The 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event was the largest WSOP Main Event in history, with 10,043 entrants. Now just three players remain in pursuit of the $12,100,000 first-place prize and title of 2023 World Champion.
Steven Jones ended Day 1 of the final table as the chip leader with 238,000,000 in chips, and he is trailed by Daniel Weinman, who finished with 199,000,000. The overnight chip leader Adam Walton bagged 165,500,000 to make the final three an All-American affair as players from Germany, Ukraine, Scotland, England, Spain, and Italy all fell to the rail throughout the final table.
Jack Effel, Vice President of the World Series of Poker, began the final table by introducing 42-year-old real estate agent Jason Clarke who won the WSOP Main Event Seat for 30 years promotion. Clarke chopped a WSOP Daily Deepstack on Day 1C of the 2023 WSOP Main Event and parlayed those winnings into a Day 1D ticket. Although Clarke bagged on Day 1D, he would be eliminated on Day 2. His consolation prize? The next 30 years of WSOP Main Event seats will be paid for by the WSOP.
"I was actually in disbelief," Clarke said when he learned the news. "I thought it might have been a friend playing a joke, but it wasn't. I feel very blessed and honored, and I look forward to the opportunity."
Clarke will also be donating 5% of all his future WSOP Main Event winnings to the Ontario Brain Institute in honor of his brother, who passed away about eight years ago.
Defending champion Espen Jorstad then uttered those immortal words of shuffle up and deal to put the cards in the air for the final nine players at the 2023 WSOP Main Event final table.
With the cards now in the air at the final table, the biggest pot would happen after two orbits of play when Daniel Holzner's aces were cracked by Jan-Peter Jachtmann's pocket tens. Jachtmann called a raise from the small blind and flopped top set, which improved to a full house. Jachtmann managed to get two streets of value to send Holzner to the bottom of the leaderboard. Steven Jones then rocketed up the leaderboard to sit second overall when in a three-bet pot, he flopped middle set against Juan Maceiras' top-top. Following a checked-through flop, Jones found value on the turn and river and moved to over 110 million in chips as Maceiras dropped to eighth in chips.
Holzner scored a double through Daniel Weinman before his tournament ended in ninth place when he was all-in holding ace-jack against the pocket tens of Jones. The board bricked out for the Italian, and he would take home $900,000 in prize money as Jones moved into the chip lead. A few hands later, Maceiras would be eliminated in eighth place after shoving all-in from middle position with king-nine before Toby Lewis called from the big blind with ace-ten. Lewis flopped two pair and had Maceiras drawing dead on the turn to see the Spaniard collect $1,125,000 in prize money.
Lewis had laddered up two spots from his starting position, but that would be the final step as he was eliminated by Jones in seventh place. Following a raise from Jones, and a call by Adam Walton, Lewis squeezed from the big blind. Jones called with pocket tens, and Walton folded as Lewis was racing for his tournament life after tabling his king-jack. The runout wasn't what Lewis was hoping for, as he exited in seventh for a payday of $1,425,000 in prize money.
Just six players remained in the 2023 WSOP Main Event, and Jones sat with more than 172 million in chips of the 602 million in play. Chips circled among the final six for some time before Scotland's Dean Hutchison was eliminated in sixth place. Hutchison was all-in preflop holding pocket fives, but was against the pocket sevens of Jachtmann. No five fell for the Scot and he collected $1,850,000 for his sixth-place finish.
One of the two remaining Europeans in Ukraine's Ruslan Prydryk found a double with ace-jack against Jones' ace-eight, but still held onto the bottom spot on the chip counts. He slowly slipped further away from the pack before he pushed all-in with queen-ten and was called by Weinman in the cutoff with ace-jack. Weinman flopped two pair, and when Prydryk was unable to hit running trips or his straight, he was eliminated in fifth place for $2,400,000 in prize money. There was a little more than 60 minutes remaining in the level, and the players were instructed to continue playing through to at least the end of the level or if there was another elimination.
Four-handed play didn't fair well for the final European, as Jachtmann slowly trended his chip stack downwards. Jones raised under the gun and Walton called on the button before Jachtmann moved all-in for 54 million from the big blind. Jones folded, but Walton snap-called and slammed down his pocket aces to be well ahead of the German's king-queen. The nine-high board would be the last for Jachtmann as he was eliminated in fourth place for $3,000,000 in prize money as the final three bagged for the night.
Jones holds the chip lead entering the final day of the 2023 WSOP Main Event with 238,000,000, while Weinman sits with 199,000,000. Overnight chip leader Walton finishes with 165,500,000 as the final three will battle to a winner on Monday, July 17.
The final three players in the 2023 WSOP Main Event are now guaranteed $4,000,000 in prize money, but all eyes remain on the $12,100,000 first-place prize. To go along with the biggest payday in WSOP Main Event history, the winner will take home the WSOP Main Event bracelet that features approximately 500 grams of 10-karat yellow gold and 2,352 various precious gemstones. And if that's not enough, the 2023 World Champion will forever be known to have won the biggest WSOP Main Event in history and have their accomplishment immortalized on a banner among all the previous champions of the WSOP Main Event.
The conclusion to the 2023 WSOP Main Event final table will begin on Monday, July 17, at 1 p.m. PT, with the final three playing down to the world champion. The PokerGO.com livestream will begin at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT with Lon McEachern, Norman Chad, and Maria Ho on commentary, while Kara Scott and Jeff Platt handle sideline duties. The break desk will feature Scott, Brent Hanks, and 2012 WSOP Main Event runner-up Jesse Sylvia.
Watch the 2023 WSOP Main Event final table play down to a winner on Monday, July 17, on PokerGO.com.