POKER NEWS

2023 WPT World Championship: Recap of Week 2 Action

By David Huber
December 21, 2023

The eyes of the poker world are all now on the final six players in the 2023 WPT World Championship Main Event. Having reached the final table, each remaining contestant is guaranteed to take home at least $1,207,000 from the No Limit Hold’em showcase’s $40 million prize pool. The eventual first place finisher will be awarded $5,678,000 and the televised final table will play out today, December 21st. Headlined by Andrew “Luckychewy” Lichtenberger, it’s sure to be a riveting battle at the felt!

2023 WPT World Championship Final Table Chip Counts

Andrew Lichtenberger – 148.2M
Chris Moorman – 88.3M
Georgios Sotiropoulos – 46.2M
Ben Heath – 36.7M
Daniel Sepiol – 34.3M
Artur Martirosian – 29.4M

Of course, there’s been a plethora of poker action outside of the Main Event at the WPT World Championship. In case you missed it, be sure to check out our Week 1 recap. We’ll pick up our recap below from where we had left off…

2023 WPT World Championship: Winner Updates

Longtime poker crusher Mike Leah has made one heck of an impactful return to the live felt, earning just shy of $100,000 upon outlasting a 547-player field in the $1,100 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha event on December 14th. This was his second side event win of the series, after he also took down the $2,200 8-game mix for over $78,000 and emerging victorious over 145 other hopefuls.

On December 16th, Shunsuke Tokoo entered the Top 100 of Japan’s all-time live poker tournament money list when she won the $1,600 Bounty event. Tokoo eliminated 16 players on her way to first place and collected a payday of $81,657 for her efforts.

Clemen Deng of Oregon won the next bounty event and took home almost $250,000 in combined bounties and tourney payouts. Deng’s victory came at a final table that included French poker legend Bruno Fitoussi and Bulgarian crusher Alex Kulev.

While he’s mostly a mixed cash game grinder, poker pro Nathan Gamble proved (again) that he’s got tournament chops, too. Heads-up vs. Yuval Bronshtein in the $1,100 buy-in Limit Omaha Hi/Lo tournament, the two agreed it was a “skill level stalemate”, chopped up the combined 1st + 2nd place prize money and flipped for the trophy. Gamble won the flip and got to pose for the winner’s photo with the mini Wynn sculpture.

The $25,000 buy-in High Roller NLHE tournament was won by Bin Weng – who cashed for $958,279 and prolonged his 2023 poker tournament hot streak. Over $6.6 million of Weng’s lifetime $8.5 million in tournament winnings have come this year, according to the Hendon Mob. The aforementioned Alex Kulev also made another final table appearance, along with Pokercoaching.com‘s Justin Saliba and 2015 WSOP Main Event Champion Joe McKeehen.

Mikita Badziakouski crossed the $50 million lifetime tournament winnings threshold after capturing the WPT Big One for One Drop title. The $1 million buy-in event featured just 17 entries, including WPT Ambassador Phil Ivey, but was a hotly contested affair, with only four nosebleed-stakes players cashing for a minimum profit of $224,800 apiece.

While we’re not recapping EVERY single side event that occurred at the 2023 WPT World Championship festival, it’s undeniable that they’ve all been exceedingly popular. The Main Event may have unfortunately missed its guarantee (despite being 30% larger, delivering about 900 more players than last year) but attendance at ALL the other events has absolutely smashed! WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage captured the mood:

And speaking of that $3K NLHE event, Dennys Luis Ramos of Brazil collected a seven-figure payday upon landing in the winner’s circle.

Calvin Anderson Wins 2023 WPT Prime Championship

Four-time WSOP bracelet winner Calvin Anderson of Las Vegas added to his illustrious live poker tournament resume this week. Calvin outlasted over 10,500 competitors and came out on top of the title event for $1,273,170 – laying claim to the WPT Prime Perpetual Trophy and bringing him very close to $5 million in career winnings.

Inaugural WPT x Daniel Arsham Celebrity Invitational Brings Out the Stars

U.S. entrepreneur Adam Weitsman became the first-ever winner of the WPT x Daniel Arsham Celebrity Invitational tournament on Monday. The six-player single table Sit N’ Go also featured Arsham, television actor Neil Patrick Harris, French actor/songwriter Patrick Bruel, and actresses Eileen Davidson and Arden Cho.

WPT World Championship Shines in 2023

The World Poker Tour has established itself as a marquee live poker tournament brand and now hosts dozens of events annually around the globe. Between its Main Tour, Prime Tour, and other poker festival events, there are millions of dollars awarded to poker players during each stop of the calendar year.

The WPT poker festivals held throughout the world each year culminate in Las Vegas at the Wynn Poker Room. This is where the annual Prime Championship, Ladies Championship, and World Championship are held in December.

We wish the best of luck to the final six players in the 2023 WPT World Championship Main Event, and a genuine thanks and kudos to the WPT for staging another stellar live poker festival product.

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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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