old-school legend) and Greg Mueller participated in the tournament. Joe Hachem was a former champion of the poker world and traveled all over the globe in search of his beloved game. WPT broadcasters Lynn Gilmartin (WPT) and Tony Dunst also participated in the massive field.

Bonomo First 1 Million Chips

Justin Bonomo won a large stack in Day 1a during the WPT World Championship.

There were still 270 players left after Day 1a ended at 11:45 pm PT Monday night. However, only one had crossed the 1,000,000 mark. According to Hendon mob, Justin Bonomo is the leader in live tournament cashes with more than $58 million.

Future Poker Hall of Famer, brightly pink-haired, bagged 1,011,000 chips. That’s 202 bigs after the blinds opened at 2,500/5,000 on Day 2. Joey Couden (935,000), and Steven McKuin follow close behind. There’s some dropoff after those players with Roberto Romanello (725,000) in fourth and Dominic Brazier (514,000.

There were a lot of big-name pros who survived the event and went on to become successful, many with impressive stacks. These include Adam Hendrix (658,000), Foxen (7711,000), Negreanu (3252,000), Kornuth (2371,000), Neeme (156,000).

WPT World Championship Day 1a Top Chip Counts


1 Justin Bonomo 1,011,000
2 Joey Couden 935,000
3 Steven McKuin 895,000
4 Roberto Romanello 725,000
5 Dominic Brazier 714,000

Lara Eisenberg Leads WPT Prime Championship

Lara Eisenberg is the leader heading into the WPT Prime Championship Final Table.

At the same location, the $1100 buy-in WPT Prim Championship achieved its final table of 6, with World Series of Poker bracelet holder Lara Eisenberg leading. With 5,430 participants taking part, the tournament more than doubled its $2 million guarantee.

For a week, play will stop and the last six will resume action on Dec. 19. The winner will receive $712,000.650. Every remaining player will receive a minimum of $153,000.

PokerNews 2022 Interview W/ Lara Eisenberg

WPT Prime Championship Final table Chip Counts


1 Lara Eisenberg 39,200,000
2 Stephen Song 38,400,000
3 Albert Nguyen 32,200,000
4 Young Eum 19,900,000
5 Girogii Skhulukhila 18,800,000
6 Alon Messica 13,900,00

*Images courtesy of WPT.

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