The 2022 World Series of Poker is officially in full swing. The first gold bracelet of the series was awarded today to Katie Kopp in Event #1: $500 Casino Employees Event No-Limit Hold’em.
Kopp, a long-time dealer and player from Cleveland, Ohio, navigated a field of 832 players to claim her first WSOP gold bracelet at Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas and the top prize of $65,168.
Final Table Results
|1||Katie Kopp||United States||$65,168|
|2||Wyatt Frost||United States||$40,273|
|3||Brandon West||United States||$28,356|
|4||Shaun Colquhoun||United States||$20,275|
|5||Joe Chang||United States||$14,725|
|6||Vikram Vijay||United States||$10,865|
|7||Gonzalo Gonzalez||United States||$8,147|
|8||Arturo Jimenez||United States||$6,210|
|9||Kyle Dempsey||United States||$4,813|
Short stacked for much of the final table, Kopp caught fire down the home stretch. With her mother Patty by her side, and her rail raining down chants of ‘Can’t stop Kopp’, she eliminated her final three opponents en route to victory. For Kopp and her family poker runs deep.
“The feeling is so surreal being here with my mom,” she said. “We travel and deal together. My whole family plays poker. My grandpa taught us. My brother and sister both have rings and even my nine and 10-year-olds know how to play.”
Kopp, who finished third in this event back in 2018, was also the first person eliminated from this year's tournament on Day 1. She fired up her re-entry and the rest is history.
“Last time I was a short stack ninja and I did the same thing last time,” she said. “I want to buy a house, and this will really help me get there.”
Kopp had the loudest rail at the final table and by night's end, her mother was the last one at her side with tears in her eyes.
“My mom has been on her feet all day,” she said. “She’s railed me, standing on her feet the whole time. My mom loves poker. This is so exciting for her. I mean me and my mom, my mom is my best friend.”
Only 82 players returned for Day 2 out of the 832 entries. It took about seven hours of play to whittle the field down to the final table. Some of the players to fall just short of the final table were Kelli Phillips (12th - $3,043), Kenny Hallaert (15th - $2,483), and Charles Nguyen ($3,043).
Final Table Action
First to fall on the final table was Kyle Dempsey ($4,813) when he shoved his ace-four into the king-queen suited of Brandon West. Dempsey caught aces up on the flop, but West made a spade flush on the river to send him home in ninth.
Not long after, Arturo Jimenez ($6,210) ran into a huge cooler and also fell at the hands of West. Jimenez shoved his two pair right into the top set of West and bowed out in eighth.
Out in seventh was Gonzalo Gonzalez ($8,147), he found himself short and shoved with pocket deuces, only to be eliminated by Vikram Vijay when he paired his ace-six. Vijay ($10,865) wouldn't last very long either. After losing a massive all-in, he was left short and exited in sixth.
Out in fifth would be Joe Chang ($14,725) who got it in good with his pocket kings against the ace-queen of Wyatt Frost. Frost drilled an ace on the flop and that would be it for Chang.
Four-handed play dragged on for a couple of levels, with each player holding the chip lead at one point. Katie Kopp managed to triple up three times in one level to keep herself in contention. Eventually, it was Shaun Colquhoun ($20,27) who bowed out in fourth. He found himself short on chips and ended up losing a flip with king-eight suited to the pocket fives of Kopp.
Next to go was West ($28,356), he called a shove from Kopp to create a massive pot with king-queen but could not best the pocket fives of Kopp.
Heads up play didn’t last long, Kopp held a 5-1 advantage heading it, but Frost ($40,273) managed to double up to close the gap. That would be short-lived though as Frost shoved ace-nine right into the ace-queen of Kopp to claim her first WSOP bracelet.
“Dealing and playing gives you a greater appreciation for the game,” she said. “Also more opportunity to grow your game if you pay attention.”
Congratulations to Katie for winnings her first WSOP bracelet and keep following right here on PokerNews for our continuing coverage at the Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas.