Nick Guagenti is the latest champion to be decided at the 2022 Poker Masters high-stakes tournament festival being held in the PokerGO Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino. The World Series of Poker bracelet Westerville, OH native outlasted a field of 62 entries in the $10,000 buy-in eight-game mix event to earn his first PokerGO Tour title and the top prize of $186,000.
This was the third-largest tournament score of his career, trailing only his win in the 2020 WSOP Online $2,000 no-limit hold;em event ($305,433) and a third-place showing in the 2019 WSOP H.O.R.S.E. event ($259,533). Guagenti now has more than $2 million in recorded tournament scores to his name.
In addition to the title and the money, Guagenti also earned plenty of rankings points for the win. He secured 360 Card Player Player of the Year points for his first POY-qualified score of 2022. He also earned 186 PokerGO Tour points, enough to see him move into sixth place in the race for the Poker Master Purple Jacket.
The top nine finishers made the money in this event, with bracelet winner Andrew Brown (9th) and high-stakes regular MJ Gonzales (8th) being the two players that cashed but were eliminated before the end of day 1.
The final day began with Cary Katz in the lead and Guagenti in second chip position. Five-time bracelet winner Brian Rast was the first to fall, getting his short stack in preflop with A-Q in a round of no-limit hold’em. Rast ran into the pocket tens of bracelet winner Alex Livingston and was unable to win the flip (7th – $31,000).
Jacky Wang was the next to hit the rail. He dwindled down to less than a single big blind, which he got all-in playing seven card stud with a split pair of aces. Both Katz and Livingston came along and Livingston improved to aces and queens by fifth street to leave Wang in rough shape. Wang was drawing dead after a blank on sixth street. He took home $37,200 as the sixth-place finisher. This was his third final-table finish of the series, with more than $135,000 in earnings secured along the way.
Livingston was the chip leader when five-handed play began, but he ended up being the next player eliminated. He lost a massive pot with an open-ended straight flush draw and two pair against the flopped nut straight and jack-high flush draw of Katz. The turn and river were of no help to Livingston and he fell to below six big blinds while Katz surged into the lead. Livingston got all-in playing triple draw deuce-to-seven lowball. He committed the majority of his stack after the deal with a one-card 8-6-5-4 draw. Guagenti isolated with a raise holding 8-7-6-2. Livingston made a 9-8 after the first draw and patted. Guagenti made a 9-8-7 and decided to draw break and two cards. The move paid off, as he picked up a 5 and a 3 to make 7-6-5-3-2. Both players patted from there and Livingston was sent home in fifth place ($49,600). This was his eighth final-table finish of the year. The 150 POY points he secured in this event moved him into 29th place in the 2022 POY race standings, which are sponsored by Global Poker.
Two-time bracelet winner and Card Player contributor Steve Zolotow was the clear short stack when four-handed action began. His stack dwindled down to a single ante, and he was unable to win the seven-card stud hand he was forced into playing. Katz showed a pair of kings with Q-9 kickers to beat the pair of kings with Q-8 kickers for bracelet winner “Ben Diebold. “:https://www.cardplayer.com/poker-players/366880-ben-diebold Zolotow earned $62,000, while Diebold slid to the bottom of the leaderboard.
Diebold called a raise for the majority of his stack from the big blind with Q1083 while playing Omaha eight-or-better. He was facing a raise from Guagenti, who held 10653. The flop came out J53 and Diebold fired his last half-bet with bottom pair. Guagenti called with second pair, a low draw, and a gutshot straight draw. The J on the turn and 2 on the river were of no help, and Diebold settled for $86,800 as the third-place finisher.
Heads-up play began with Katz holding 6,050,000 to Guagenti’s 3,250,000. He extended his advantage to nearly 7:1 at one point, but Guagenti managed to double up in a stud eight-or-better hand to narrow the gap. He scored another double-up when his overpair of aces and nut flush draw beat out the flopped set of fours held by Katz.
That win brought him within striking distance of the chip lead. A few minutes later he managed to edge his way in front in time for the final hand of the tournament. Katz raised to 250,000 on the button with JJ108 in pot-limit Omaha. Guagenti three-bet to 750,000 with AAQ2 and Katz called. The flop came down 1093 and Guagenti bet the pot. Katz raised the pot with his pocket jacks, pair of tens, and straight draw. Guagenti called and the turn brought the 6 to give Guagenti a flush draw. The river 3 paired the board to award the pot and the title to Guagenti.
Katz earned $124,000 as the runner-up finisher. This was his 12 final-table finish of the year. He now has more than $35 million in lifetime tournament earnings to his name, good for 13th on poker’s all-time money list.
Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:
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