The 2022 World Series of Poker Circuit Bally’s Las Vegas $1,700 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event drew a field of 468 total entries to build a prize pool of $709,956. When all was said and done, Andrea Buonocore emerged victorious with the title and the largest share of the prize money. The Italian player earned $143,229 and his first WSOPC gold ring for the win. Buonocore now has $548,967 in career tournament earnings to his name.
“It feels amazing. I haven’t played tournaments in a long time. I’ve been only playing cash games,” Buonocore told WSOP reporters after his win. “I was playing my regular $100-$200 game in Bobby’s room. It wasn’t really a good game and the game broke, so I wasn’t sure what to do next. I checked online and saw they had this tournament, so I registered very late. I went deep and everything went my way.”
In addition to the title and the money, Buonocore also secured 720 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion of this event. This was his first POY-qualified score of the year, but it was enough to move him into a six-way tie for 141st place in the 2022 POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker.
The top 71 finishers made the money in this event, with plenty of accomplished players cashing due to the event taking place in the heart of the Las Vegas strip. Notables who made deep runs include two-time bracelet winner Nipun Java (29th – $3,879), two-time ring winners Eric Blair (25th – $4,407) and Stanley Lee (22nd – $5,086), ring winner Ashley Sleeth (18th – $7,092), bracelet winner and eight-time ring winner Sean Yu (15th – $8,565), two-time Card Player Poker Tour main event winner Jon Turner (13th – $8,565), and World Poker Tour main event winner Jesse Sylvia (8th – $16,463).
The final day of this event began with just five players remaining. Bruce Vandervort was the first to fall, with his pocket tens being cracked by the pocket fours of Buonocore after the chips went in preflop. Buonocore rivered a set of fours to take the pot and narrow the field to four players. Vandervort earned $35,920 as the fifth-place finisher.
Buonocore continued to climb up the leaderboard thanks to winning another key all-in, this time with his pocket queens holding against the pocket sevens of two-time bracelet winner Jim Collopy. The two clashed again in the next crucial all-in showdown. This time, the chips went in on the turn, with the board showing 9Club Suit4Heart Suit3Heart SuitJClub Suit. Collopy shoved with 6Heart Suit5Heart Suit for an open-ended straight flush draw. Buonocore called with AClub Suit2Club Suit for the nut club draw and a gutshot. The 9Diamond Suit on the river improved neither player and Buonocore’s ace high was enough to earn him the pot. Collopy was sent to the rail with $47,875 for his fourth-place showing. He now has $3,561,153 in lifetime tournament earnings.
Timothy Chang was left on fumes when his pocket fives lost an all-in against the pocket tens of two-time bracelet winner Eric Baldwin. Chang shoved from the button with Q-2 and was called by Buonocore’s A-K. neither player improved and Chang was eliminated in third place ($64,664).
With that Buonocore took a healthy lead into heads-up play with Baldwin. He was able to extend his advantage even further before the final hand was dealt. Buonocore opened from the button with 7Club Suit7Diamond Suit and Baldwin three-bet shoved holding KDiamond Suit4Diamond Suit. Buonocore made the call and the board ran out 10Club Suit9Spade Suit4Spade Suit2Spade Suit7Heart Suit, giving him a set of sevens for the win. Baldwin earned $88,498 as the runner-up, growing his career total to more than $7.1 million.
Official Final Table Results:
1st – Andrea Buonocore – $143,229
2nd – Eric Baldwin – $88,498
3rd – Timothy Chang – $64,664
4th – Jim Collopy – $47,875
5th – Bruce Vandervort – $35,920
6th – Daniel Jones – $27,316
7th – David Mowery – $21,060
8th – Jesse Sylvia – $16,463
9th – Kevin Fitzgibbons – $13,052