2022 WPT World Championship Opens To Massive Turnout Numbers

By David Huber
December 06, 2022

Only a few days remain until the 2022 WPT World Championship Main Event begins in Las Vegas, and so far the series is attracting massive participant numbers into its preliminary tournaments.

The $600 buy-in kickoff event brought in close to 3,000 entries and more than tripled its minimum promised prize pool as a result. Event #1 distributed over $1.5 million in cumulative total cash rewards to players who survived the money bubble.

Idaho poker player Sean Banahan collected the largest live tournament payday of his career over the weekend by finishing atop the $500k Guaranteed opening event for $136,220. New Yorker Jesse Lonis finished runner-up in that kickoff tournament for $122,184 – followed by Arizona pro Richard Alati, who earned $84,433 for his third place performance.

Meanwhile, Canadian live poker rounder Constantine Psallidas outlasted a field of 300+ competitors to collect $27,179 in the $600 buy-in NLHE preliminary event on Sunday, which likewise resulted in a total prize pool that was more than triple its original cash guarantee.

On the mixed game front, Rafael Concepcion took 1st place in the $600 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. tournament on Monday for $23,337 while Las Vegas poker mainstay Karina Jett was rewarded $21,710 for 2nd place.

Something For Everyone: WPT World Championship Game Selection

This year’s WPT World Championship series boasts a generous selection of No Limit Hold’em tournaments, which are accompanied by mixed-game events featuring Pot Limit Omaha, H.O.R.S.E., 8-Game, and much more.

The Wynn Las Vegas Poker Room will be spreading live cash games – starting at stake levels as low as $1/3 and $2/$5 blinds – throughout the course of the Championship series.

On top of this, the WPT will host numerous special events for players and fans, including the $1,600 buy-in Mystery Bounty tournament starting on December 16th and the Tag Team Bomb Pot competition on December 19th.

Poker Celebs Out In Force

Attendees who are planning on being in Las Vegas for the duration of the 2022 WPT World Championship will have ample opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the most widely recognized names in poker.

Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, Patrik Antonius, Kathy Liebert, Joey Ingram, Tony Dunst, Ryan Laplante, DJ Steve Aoki, Brad Owen, Andrew Neeme, and Vince Van Patten were just some of the poker legacy names who participated in the WPT Premiere Meet-Up Game on December 1st.

The atmosphere during Thursday’s WPT Premiere Meet-Up Game was “electric,” according to Australian Poker Hall of Fame member, actress, TV personality, and live WPT anchor Lynn Gilmartin. “I feel like Santa Claus,” said Gilmartin, who awarded four tickets into the WPT World Championship Main Event to raffle winners who participated in the Premiere Meet-Up Game.

WPT Will Host The Largest Guarantee In Live Tournament History

The $10,400 buy-in No Limit Hold’em 2022 WPT World Championship Main Event will represent the largest guaranteed prize pool in live tournament history: $15,000,000.


  • BUY-IN & FORMAT: NLHE – $10,400 ($9,800 to prize pool)
  • TOTAL PRIZE POOL: $15,000,000 guaranteed
  • PAYOUTS: 1-in-8 (12.5%)
  • LATE REGISTRATION LIMIT: Start of Level 7 on each of three Day 1s
  • PLAYER TIME BANKS: Determined by Action Clock at Tournament Director’s discretion
  • ELIMINATION SCHEDULE: Freezeout – one entry per starting day maximum
  • PLAYERS AT TABLE: 9-handed and 8-handed

*All events will be recorded in real time for broadcast at a later time or date.

Qualifier Milestone Satellites Daily

For those not planning on buying in directly, there are only a few days remaining for players to win their ticket into the historic Main Event, which begins on Monday, December 12th, and will run through Tuesday, December 20th.

Milestone Satellite tournaments ($200 or $1,100 buy-in) will be held inside the Wynn Las Vegas Poker Room each day leading up to the start of the WPT World Championship Main Event, and will start at 5:00 PM local time.These qualifiers are scheduled to award anywhere between 10-50 Seats (entries) into the Main Event per each satellite.

Record-Smashing Opportunities

Preliminary entrant numbers from Las Vegas suggest that the World Poker Tour is on pace to eclipse its in-house attendance records for live poker events at the 2022 WPT World Championship festival.

The “electric” live atmosphere will be booming throughout the next two weeks inside the Wynn Poker Room as thousands of aspirants from across the globe compete for millions of dollars in tournament prize money.



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David Huber poker author
Written By.

David Huber

David Huber has been involved in the poker industry for close to two decades: initially as a professional online poker player and later as an editor, consultant, writer, and forum manager. Known as “dhubermex” online, David’s poker-related work has been heavily published across numerous websites since 2004.

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