The 2023 World Poker Tour World Championship celebrations are coming to a close, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been plenty of action around Wynn Las Vegas. The $1 million Big One buy-in for OneDrop ended Wednesday night, and four men were extremely happy to have been there. While this final table was being played, the 2023 WPT World Championship final table was being set, which looks set to be an exciting affair.
Six are coming, only four will be happy they did it…
The six survivors of the seventeen players competing in poker's highest buy-in tournament, the $1 million Big One for OneDrop, were happy to have made it this far. What everyone knew, however, was that two members of this final table would go home with nothing to show for their efforts. One of those players who is unlikely to fall victim to this was chip leader Dan Smith, who had 4.865 million chips at the start of the day. Still, the fight to decide who the unfortunate two would be was a good fight.
The short stack at the table, Nick Petrangelo, tried to make sure he wasn't the first out. He doubled through Smith, his big slick topping Smith's A-10 on a K-10-8-Q-2 board, and took the chip lead. However, this would only last about four hands as Petrangelo laid a hand on Isaac Haxton that allowed Haxton to take the lead. In order to loosen up the game at the table, these two knockouts and the cash winnings were needed.
The first to go was Santhosh Suvarma, who was never able to get anything going on Wednesday night. After moving all in, Suvarma saw Marlo Mosboeck call him from the big blind and the cards went to their backs:
Suvarma (UTG): Pocket Treys
Mosboeck (Big Blind): Pocket Kings
It was a steep climb that Suvarma couldn't get through the 10-7-2-8-A board, sending him to the rail in sixth place but with no money to show for his efforts.
Despite Petrangelo's best efforts, he was unable to keep away the Grim Reaper of the tournament. On hand #26, Petrangelo was the unlucky money bubble boy, letting his AQ run into Haxton's AK. The board failed to bring a queen to counter the ace on the flop, sending Petrangelo to the rail in fifth place ($0) and the remaining four men to the money.
Millions available as a Christmas gift
The four men remaining in the tournament had $17 million at their disposal and continued to determine who would win the lion's share. Haxton took the lead after defeating Petrangelo, but Mosboeck was right behind him. These two men dominated the game over the next ten hands, with Mosboeck emerging victorious in most duels and taking the lead. At one point, Mosboeck's advantage resulted in his stack being larger than the three men – Haxton, Badziakouski and Smith – against him and their stacks.
The four-handed game lasted nearly thirty hands before elimination occurred. It was Haxton who went to the rail in a classic race after his AQ failed against Badziakouski's pocket eights. Smith went to Mosboeck the very next hand and played an A-4 against Mosboeck's K-7, which flopped a seven and worshiped a king.
Heads-up, Mosboeck stayed ahead with his stack of 10.325 million, but Badziakouski used a double in hand #60 to reverse the lead. Mosboeck would never see the lead again, although Badziakouski would need ten hands to get the job done. On the final hand (hand #70), the chips went into the middle as Badziakouski held an A-9 to face Mosboeck's KJ. When the board read 10-10-8-8-4, the tournament was over and Mikita Badziakouski was the Big One champion for OneDrop.
1. Mikita Badziakouski, $7,114,500
2. Mario Mosboeck, $4,663,950
3. Dan Smith, $2,806,750
4. Isaac Haxton, $1,224,800
Celebrities shine on the way to the WPT World Championship final table
The 2023 WPT World Championship will be decided on Thursday evening, and it's a star-studded final table that will greet people via the WPT Twitch stream. Sixteen players returned on Wednesday, but ten of them left the Wynn short of their destination (but generously compensated for it!). At the top of the final table tonight is Andrew Lichtenberger, with a whole host of top pros hot on his heels.
1st place: Ben Heath – 36,700,000
2nd place: Andrew Lichtenberger – 148,200,000
3rd place: Daniel Sepiol – 34,300,000
4th place: Artur Martirosian – 29,400,000
5th place: Georgios Sotiropoulos – 46,200,000
6th place: Chris Moorman – 88,300,000
While all six men are guaranteed a seven-figure salary, the real goal is of course at the top of the mountain. Not only will the eventual winner of the 2023 WPT World Championship be forever associated with the name “World Champion,” but he will also secure a spot in the Mike Sexton WPT Champions' Cup AND $5,678,000 from the $40 million prize pool Earn US Dollars. The action begins at 4:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) and will be livestreamed via the WPT Twitch channel.
(Photo courtesy of WPT.com)