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2023 WSOP Main Event Reaches Final Nine

Jordan C

Jul 17, 2023

Adam Walton Leading The Main Event Final Table at the WSOP 2023

After eight gruelling days of play, we finally have our Main Event final table, after Jose Aguilera was eliminated in 10th place. The pace of play has been fast and furious at this year’s World Series of Poker (WSOP), and while there was the inevitable tanking debate as players tried to ladder up, the day was finished after around six hours of play.

As the players take a well-deserved rest day, let’s take a look at the biggest stories from Day 8 of the Main Event.

Weinman Finds Miracle Jack

There are certain hands that when you watch them, you know they’ll go down in WSOP history. The quad aces vs royal flush, Duhamel’s JJ against Affleck’s AA, and now Dan Weinman’s JJ against the KK of Payne and QQ of Aguilera.

The hand started with Josh Payne, the Day 6 chip leader, opening from early position to 1.6 million with KK off of a 25bb stack. The action folded around to Aguilera on the button who had QQ. Sitting on around 50bb, Aguilera put in the 3bet to 4.5 million. Dan Weinman then found JJ in the small blind with a roughly 35bb stack - the perfect size to shove over what could be a light 3bet.

However, with his Main Event life on the line, you could tell that Dan wasn’t happy with the situation. After some careful deliberation, he decided that JJ was too strong of a hand to fold and shoved his 29 million chips into the middle. The action folded back around to Payne who also didn’t look happy with the way the hand had progressed.

Sure, he had KK, but either one of his opponents could easily have AA, and losing KK vs AA that deep in the Main Event was too sick to even think about. In the end, he decided that he could never fold KK in this situation and put the money in the middle.

After Payne called, you would think that Aguilera would have one of the toughest decisions of them all, but after getting a quick count of Payne’s stack, he quickly put in the call and saw the bad news. Payne looked set for a triple-up, and Aguilera would eliminate Dan Weinman by winning the side pot.

The flop came A74, and with none of the players having hearts, it seemed as safe as you could get for Josh Payne. However, Weinman spiked the miracle J on the turn to take a commanding lead in the hand with just one card to come. The look of shock on Weinman’s face said it all, and you couldn’t help but feel sorry for Payne, who looked visibly shaken when a Jack card hit the turn. The river was the inconsequential 3, giving Weinman a nearly 80 million chip pot and eliminating Josh Payne in 14th place.

Dead Hand Controversy

In one of the more controversial moments in the Main Event this year, Jose Aguilera complained to the floor after the dealer mucked his hand while he was away from the table.

In the previous hand, Aguilera folded the button, then went to speak to his rail. However, Weinman ended up folding the small blind, giving the big blind a walk, which meant that the next hand started immediately. By the time Aguilera realised this and made his way back to the table, his hand had been mucked as he was not present at the table.

Aguilera believes that he should have been notified that the hand was in progress, as he wasn’t far from the table and could have easily made it back in time. However, the floor disagreed and backed the dealer’s decision. While he wasn’t happy with the ruling, Aguilera eventually accepted the decision.

Aguilera would eventually become the final table bubble boy when Jan-Peter Jachtmann’s A8 made a straight against his AJ to eliminate him in 10th place.

Check out this Reddit post and see what you think of the incident.

Walton Runs Over The Field

While it was Juan Maceiras who started the day as our chip leader, we have a new chip leader for the final table - Adam Walton has been putting on a clinic, making plenty of moves, and accumulating a huge pile of chips.

He ended the day with 143,800,000 chips, over 50 million ahead of second place, as the field somewhat condensed over the last day of play. Our previous chip leader, Juan Maceiras, had somewhat slipped down the field and went into the final table 5th in chips with 68 million.

Walton managed to win a few early pots to elevate himself to one of the biggest stacks of the tournament and then used that stack to make aggressive plays and put pressure on his opponents. He was constantly betting and raising, and always putting his opponents to a tough decision. 

Given the huge amounts of money on the line, that can be extremely hard to do, especially as a player with less than $1 million in career winnings. However, he showed he wasn’t scared to put his chips on the line, even against the stronger players in the field, like Toby Lewis. As you can see in the hand below, he’s more than capable of making huge bets and putting his opponents to the test.

If Adam Walton keeps playing like this, there’s no reason why he can’t go on to win the whole thing!

2023 WSOP Main Event Final Table Chip Counts

Rank Player Country Chip Count Big Blind
1 Adam Walton United States 143,800,000 120
2 Steven Jones United States 90,300,000 75
3 Daniel Weinman United States 81,700,000 68
4 Jan-Peter Jachtmann Germany 74,600,000 62
5 Juan Maceiras Spain 68,000,000 57
6 Ruslan Prydryk Ukraine 50,700,000 42
7 Dean Hutchison United Kingdom 41,700,000 35
8 Daniel Holzner Italy 31,900,000 27
9 Toby Lewis United Kingdom 19,800,000 17

Image Source: Pokernews.com