After a record-breaking field of 301 entrants, the final 13 of Event #16: $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em of the 2023 World Series of Poker at the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas has been set. A flurry of late entrants pushed the number over 300, and they saw their prize pool grow to $7,073,500, which saw the final 46 players all guaranteed $40,000, while in first place sits a whopping $1,698,215 on top of the prestigious bracelet.
Sitting on top of the chip counts is Czech player Roman Hrabec, who returns with 6,050,000. Seventh on Czech Republic’s all-time money list, Hrabec came into Day 2 with a middling stack after bagging up the day prior. Throughout most of the day, he was stuck with shorter stack, navigating and surviving as the field dwindled down, but a late-night surge saw him quickly ascend up the counts.
He doubled up through and knocked out multiple opponents in the last few levels of the night and played a massive pot with Kristen Foxen, who was one of the bigger stacks at the time, that saw him take the lead. Hrabec only has one prior WSOP final table in the 2022 $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo where he finished in sixth place for $31,733. With this cash today, he has secured his best-ever live WSOP cash to add to his $2,019,029 in lifetime earnings, and has put himself in a position to win his first bracelet.
End of Day Chip Counts
|Rank||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|1||Roman Hrabec||Czech Republic||6,050,000||60|
|2||Frank Funaro||United States||5,065,000||50|
|5||Brian Rast||United States||3,965,000||39|
|6||Isaac Haxton||United States||3,820,000||38|
|7||Taylor Von Kriegenbergh||United States||3,280,000||32|
|8||Darren Elias||United States||2,790,000||27|
|9||Lewis Spencer||United Kingdom||2,705,000||27|
|11||Jorge Consiglieri||United States||2,650,000||26|
|12||Michael Jozoff||United States||2,085,000||20|
|13||Ryan O'Donnell||United Kingdom||1,570,000||15|
Nipping on Hrabec's heels is Frank Funaro, who ended the day with 5,065,000. Funaro came into the day as slightly shorter than Hrabec, but an early rise saw a dominant performance from the young East Coast man as he navigated through the field. Funaro has been playing high-stakes tournaments for the last couple of years, and his recent lifetime best score of $1,301,000 suggests he is on quite the streak.
A trio of bracelet winners occupy the next few spots in the chip counts as Aleksejs Ponakovs (4,470,000), Joao Vieira (4,090,000), and Brian Rast (3,965,000) all secured bags by the end of the day. Ponakovs burst onto the live poker scene last year when he beat Phil Ivey heads up in the 2022 WSOP $100,000 NLH for a career-best score of $1,897,363.
Ponakovs' online prowess is known far and wide, with a chance now for his second WSOP bracelet. Vieira is on his quest for a third bracelet; he won his first bracelet in 2019 and his second in 2022, both in no-limit hold’em. With 84 WSOP cashes and number one on Portugal’s all-time money list with $7,144,537 in lifetime earnings, Vieira looks to add another entry to a decorated resume.
Never too far away from winning any bracelet is Brian Rast, who looks to win his sixth WSOP bracelet with a win in this event. Rast has WSOP cashes dating back to 2005, and his five bracelets are a testament to his staying power and longevity as a player. With his stack coming into the final day, his first 2023 WSOP cash could be a rather sizable sum with some jewelry to go along with it.
Isaac Haxton (3,820,000) stayed at the top of the chip counts throughout the majority of the day and has added another sizable cash to his resume. Haxton has been playing WSOP for many years, and despite all of his numerous accolades, a WSOP bracelet has eluded him thus far. He looks to change that on June 8 when the players return.
Another player who has come close to capturing some poker gold is Taylor Von Kriegenbergh (3,280,000). Kriegenbergh’s stack swung throughout the day from leader to shortest and back again. With his best cash in a WSOP event being a 13th-place finish in this event last year, his sights are set on improving upon that score.
Darren Elias (2,790,000) looked to be out of the tournament late in the night when he lost almost all of his chips to Jorge Consiglieri (2,650,000) on a king-high board with king-jack against Consiglieri’s aces. Through some timely doubles, Elias was able to remain in contention, and the player nicknamed “End Boss” will indeed be quite the challenge to overcome with his years of experience and results.
Young gun Lewis Spencer (2,705,000) also found his way to a bag, and he returns having secured the second biggest cash of his career. Spencer final tabled last year’s WSOP $2,500 Freezeout and finished in seventh place for his highest WSOP finish. With a deep run in the 2021 WSOP Main Event, his burst onto the scene has been quite a solid one as he looks to add more to his growing list.
The only other WSOP bracelet winner in the field is Canada’s Kristen Foxen (2,675,000), who looks to add a third bracelet to her collection. Multiple-time Female GPI player of the year, Foxen’s results speak for themselves, as she currently sits in 15th place on Canada’s all-time money list. With a win in this event, she looks to be only the second woman to win three bracelets.
Newcomer to the WSOP Jorge Consiglieri adds his best live cash wherever he places tomorrow. With just one other WSOP cash to date, Consiglieri’s Cinderella story could be complete here with a win over this field of professionals.
The youngest player left in the field, at 23, Michael Jozoff (2,085,000) ended his day after a path that included many ups and downs. Flirting with the chip lead for much of the day, dropping down to the shortest stack, to rising back up again, he looks to be only the second player born in the 2000s to win a live WSOP bracelet.
Ryan O’Donnell (1,570,000) is the final player to bag tonight, sitting at just over 15 big blinds coming back for Day 3. O’Donnell vaulted into the chip lead after knocking out two opponents, before dropping down to the shortest stack after doubling up Ponakovs. The UK resident finds his best WSOP finish after only his third cash today. He looks to add the first 2023 WSOP bracelet to the UK as he returns to the action.
Day 2 Action
Play kicked off fast and furious today as players registered with mere seconds left on registration to sit down and play. The field dropped quickly as many players like Josh Reichard, Joe McKeehen, Freddy Deeb, Brian Kim, Bin Weng, and David Peters all found themselves falling on the wrong side of the money bubble.
Bubble play ended when Cary Katz’ queen-jack on a jack high board, could not hold against Isaac Haxton’s king-ten for a gutshot and an overcard. The king came on the turn and Katz became the unfortunate bubble boy.
Post Bubble Play
Many notables found themselves not making the final day. Players like Brock Wilson (42nd-$40,000), Calvin Anderson (34th - $43,750), Dan Smith (27th - $50,000), WSOP 2021 $25k champion Tyler Cornell (22nd - $56,931), and WSOP 2022 Main Event Champion Espen Jorstad (16th - $56,931).
Calvin Lee became the last player to exit the night. He got in his final chips with ace-five against Consiglieri’s ace-ten and failed to improve, leaving himself in 14th place and collecting $66,415 for his efforts.
Players will return on June 8 at noon in the Horseshoe. Level 19 is the first level of play with blinds at 50,000/100,000 and a 100,000 big blind ante. Each level will last one hour, with players taking a 15-minute break after every two levels. Play will continue until a winner is crowned, with the final table being live-streamed.
Stay tuned to PokerNews for all updates regarding the 2023 WSOP.