AJ “sacakewalk” Sacher Is the 2022 WSOP.com Player of the Year

AJ "sacakewalk" Sacher battled it out with thousands of skilled poker players for a year before winning the 2022 WSOP. Com Player of the Year (POY) title. He won online event tickets worth $1,500, $10,000 in cash, and a WSOP.com POY ring.

Sacher followed Mike "BrockLesnar" Holtz (2021 WSOP.com POY winner), YK "LuckySpewyl" Kwon (2020 WSOP.com POY champion), and David "DrKool" Kuder, (first WSOP Pennsylvania POY).

Sacher's Transition to Poker From Magic

Sacher initially lived in Chicago and California before relocating to Las Vegas a decade ago. He was a streamer, content creator, and Magic: The Gathering player in his teenagehood and early adulthood.

Even so, Sacher currently plays online poker. He revealed in a recent interview that his family played card games and still maintains that tradition, especially during family reunions.

This made him love Magic. Sacher added that the game is highly competitive and it resembles poker training. The two games need the same skills like inductive reasoning and weighing odds. Even so, Magic is dynamic and more complex hence the high number of successful poker players compared to that competitive Magic players.

Sacher played his first poker games at the age of seven and later ventured into online poker in his teenagehood. He won a small payout on Full Tilt Poker and won Black Friday two days before his 21st birthday.

The poker pro often traveled on the Magic Pro Tour and made friends like Shuhei Nakamura, a skilled Japanese poker player. The United States has a large number of Magic events that prompted Sacher to visit Vegas with Nakamura instead of traveling back home and taking another flight to Vegas after several days. The two players occasionally played live tournaments mid-week and flew to the forthcoming Magic event on the weekend.

Sacher relocated to Vegas to be a full-time poker player. Unfortunately, robbers stole his roll shortly after arriving.

He had several theft incidents that forced him to start from scratch. The player opted to play off and on for several years shifting from live tournaments to online events. But the Coronavirus pandemic made him play poker full-time.

His WSOP.com POY Victory

Many players start preparing to top the POY from scratch. But, Sacher discovered that he was about to win the title towards the end. He often checked leaderboards as he strived to stick to his goals.

Sacher said that planning POY is an uphill task. A player has to do their best and wait for the results at the end of the year.

The poker pro had a significant lead in the race in mid-March and didn't want to check the scoreboard. He took a two-month break and discovered that he was in a tight race with Qinghai "011POKERDR" Pan when he resumed playing.

He played for several months without a major achievement and rested on one weekend in October to attend a family wedding. Sacher reclaimed the lead in November and flip-flopped several times.

The POY Leaderboard's Final Results

  1. AJ "sacakewalk" Sacher-75,030.75 points
  2. Qinghai "011POKERDR" Pan-74,768.35 points
  3. Angel "ChromeKing" Lopez-57,913.04 points
  4. Krista "Pollux" Gifford-57542.61 points
  5. Tony "Panoramic" Dunst-52,243.85 points
  6. Ryan "WhosYourDodd" Dodd-52,082.59 points
  7. Jonathan "Art.Vandelay" Dokler-48,853.98 points
  8. Chris "Basile28" Basile-47,681.14 points
  9. John "Relevancy" Ripnick-43,883.57 points
  10. Thomas "Zebra_Debra" Sabatino-42,584.62 points


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.