Inaugural WPT Prime Championship Smashes Attendance Record

By David Huber
December 12, 2022

More than 5,400 entries. A prize pool exceeding $5.2 million. Over 650 players to be paid out, with a first place cash award that will surpass $700,000!

WPT World Championship

These figures represent the official tally published by the World Poker Tour for the Prime Championship 2022 No Limit Hold’em tournament. The numbers are five times greater than the previous “WPT Prime” series attendance record of 1,050 entrants set in Cambodia in August of this year.

Overall, the 2022 WPT World Championship Festival at Wynn Las Vegas has been nothing short of a resounding success. Millions of dollars in prize pool funds have already been paid out to participants leading up to the $15 Million Guaranteed Main Event, which kicks off today, December 12th, with the first of three Day 1s.

WPT World Championship Festival Tournament Results

In the past week, a total of five WPT World Championship Festival preliminary poker events have concluded, meaning five more winners have made their mark on this year’s historic series.

On December 6, Canadian poker player Calen ‘Big Wheel’ McNeil persevered through a field of 269 players in the WPT Championship “Omaha 8 Or Better” event, taking home a first place prize of $21,305 for his efforts.

The following day, Nevada live tournament grinder Gerald Morrell was awarded $101,415 upon winning the $200k Guaranteed NLHE preliminary tournament (which more than tripled its promised total prize pool).

The win marked Morrell’s second career six-figure payout in live poker tournaments, according to The Hendon Mob website.

Later in the week, New Jersey poker talent Eric Hayes was victorious in the “5 Card Pot Limit Omaha” tournament held inside the Wynn Poker Room, and collected a payout of $30,423 upon chopping heads-up with his fellow Garden State competitor Christoph Csik.

Plus, the WPT Championship Festival “8-Game” tournament witnessed Oregon native Esther ‘E-TAY’ Taylor outlasting 130 players to win an even $100,000.

Sergio Grosso of Ontario, Canada, won the Seniors Event to start the weekend. Grosso was awarded close to $90,000 for his largest-ever live poker tournament haul.

Las Vegas poker player Lawrence Berg earned the win in the “PLO Turbo” event on Friday, walking away with a cash prize of $46,307 to add to his growing poker bankroll.

The Wynn Las Vegas Poker Room continues to host numerous events in parallel, and is expected to crown a winner in the WPT Prime Championship early this week.

Notably also underway is the $25k High Roller event, which attracted a total of 108 entries, creating a prize pool of $2.7 million. Just 18 players now remain in that one, with German pro Tobias Schwect holding a commanding lead of over 7.7 million chips, more than triple the stack of Justin Saliba currently sitting in second.

*All WPT World Championship Festival events are televised for broadcast at a later time or date.

WPT World Championship 2022 Main Event Starts Today

Today, the World Poker Tour begins hosting its largest guaranteed live poker tournament in history, offering a total guaranteed prize pool of $15,000,000; a figure that — based on the stellar numbers thus far for other tournaments in this series — is widely expected to be surpassed by a considerable margin!

WPT World Championship 2

Late registration in the $10,400 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Championship freezeout event will last up until Level 7 of each Day 1 starting flight, and the eventual winner is scheduled to take home a guaranteed seven-figure payday.

For on-site players who still wish to try and qualify for a seat in this historic poker tournament, the Wynn Las Vegas Poker Room will have a $1,100 buy-in Milestone Satellite starting today at 12:00 Noon local time, which will award at least 10 seats into the Main Event.

The same $1,100 buy-in Milestone Satellite qualifier will also be spread tomorrow and on Wednesday for players attempting to win a seat into the WPT World Championship Main Event 2022 ‘Day 1B’ or ‘Day 1C’ flights.

Late registration into the $15 Million Guaranteed showcase poker tournament will officially end at the start of Level 7 of ‘Day 1C’ on Wednesday, December 14th.

World Poker Tour Continued Growth Is Promising

The record-breaking participant numbers for the WPT World Championship Festival 2022 at Wynn Las Vegas are showing enormous potential for “the game” – while providing a unique, unforgettable experience to thousands of poker players around the globe.

Best of luck to all poker players who are (and will be) participating in the remaining WPT World Championship tournaments!



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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.