Katie Kopp never stopped
The first pieces of hardware have been awarded at the 2022 World Series of Poker, one of which went to one heck of a bounce-back story, while the other went to one of the hottest tournament players in the world.
Surging at the final table to the chants of “Can’t stop Kopp,” Katie Kopp won the WSOP’s opening event, $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em, in the wee hours of Thursday morning. Kopp had to pick herself up off the mat multiple times during the tournament. She was the first person eliminated from the event on Tuesday’s Day 1, but fortunately, it was a re-entry event, so she fired one more bullet and ran it to victory.
Kopp also nursed a short stack for much of the final table, but she persisted, knocking out the final three opponents standing between her and her first WSOP gold bracelet. It was nearly her second; Kopp finished third in this same event in 2018.
My whole family plays poker. My grandpa taught us.”
“The feeling is so surreal being here with my mom,” Kopp told WSOP.com afterward. “We travel and deal together. My whole family plays poker. My grandpa taught us. My brother and sister both have rings and even my nine and 10-year-olds know how to play.”
Kopp said that the $65,168 first prize will go a long way toward helping her buy a house.
David Peters nabs fourth career bracelet
From a first-time gold bracelet winner to an old hat at major tournaments, David Peters won the $100,000 High Roller Bounty event for the fourth World Series of Poker bracelet of his career. It was a small tournament because of the price, fielding just 46 entries, but the prizepool was huge: $3,300,500. Peters took $1,166,810 of that, plus $25,000 for each player he eliminated.
“It feels great, especially the first event of the series, first event being away from the Rio, it’s such a prestigious tournament, so many great players,” Peters said during his post-game interview. “Getting number four is big. There are not too many people who have four. It’s a very, very nice start to the series.”
It was an extremely quick final table, a rarity at the WSOP. Though it was just five players, rather than the traditional six, eight, or nine (depending on the game), it still only required 26 hands and a bit more than an hour for Peters to be crowned champ. And Peters’ victory came after beating Chance Kornuth, who just won WPT Choctaw last week, in the heads-up battle. Their one-on-one showdown lasted just two hands, even though they both had deep stacks, ending when Peters’ pocket Kings outlasted Kornuth’s pocket Eights.
David Peters now has over $40.1m in lifetime live tournament earnings, putting him fifth on the all-time money list behind Bryn Kenney, Justin Bonomo, Daniel Negreanu, and Stephen Chidwick.
Busy weekend shaping up
There are still 86 live events to go at this year’s World Series of Poker, plus 14 online gold bracelet events. The tournament to watch on Friday is Event #3: $2,500 Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em which is down to its ten-handed final table. It is full of top players, including chip leader Scott Seiver, Steve Zolotow, and Nick Schulman.
Event #4: $1,500 Dealer’s Choice Six-Handed is also on its final day, though there are 14 players remaining, so the final table hasn’t quite been reached yet. Brad Ruben is the chip leader; only one other player has even half his chip total.
Event #5: $500 “The Housewarming” No-Limit Hold’em, named as such to celebrate the WSOP’s new location at Paris and Bally’s Las Vegas, is on Day 1B, the second of four starting flights. Event #6: $25,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship, a 64-player bracket-style tournament, is into its second day. Among those who have made it to the “Sweet Sixteen” are Phil Ivey, 2021 WSOP Main Event champ Koray Aldemir, the aforementioned Chance Kornuth, and Anthony Zinno.
One tournament begins today, Event #7: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo Eight or Better.