On Sunday, Sept. 18 Jeremy Ausmus squared off against Nick Schulman heads-up with a World Series of Poker Online bracelet on the line. Just four days later, on Thursday, Sept. 22, the same pair of players found themselves as the final two in the kickoff event of the 2022 Poker Masters high roller series in the PokerGO studio in ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
Ausmus emerged victorious in both events, first winning his fifth WSOP bracelet, and then his third PokerGO Tour event title. His most recent victory also came with $204,000 in prize money. Ausmus defeated a field of 85 entries in the event to earn that payout, which was the largest awarded from the $850,000 prize pool. The 2022 PokerGO Cup champion is now the frontrunner in the race for the Poker Masters Purple Jacket, which is awarded to the points leader at the end of the series along with a $50,000 championship bonus.
“I’ve got my sights set on a cool purple jacket,” Ausmus posted on Twitter after winning, punctuating his statement with the popular ‘eyes’ emoji.
The 43-year-old poker pro earned 204 PGT points as the champion of this event, enough to move him into 14th place on that leaderboard. He also secured 480 Card Player Player of the Year points for what was his fifth POY-qualified title run of the year. With 18 final-table finishes and more than $2.6 million in POY earnings accrued thus far, he now sits in second place in the 2022 POY race standings, which are presented by Global Poker. Ausmus trails current leader Stephen Chidwick by 1,316 points.
This event played out over the course of two days. The money bubble burst when Ausmus’ K-J cracked the pocket kings of short-stack Vikenty Shegal, guaranteeing the remaining 13 contenders at least $17,000 for their efforts. Several big names cashed but fell short of making day 2, including four-time bracelet winner Ben Yu (13th), World Poker Tour champion Matthew Wantman (10th), and Spanish high-stakes regular Sergio Aido (8th), who won the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open main event for more than $900,000 earlier this year.
Ausmus came into the final day as the chip leader among the final seven, with nine-time bracelet winner Erik Seidel hot on his heels and Cary Katz on the short stack. Katz found himself at risk right off the bat, calling all-in with Q-8 suited from the big blind facing a small-blind shove from Anthony Hu, who held 8-7. Hu flopped an eight and turned two pair. The river brought no help for Katz and he was sent home with $42,500. He now has more than $34.9 million in lifetime tournament earnings to his name thanks to this latest score.
Bracelet winner Cole Ferraro was the next to fall. Just a few orbits into the day he picked up pocket eights and got all-in against Ausmus, who held pocket kings. The larger pair remained best through the river and Ferraro was eliminated in sixth place ($51,000).
Jacky Wang’s run in this event came to an end when Ausmus shoved with A-5 from the small blind and Wang called off his last 12 or so big blinds with K-8. Aumus flopped a pair of aces and held from there to narrow the field to four. Wang earned $68,000 as the fifth-place finisher, the largest payday on his tournament resume.
Four-handed play continued for more than an hour, but eventually, Hu got his last eight big blinds all-in preflop from the button with A-6 and ran into the A-8 suited of Schulman in the big blind. Schulman called and was in a dominant position preflop. A six-high flop gave Hu the lead, but the tables soon turned again. An eight on the turn made Schulman a 19:1 favorite with one card to come. The river was a blank, sending Hu to the rail with $85,000 for his fourth-place showing.
Three-handed action began with all of the players sitting on at least 30 big blinds. The final trio of Seidel, Ausmus, and Schulman have 17 WSOP bracelets between them, with nearly $69.9 million in combined tournament earnings. Seidel accounts for the largest share of both of those accolades, with nine bracelets and more than $42.6 million in prior earnings to his name. He ended up adding $102,000 to that total when he three-bet shoved just shy of 22 big blinds with K-Q suited from the small blind facing a button min-raise from Ausmus, who called with A-8 suited. Seidel flopped a king to take the lead, but Ausmus turned an ace and held from there to send Seidel home in third place.
Less than a week removed from a heads-up clash for a bracelet in a $365 buy-in no-limit hold’em event during the WSOP Online, Ausmus and Schulman again squared off for a title. Ausmus held 6,825,000 to Schulman’s 3,800,000 when cards got back in the air after a short break following Seidel’s elimination. The pair went on to battle for about 75 minutes. Schulman overtook the lead at one point, winning a big pot with rivered trips against the aces and threes of his opponent. Ausmus was able to battle his way back in front, though, and re-built nearly a 2:1 lead by the time the final hand was dealt.
Ausmus limped in from the button with 77. Schulman looked down at A3 in the big blind. He moved all-in for 24 big blinds and Ausmus made a quick call. The board ran out Q979J to give Ausmus sevens full of nines to secure the pot and the title. Schulman, a three-time bracelet winner and WPT champion, earned $144,500 as the runner-up. The score increased his career earnings to more than $14.5 million.
Check out the final hand vai a Tweet from PokerGO:
Jeremy Ausmus captures victory in Poker Masters – Event #1: $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em.
For his victory, @jeremyausmus puts himself in the pole position to capture the Purple Jacket with 204 PGT points and takes home $204,000 as well.
— PokerGO (@PokerGO) September 23, 2022
Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:
|Place||Player||Earnings||POY Points||PGT Points|
Photo credits: PokerGO / Antonio Abrego.