The first Event No. 18: $300 Gladiators of Poker in the 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP) attracted 23,088 players who created a $3,603,162 prize pool. It had four starting flights and was WSOP's most affordable live poker tournament in its history.
Even so, only 827 entrants advanced to Day 2. The field was further reduced to 14 players who reached the final day, and Jason Simon emerged the winner bagging the $499,852 and his first WSOP bracelet.
What Were the Top Players' Prizes?
- Jason Simon from the U.S. – $499,852
- Eric Trexler from the U.S. – $301,097
- Wesley Cannon from the U.S. – $210,024
- Wade Wallace from the U.S. – $160,818
- Kfir Nahum from Israel – $123,831
- Bohdan Slyvinskyi from the U.S. – $95,883
- Jonson Chatterley from the U.S. – $74,664
- Caio Sobral from Brazil – $58,466
- Thomas Reeves from the U.S. – $46,051
Simon's Journey to Victory
The 14 entrants who advanced to the tournament's final day reduced to 10 in less than two hours. Joshua Rothberg, Salvatore Boi, and Willie Smith got busted in the 14th, 13th, and 12th place, respectively. Tim Williams exited the event in 11th place after his ace-king lost to Wade Wallace's pocket fives.
The latter called using pocket fives, held up and sent the former packing with $36,487. The ten players left, redrew, and resumed playing fast. Caio Sobral, one of the day's stack leaders, lost most of his chips and dropped to the bottom of the chip standings.
He used king-jack to put in his remaining stack facing Duc Bien Nguyen's queens. But, a king on the turn helped Sobral double up and reduced Nguyen's stack. The latter used king-jack to stake his last chips against Eric Trexler's nine-eight.
Even so, a jack high flop granted Nguyen a top pair as Trexler made a straight flop and got the stack lead. He busted Nguyen in the tenth position.
Yet, the latter used ace nine to call and held, hence ending Reeves' run in ninth place. Sobral got in a tricky spot after using ace-jack to move his last chips. Wallace used ace-king to call and sent Sobral packing in the eighth position.
Jonson Chatterley used ace-queen to put in his remaining stack against Simon's jacks. The latter held up and won a huge pot before busting the former in seventh place.
Bohdan Slyvinkyi used ace-king to stake his chips, and Wexler used pocket nines to make a big blind call. The flop revealed king-high, but the river showed a nine, and Wexler got a set of nines as Slyvinkyi finished sixth.
Nahum exited the tournament in fifth place after their king-queen lost to Simon's ace-king. Wallace followed him in fourth place after Trexler's raise dominated his ace-ten.
Wesley Cannon got busted in third place after his queen nine lost to Cannon's king-eight. His exit set up heads-up action between Simon and Trexler. Unfortunately, Simon sent Trexler packing as a runner-up with $301,097.