2022 PokerNews Predictions Review - How Did We Do?

Dan Cates

Poker emerged from COVID in 2022 in a big way and players all over the world were treated with a return to big tournaments and large prize pools.

The WSOP debuted to huge crowds and the mid-major tours grew with stops at new venues all over the country. Meanwhile, in Europe, the PokerStars European Poker Tour drew big fields throughout the world, including a new stop in London and a record-setting turnout in Prague.

All signs point to 2023 being even bigger for poker, but before we look ahead to what might come, let’s review a few of the predictions that PokerNews had for 2022:

Prediction #1: Jungleman Goes Back-to-Back at the Poker Player’s Championship

Dan Cates
Dan "Jungleman" Cates

This one was easy to see coming, and it has everything to do with who Dan "Jungleman" Cates is and how he carries himself.

Over the years, the Poker Player’s Championship has gained a reputation among poker’s most talented and notable professionals as one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. It’s the ultimate test of skill against the toughest field in poker in several different variants. For these reasons, winning the PPC is a big deal to poker’s top pros.

The pressures of the PPC are different than that of the Main Event and other big tournaments at the WSOP. It’s the one shot all year to gain the adulation of a tough group of peers, and most of the top professionals very badly want to win it. So badly, in fact, that the pressure can sometimes lead to mistakes that top players might not usually make.

Jungleman is immune to the pressures of the PPC and he is able to create a situation where the entire tournament is played on his terms. He sets the tone for the other players, as well as for the rail that inevitably starts to gather as the tournament gets down to the end. While his opponents have to focus harder to use all of their brain's bandwidth in a chaotic room, Jungleman is entirely relaxed in an environment of his own making. It's a big advantage.

I can't say for certain that Jungleman will win his third PPC in a row. He may not even show up. But if he does, he will remain the favorite to win a tournament with that much at stake.

Prediction #2: Bally’s and Paris Will Rise to the Occasion

Bally's Ballroom
Bally's Ballroom

The 2022 WSOP was a hit. Admittedly, most of the evidence is anecdotal, but it’s hard to find any serious gripes about the new WSOP venue. The reaction to the new space was positive from both professional and recreational players, and while there is plenty of room to improve, the WSOP quickly found its form in its new home on the Strip.

Prediction #3: The RunGood Continues

RunGood Poker Series Rings
RunGood Poker Series Rings

Another easy prediction with the RunGood Poker Series taking a serious eye towards growth in 2022. The mid-major had a bumper year with new stops all over the country and the tour’s first six-figure first prize at its late-Summer stop in the Bay Area. The Bay Area event was the first at Graton Casino and they’re already planning a return for RGPS Checkpoint in Late February.

The tour officially wrapped up with the $2,500 Season Finale, where Brett Murray outlasted a field of 417 to win the top prize of $172,835. RGPS also made a postseason stop in Las Vegas, where Survivor champion Rob Mariano won his second ring of the season in the RGPS ProAM.

Prediction #4: Ali Imsirovic will win a bracelet, WSOP Player of the Year, and 2022 PokerGO Tour Player of the Year

You can’t predict them all.

Prediction #5: Brazil Wins the WSOP Main Event

Joao Simao
Joao Simao

While the 2022 Main Event champion (Espen Jorstad) ended up coming from Norway, the Brazilians still made their presence known throughout the WSOP. Pedro Bromfman and João Simão won bracelets, in the $10,000 2-7 Lowball Championship and the $5,000 Mixed Hold'Em event, respectively, and three players from the country finished in second during the 2022 series: Fabiano Kovalski in the $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty, André Akkari in the $2,500 Nine Game Mix, and Yuri Dzivielevski in the Poker Player's Championship. Simão and Dzivielevski also finished in the top 15 on the Player of the Year Leaderboard.

I don't think it will be long before this prediction comes true.

Overall, PokerNews made a few forward-thing guesses and one really bad one. Stay tuned for a look ahead to 2023.

  • Take a look back at the PokerNews predictions for 2022

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Live Reporting Executive

Las Vegas-based PokerNews Live Reporting Executive, originally from Chicago, IL

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