Aleksejs Ponakovs Wins $1,897,363 After Beating Phil Ivey in Event No. 42:$100,000 High Roller

The 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Event No.42:$100,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold'em had 62 entrants who created a $5,998,500 prize pool. Yet, it ended a day before its scheduled final day, and Aleksejs Ponakovs was declared the champion. He went home with $1,897,363.

This was Ponakovs' second time winning a WSOP bracelet. He won the first one in November in an online tournament's recent win was his first time to get a live bracelet.

Before the victory, Ponakovs had garnered more than $1.4 million as career live poker earnings, according to statistics from The Hendon Mob. Also, he made a score of almost one million at the Triton Poker Series Madrid in May.

The poker pro finished in the 33rd position in the 2013 WSOP Main Event but started concentrating on winning the tournaments recently. He was the first entrant to get a bracelet in November from Latvia, and he has added another bracelet to his Latvian tally.

Ponakovs was elated after winning the tournament. He stated that he was thrilled to finally win his second WSOP bracelet. His huge rail motivated him to make the right moves as it donned his flashy shirt.

The Event's Final Payouts

  1. Aleksejs Ponakovs from Latvia – $1,897,363
  2. Phil Ivey from the U.S. – $1,172,659
  3. Ben Heath from the United Kingdom – $805,024
  4. Gregory Jensen from the U.S. – $571,896
  5. Micahel Moncek from the U.S. – $420,944
  6. Talal Shakerchi from the UK – $321,437
  7. Mikita Badziakouski from Belarus – $255,001
  8. Masashi Oya from Japan – $210,485
  9. Nick Petrangelo from the U.S. – $181,068
  10. Eric Worre from the U.S. – $162,623

The Day's Action

There were 23 players on Day 2. Eleven late entrants did a max late registration and created a 62 entry total. Some last-minute entries like Alex Foxen and Justina Bonomo hit the rail fast as they lacked momentum.

Fast elimination started taking place from that moment, and some players exited the event at steady clips while others had short stacks. Still, the play occasionally slowed down on the bubble that took more than 90 minutes before players started bursting the prize threshold.

Gregory Jensen kept the bubble lively using a river queen as Eric Worre, and Koray Aldemir sat near one another. They later started micro-stacks battle as each of them had a few big blinds. Aldemir used one big blind to double at one instance and eventually got eliminated, thus being the "bubble boy."

Worre followed him after a short while as he exited the event in tenth place with $162,623. Nick Petrangelo left it in ninth place when Jensen's river queen beat his jacks, thus setting the official final table.

Masashi Oya was the day's chip leader. The same hand eliminated him in the eighth position after running into sledding shortly before his stack reduced significantly. At that moment, the tournament's organizers decided to change its schedule and complete the final table.

Mikita Badziakouski got eliminated in the seventh position after Ben Heath spotted a flush on the river. Talal Shakerchi followed the former after Ponakovs's quad kings defeated his aces a few minutes before the dinner break.

Michael Moncek made an amazing parlay from his Event No. 13:$1,500 Limit Hold'em win, thus having a big payday. Jensen got eliminated in fourth place as Heath followed him in third place.

Ivey's flush sent Heath packing, and a heads-up duel began between him and Ponakovs. The former was determined to win the eleventh World Series of Poker bracelet and his first one in no-limit hold'em.

Unfortunately, Ponakovs stroked with two vital hands, thus getting a chip lead. He used a second pair to call Ivey. But, the latter open-ended straight didn't connect to the river, and Ponakovs won the event.


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.