The $1,000 USD No-Limit Adult Hold’em Tournament is often one of the biggest events in World Series of Poker. The tournament, which requires participants to be at least 50 years old, has attracted an average of more than 5,400 entries in the past five times it has been held. That benchmark was left in the dust in 2022, as the record turnout of 7,188 entries built a massive $6,397,320 prize pool that was paid out among the top 1,099 contestants. In the end, there can only be one hero. This player was 58-years-old, Colorado resident Eric Smedinger.
To win, Smidinger took his first win WSOP . World Series of Poker Gold bracelet and first prize $694,909.
“This is a dream. I love it. This morning, on coming in, I knew I had as good a chance as anyone else. I’m excited,” said Smedinger. WSOP . World Series of Poker Reporters after the win. “It would be great to come back to Blackhawks, I live in Colorado and play there regularly, including tournaments. It would be great to wear the bracelet.”
The event took place over six days, with two flights kicking off and another four days of action. The bubble burst again on the second day, but several more days were needed to find the hero. Plenty of notables have made deep tours of the event, including two-time bracelet winner Barry Shulman ($229 – $412), six-time bracelet winner Jeffrey Lisandro ($116 – $5421) and 2012 Seniors Champion Allen Shulman (105 – 5421). $), bracelet winner Carol Fox (place 45 – $14897), and bracelet winner Ken Aldridge (place 33 – $221,133).
The final day started with only five players left and Ben Sarnoff up front. Smidinger sat second in the chips, with the bracelet winner and recently announced Poker Hall of Fame finalist Kathy Lippert not far behind.
Lippert slipped down the leaderboard early on, thanks in part to her ’80s cruise with the Kicker Queen losing on the same trips with Kicker King to Sarnoff. I fell over there. It was the ultimate in everything for her with just under six big initial blinds. Lippert caught a monster in Pocket Kings, but unfortunately for her, aces were dealt Sarnoff. The larger pocket pair was held up and Libert was eliminated in fifth place, earning $186,541. With $6,695,568 in cash, Lippert remains the second highest-earning tournament player in poker history.
Biagio Murciano was next in the fall. Owner AJ lost a preliminary race against Smidinger’s eight pocket competition to narrow the field to just three contenders. Morciano earned $244,664 for his fourth-place bid, the largest resume result in his championship run.
Charles Mitchell’s race in this event ended when he was outflanked by AK by AJ of Sarnoff. Mitchell had got above all and was called up by both Sarnoff and Smidinger, who did a high penetration check. Mitchell earned $323,057 as the third-place finisher.
With that, Sarnoff captured a nearly 4:1 lead in a singles match with Smidinger. This bullet was steadily choppy at first. Just over an hour into the final battle for the bracelet, Smidinger overtook the lead. Then the two traded small favors for a bit before Smidinger took a healthy bet with a couple to walk away a bit. The decisive blow came soon after, when Smidinger picked up a big trick from Sarnoff to take more than 6:1.
On the last hand of the turn, Smidinger min raised the button by 88. Sarnoff’s triple bet vs 14 big blinds with A.K. Call Smidinger and run out of board Q647y To secure fate and the title of Smidinger. Sarnoff earned $429,420 as the runner-up.
Here is a look at the payments and rating points awarded in the final table:
Winner photo credit: WSOP . World Series of Poker / Katrina Lukina.
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