2022 WSOP Day 49: Cowen Leads the Tournament of Champions

The 2022 World Series of Poker has entered its final throes with only one tournament yet to crown its champion. Day 49 of the 2022 WSOP saw the Tournament of Champions shuffle up and deal, in addition to two more players getting their hands on some WSOP hardware.

Minh Nguyen came out on top in Event #85: $1,500 The Closer. This tournament required an extra day’s play after Day 1b was disrupted by the rumors of an active shooter in Las Vegas. Day 3 saw 17 players return to their seats, including Nguyen, who had essentially bricked the series before this victory. Nguyen made amends by securing The Closer’s bracelet and the $536,280 top prize.

Gregory Jensen ended the 2022 WSOP on a high by taking down Event #86: $10,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em Championship. Victory came with an impressive $824,649 and that all-important gold bracelet. Jensen defeated Pavel Plesuv heads-up, thus denying the talented Moldovan his first bracelet.

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Cowen Claimed Day 1 Chip Lead in the Tournament of Champions

Robert Cowen
Robert Cowen

The Tournament of Champions is the final event of the 2022 WSOP, one that is a freeroll for players who managed to win a WSOP Circuit ring during the 2021/22 season in addition to the 2022 WSOP bracelet winners. Despite this being a freeroll, there is a $1 million prize pool up for grabs.

Some 463 players took full advantage of the freeroll entry and 144 of those bagged and tagged chips at the close of play, which came after the conclusion of ten levels. British pro Robert Cowen, who won his second bracelet this summer, is the man at the top of the chip counts with a stack of 428,000, or 214 big blinds if you prefer. Cowen was the only player to end Day 1 with more than 400,000 chips.

Ali Eslami is Cowen’s nearest rival going into Day 2 as he bagged up a 305,000 stack at the close of play.

With the Tournament of Champions field restricted to champions, as the name suggests, the field was littered with stellar names from around the world. The likes of Aleksejs Ponakovs (247,500) and Daniel Strelitz (235,000) bagged up top 10 stacks and will fancy their chances of winning another gold bracelet.

Dan Zack POY
2022 WSOP Player of the Year Dan Zack

Two-time bracelet winner Shankar Pillai (142,500), Joe McKeehen (125,000), KFC bucket wearing Yuliyan Kolev (117,500), David Jackson (103,000), and the 2022 WSOP Player of the Year Dan Zack (100,500) are just a handful of stars who finished Day 1 with stacks in excess of 100,000 chips.

Day 2 kicks off at 11:00 a.m. on July 19 with the plan to play 10 one-hour levels. Those who progress to Day 3 will then return to Bally’s Las Vegas on July 20 and play down to a champion of champions.

Tournament of Champions Top 10 Chip Counts

Place Player Country Chips Big Blinds
1 Robert Cowen United Kingdom 428,000 214
2 Ali Eslami United States 305,000 153
3 Daniel Sepiol United States 285,000 143
4 Aleksejs Ponakovs Latvia 247,500 124
5 Zachary Seymour United States 241,000 121
6 Daniel Strelitz United States 235,000 118
7 Cheryl Svenson United States 221,500 111
8 Carlos Loving United States 203,000 102
9 Fred Li United States 183,500 92
10 Erik Bauer Slovakia 183,000 92

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