France’s Jonathan Pastore overcame a field of 920 entries to take down the 2022 World Series of Poker $5,000 buy-in six-max no-limit hold’em event, earning his first bracelet and $771,765 for the win.
In fact, this was not only Pastore’s first bracelet win but his first-ever recorded live victory. It was also by far the largest live tournament score of his career, blowing away the $73,382 he earned as the runner-up finisher in a $600 buy-in at the Venetian DeepStack Championship II last fall. He now has more than $890,000 in career earnings to his name.
“Having all of my friends on the rail really helped me. We are a big group of friends and poker players who live in Malta and came to play the World Series,” Pastore told WSOP reporters after securing the title. “Coming from the amateur poker circles in France, with all my friends around me, I feel I mixed those two worlds today and it’s beautiful.”
In addition to the money and the hardware, Pastore was also awarded 1,824 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. While this was his first POY-qualified score of the year, it was enough to catapult him up the standings and into 48th place in the 2022 POY race sponsored by Global Poker.
This event paid out the top 138 finishers, with plenty of big names making the money including two-time bracelet winner Dmitry Yurasov (116th – $8,053), six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu (106th – $8,807), two-time bracelet winner Jim Collopy (98th – $8,807), two-time bracelet winner Daniel lazrus (96th – $8,807), three-time bracelet winner Dan Zack (91st – $8,807), two-time bracelet winner Taylor Paur (88th – $10,066), 2013 main event champion Ryan Riess (75th – $10,066), three-time bracelet winner Norbert Szecsi (70th – $10,874), two-time bracelet winner Eric Baldwin (58th – $11,991), 2009 main event champion and four-time bracelet winner Joe Cada (46th – $15,482), four-time bracelet winner Anthony Zinno (32nd – $21,597), four-time bracelet winner Robert Mizrachi (14th – $40,885), and bracelet winner Jonas Lauck (9th – $68,370).
Just five players made it to the fourth and final day of action, with bracelet winner Stephen Song in the lead and Pastore in third chip position. Pastore soon moved into second, and then further closed the gap on Song by knocking out Paraskevas Tsokaridis in fifth place ($167,882). Pastore’s pocket eights improved to middle set on the flop to leave Tsokaridis’ pocket fives drawing to running quads. The miracle didn’t materialize and the field was thinned to four.
Two-time bracelet winner Elio Fox was the next to fall. Fox shoved from the small blind for just over seven big blind with K-3. Song called in the big blind with K-5 and flopped trip fives. Song improved to a full house with a king on the turn, which remained best after a blank on the river. Fox took home $234,036 for his fourth-place showing in this event.
Pastore moved into the lead, and then extended it by eliminating Tamer Alkamli in third place. He shoved from the small blind with Q-7 suited and Alkamli called with A-5. Pastore turned a pair of sevens and held from there to take roughly a 5:4 lead into heads-up play with Song. Alkamli earned a career-best payday of $331,503 for his deep run.
Pastore took more than a 2:1 lead thanks to winning a healthy pot with a turned flush. He edged even further ahead before the final hand of the tournament was dealt. With blinds of 150,000-300,000 and a 300,000 big blind ante, Pastore raised to 650,000 on the button with QSpade SuitJClub Suit. Song three-bet to 2,100,000 from the big blind with 5Club Suit2Diamond Suit. The KHeart SuitQClub Suit10Spade Suit flop saw Song make a 900,000 continuation bet with five-high. Pastore called with second pair and an open-ended straight draw. The 6Spade Suit on the turn prompted a 2,500,000 bet from Song, which was again called. The 4Diamond Suit completed the board and Song moved all-in for 4,275,000. Pastore thought things over for a while before making the call to lock up the pot and the title. Song earned $476,990 as the runner-up, the largest payday of his career. The score increased his lifetime earnings to more than $3.5 million.
Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:
Winner photo credit: WSOP / Katerina Lukina.