The 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP) is wrapping up at its new venue of Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas. Pennsylvania poker players have already made their mark to the tune of numerous final table appearances and millions of dollars in cash prizes.
Several more made deep runs in the Main Event, too, but only one Pennsylvania native made it to Day 7, falling just short of the coveted final table. Two-time WPT champion Aaron Mermelstein made a serious run for the title and the $10 million first-place prize, ultimately falling in 20th place.
As the Main Event and the remainder of side events continue towards the finish line, we will detail some of the highlights PA poker players have had at the 2022 WSOP. Be sure to keep reading to catch up on all the excitement from the summer.
Mermelstein makes deep Main Event run
While four Pennsylvanians were still left on Day 6, only Mermelstein got through to Day 7 Wednesday with 35 returning out of 8,663 entries.
Mermelstein entered the day 12th in chips out of the final 35 players with 16.25 million, good for 54 big blinds.
It was a rollercoaster of a day for the seasoned Pennsylvania poker pro, but ultimately his shot at the title fell short in 20th place, good for a payday of $323,100.
Three other Pennsylvania players saw their dream runs come to an end on Tuesday, but they didn’t leave empty-handed.
Day 6 payouts for PA players:
- William Nunley – Conshohocken, PA – 49th place ($176,200)
- Matthew Paoletti – Perkasie, PA – 76th place ($101,700)
- Anthony Maio – New Hope, PA – 100th place ($62,500)
The final table will play out starting on Friday, with live streaming of feature tables available at PokerGO (subscription required).
Mermelstein, Paoletti and Nunley all enter Day 6 of the WSOP Main Event in the top 20
Mermelstein headlined the list of PA players still in contention with 120 remaining heading into Day 6. He entered Day 6 third in chips with 10.7 million after entering the previous day in fourth. That stack was good for 133 big blinds, as play stopped midway through Level 26 with blinds of 40K/80K.
Mermelstein has nearly $500K in lifetime WSOP earnings and over $3.5 million in career live earnings, invaluable experience he will have on his side leading up to the final table.
Matthew Paoletti (7.8 million) entered Day 6 in 16th place on the leader board. With $53K in total live earnings, Paoletti will more than double that total with his 2022 WSOP Main Event finish.
Much the same, William Nunley (7.4 million) was also in the top 20 to start Day 6. Nunley spent Day 5 on the featured table and held his own versus entertaining and wild tablemate Zilong Zhang. Nunley has $61K in career earnings, a number he will more than double, just like Paoletti.
Much further down in the counts, Anthony Maio (1.1 million) had just 15 big blinds coming into Day 6. Though near the bottom of the counts, Maio is plenty formidable still, with over $300K in WSOP earnings and $977K in total live earnings, including two WPT final tables and one WSOP final table. With his Main Event run, he will also surpass $1 million in lifetime earnings.
Matt Glantz wins the first-ever $1 million bounty
Matt Glantz, a Pennsylvania poker professional with over $7.5 million in live earnings to date, was the first Pennsylvania player to make a final table at the WSOP earlier in the summer. He took fifth place in Event #7: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better out of a record-setting field of 1,087 and earned $59,166 for his performance.
Glantz has amassed five cashes for the summer, with the undoubted highlight coming en route to his 42nd-place finish in Event #68: $1,000 Million Dollar Bounty. During that event, Glantz pulled the single $1 million bounty, far overshadowing the respectable $20K he earned for making it to the final five tables from a field of 14,112.
You can watch the big moment for Glantz via Twitter:
— Matt Glantz (@MattGlantz) July 6, 2022
A WSOP to remember for Glantz
Glantz is no stranger to WSOP final tables, having made 18 in his career. He told PlayPennsylvania that he makes two per summer on average, and he’s had a down summer in that area.
That said, a million-dollar bounty is a pretty sweet consolation prize. Glantz shared what the experience was like, stating that it was the first mystery bounty event he had played in his career:
“Winning a bounty is great. The next step after you have knocked someone out is to push the button, so the big screen selects if you get a small prize ($1K-$5K) or you get a shot at an actual envelope in a chest on the stage. There you get a minimum of $25K.
“Up on the podium, I did a nice long squeeze and saw the number 1, which means it’s either $100,000 or $1,000,000. I then saw the comma right after the 1 and knew right away. BOOM, $1M!!!”
Glantz also echoed support for the WSOP’s move from the Rio to the center-strip locations of Bally’s and Paris:
“The new venue is great. Nobody missed the Rio, and everyone loves the new venue at Bally’s and Paris. It’s a tremendous upgrade for everyone participating.”
Jake Schindler quietly wins his first bracelet
Jake Schindler, born in Bryn Mawr, has recently been involved in controversy around cheating using real-time assistance programs while playing online sessions. These programs are banned from being used in sessions.
Despite the allegations, Schindler showed up for the 2022 WSOP and quickly made the final table of Event #8: $25,000 High Roller, where he took second place for $874,915.
Two days later, he final tabled another high roller in Event #12, this time a $50K buy-in. Schindler came out on top and earned himself $1.33 million, declining to speak to the media after both performances.
Eric Wasserson makes two final tables in $10,000 buy-in events
Penn Valley resident and Lehigh alum Eric Wasserson also made two final tables, both of which came in championship events.
The first of those two final tables came in Event #31: $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship, where Wasserson took home $180,559 as the runner-up to Brian Hastings, who won his sixth career bracelet.
Wasserson further showed his mixed-game prowess with another final table appearance in Event #44: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship, finishing in 8th place for $47,819.
Cherish Andrews final tables the Ladies’ event in back-to-back years
Listed from Chambersburg, PA, Cherish Andrews followed up her eighth-place finish in the 2021 WSOP Ladies’ event by making the final table once more in Event #61: $1,000 Ladies Championship. Andrews finished Day 1 second in chips, topping that to become the end-of-Day 2 chip leader with 42 remaining.
Unfortunately for Andrews, her pocket kings couldn’t hold against pocket jacks at the end of Day 3, and she was eliminated in ninth place ($12,965).
Earlier in the summer, Andrews also took sixth place in the $2,200 Wynn Mystery Bounty for $72,105, not including bounties.
McKeehen, Kalas headline the list of other final tablists
Other final table finishes from Pennsylvanians at the 2022 WSOP, listed in order of finishing position are as follows.
2015 WSOP Main Event Champion Joe McKeehen made his eighth career WSOP final table, taking 5th place in Event #13: $1,500 Limit Hold’em ($32,761).
James ‘Mailman’ Paluszek took 7th place in Event #22: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship ($34,949). This was his second career WSOP final table, also taking sixth place in the very same event in 2008 for $74,260.
Jeffrey Ditanna of Holland, PA, finished 7th place in Online Event #7: $500 No Limit Hold’em Deepstack ($20,917). This event was open to players located within Nevada and New Jersey and is separate from the WSOP PA online bracelet series, which will conclude on Sunday, July 17.
Kane Kalas, son of Hall-of-Fame Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, made the first WSOP final table of his career, taking 8th Place in Event #15: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship ($48,839).
Thornton’s Timothy Dalessandro logged his second career WSOP cash in Event #73: $1,500 Razz. Dalessandro finished 9th place ($8,291), his first score since 2008 when he took sixth place in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better for $30,444.