Event #70: $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event World Championship

Espen Jorstad Holds Commanding Lead Over Adrian Attenborough and Michael Duek in Pursuit of WSOP Main Event Title

zedmaster84 • Level 42: Blinds 1,500,000-3,000,000, 3,000,000 ante
Espen Jorstad

The 2022 World Series of Poker in its new home at Bally's and Paris Las Vegas is one step closer to crowning a new World Champion. Norway's Espen Jorstad started Day 8 with the most chips and will return as the commanding chipleader when the hunt in the pinnacle live poker event of the year concludes on Saturday, July 16, 2022. Jorstad has two times as many chips as Adrian Attenborough while Michael Duek from Argentina completes an international line-up for the final trio.

Out of a field of 8,663 entries in the second largest WSOP Main Event in history, all three finalists have locked up a large slice of the $80,782,475 prize pool and earn at least $4 million for their efforts. Significant pay jumps await as the runner-up will collect $6 million, and the new world champion walks away with the top prize of $10 million.

Jorstad carefully picked his spots for most of the day once the action resumed with ten contenders still in the mix and ended the night with 298,000,000. That's almost spot on twice as many chips as Attenborough (149,800,000), while Duek, the shortest stack (72,100,000), still has 24 big blinds at his disposal.

Seat Assignments for the Final Day

SeatPlayerCountryChip CountBig Blinds
1Adrian AttenboroughAustralia149,800,00050
2Michael DuekArgentina72,100,00024
3Espen JorstadNorway298,000,00099

There will be 25:20 minutes left in Level 42 at blinds of 1,500,000/3,000,000 and a big blind ante of 3,000,000, Michael Duek will be on the button.

"I feel I played pretty good," chipleader Jorstad said with a chuckle. "I had a couple of spots where I could have played differently, but that's how it is every day. I made no big mistakes. I mean, I didn't play flawlessly, but no one ever does," the Norwegian clarified and added, "I think I played pretty much as good as I could."

For Attenborough, it was certainly a roller-coaster day as the Aussie was on the brink of elimination and last in chips after 60 hands, only to soar to the top of the leaderboard some 50 hands later.

"I was feeling really out of it at the start of the final table," he told PokerNews. "I just thought I was going to get ninth after things didn't go my way. I just thought to myself 'Oh it's not my time' but then I spun it up and suddenly I was like 'Oh, it's my time! I made a few mistakes along the way, but I ran really good."

Espen Jorstad
Espen Jorstad dictated the late stages on Day 8

Attenborough is looking to become the second-ever Australian since Joe Hachem won the WSOP Main Event. He says it's a surreal experience to even be at the final table.

"I definitely don't deserve to be here, but I'm just lucky to have made it this far."

At one point, Attenborough went on break with just six blinds, but he said a level head kept him composed and ready to grind.

"I can only play the cards I got dealt in front of me. I was already coming into today happy if I got tenth. I ran so good to even be here, so I'm here to play. You don't really have a chance to play for $10,000,000, so I'll be as strict as possible. I'm going to be ready to play. I'm going to be here to win."

While Duek may be last in chips when the action resumes, his rail may very well be the loudest as he was supported by boisterous chants throughout the contest in the Thunderdome. Born in Argentina and residing in Florida, more friends and family flew in for this special moment, and the evidence could be heard throughout the entire Bally's Event Center.

"I am here with friends, immediate family, friends I haven't seen in forever, friends I met playing poker and random poker cheering me on. It's been great."

The plan for the bottom stack is rather easy as he will soon be in push-or-fold mode in short-handed play and an increase in blinds on the horizon. He also comes into the final day full of confidence. Having fought back from a short stack on numerous occasions in the late stages, Duek rides on a heater after he finished in third place in Event #69: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed Championship less than two weeks ago.

"I am going to try and get some rest, spend time with friends and family, and come out here and do what I do. I am going to try and play as good as I can against these two guys. They're both very good players to keep an eye out for."

Final Three
Michael Duek, Espen Jorstad and Adrian Attenborough

Action of the Penultimate Day

The action recommenced with the unofficial final table of ten, but that was soon reduced by one. Recent birthday boy Asher Conniff open-jammed his last 15 big blinds with pocket tens and was looked up by Duek with ace-king. What started as a rather ordinary coin flip let the rails on the main feature table explode when Duek flopped quads in one of the most remarkable runouts in WSOP Main Event history.

Nearly 100 hands followed with numerous all-in showdowns, but the field remained nine-handed nonetheless. That changed when the joint chipleader at the start of the day, Matthew Su, saw his pair of eights crushed by the pocket kings of fellow short-stack Philippe Souki.

It was then Souki who would become the next final table casualty in cruel fashion. He moved all in with aces and was called by the queen-jack suited held by Matija Dobric. Souki made a set on the flop but the Croatian sent Souki to the rail after making Broadway on the turn. Souki was unable to fill up on the river and bowed out in eighth place.

Half an hour later, John Eames slow-played aces and got it in against the ace-king suited of Aaron Duczak, who bricked his nut flush draw to be left with fumes. His last few blinds vanished one hand later when Duek notched up his second elimination of the day.

One hour later, it was all over for Day 6 chipleader Jeffrey Farnes. He had slipped to the bottom of the leaderboard and flat-called a raise with pocket deuces to then shove a six-high flop. Eames called with nine-eight suited for a gutshot straight flush draw and instead spiked running treys to deal the final blow with nine-high like a Brit.

Jorstad then pulled into the top spot and cemented his lead in a big flip against Dobric when ace-queen got there to beat pocket sixes. With one more elimination or the end of the level as the target set for the remainder of the night, the Norwegian lost and restored his comfortable lead before also notching up the final elimination.

As one of the two short stacks, Eames three-bet jammed for 24 big blinds with ace-jack and was snap-called by Jorstad with pocket kings. One jack on the board was not enough for the cash game player from the UK, and Eames had to settle for a consolation prize of $3 million, concluding Day 8 on the spot.

The final three players will return at 2 p.m. local time on July 16th when a new world champion is crowned. Once again, the action will be broadcast on the PokerGO platform, and all PokerNews updates will be based on the delay of the live stream.

Results on Day 8 and Remaining Payouts

PlaceWinnerCountryPrize (in USD)
1  $10,000,000
2  $6,000,000
3  $4,000,000
4John EamesUnited Kingdom$3,000,000
5Matija DobricCroatia$2,250,000
6Jeffrey FarnesUnited States$1,750,000
7Aaron DuczakCanada$1,350,000
8Philippe SoukiUnited Kingdom$1,075,000
9Matthew SuUnited States$850,675
10Asher ConniffUnited States$675,000

Tags: Aaron DuczakAdrian AttenboroughAsher ConniffEspen JorstadJeffrey FarnesJoe HachemJohn EamesMatija DobricMatthew SuMichael DuekPhilippe Souki