Main Event Day 8: Epic coolers dominate as 15 become nine

Blaise Bourgeois
Posted on: July 14, 2023 14:54 PDT

The 2023 WSOP Main Event final table is set and, thanks to a very welcome structure change, the poker public was treated to a Day 8 spectacle that will live long in the memory.

With nine players remaining Adam Walton sits on top with solid lead. He's only two years removed from finishing 42nd in the 2021 Main Event.

Shortly after Jack O'Neill busted in 15th place, one of the most epic coolers this deep in Main Event history went down, setting the internet ablaze.

Royal Rumble: Kings vs queens vs jacks

A three-way all-in between Joshua Payne (kings), Jose Aguilera (quees), and Daniel Weinman (jacks) snow-shoveled a 79,400,000-chip pot into the middle that was sure to send at least one player to the rail. Incredibly, after a clean flop, a jack hit the turn and gave Weinman an escape from almost-certain death. That same jack sent Payne packing in the most painful way. Aguilera, meanwhile, watched his stack wither to only 12,500,000.

Sachin Joshi (13th) and Cong Pham (12th) hit the rail next, just before Alec Torelli lost a flip with jacks against a suited ace-king. Torelli left in 11th place for $700,000, setting up the unofficial 10-man final table.

The last steps to the official WSOP final table

Italian Daniel Holzner found himself as the short stack by a considerable margin, sitting with only 8.5 big blinds. On the very first hand of the unofficial final, then-chip leader Juan Maceiras opened from under the gun, and Holzner went virtually all-in for 8,400,000, leaving 100,000 chips behind. It folded back around to Maceiras who shoved over the top. Holzner called and found himself ahead with AQ v AT.

A ten came in the window, leaving Holzner drawing to three queens or running straight cards. The turn blanked, leaving him with just three outs to the win.

If you were anywhere within a mile of the Horseshoe, you probably heard the river fall.

Holzner hit his queen, sending the event center to oblivion and putting Holzner in a two-way tie with Jose Aguilera for the bottom spot.

Daniel Holzner Jamie Thomson

Holzner later found a double to set him apart from the Spaniard, who was doing his best to nurse his short stack. Eventually, Aguilera got it in good against Jan-Peter Jachtmann with a suited ace-jack against the German's suited ace-eight.

The 6-5-4 rainbow flop provided each player with a backdoor flush draw and gave Jachtmann a gutshot straight draw. Unfortunately for Aguilera, a seven hit the turn and gave Jachtmann his unlikely straight, leaving Aguilera drawing to a chop he couldn't find. And that ended the action for the night.

Through it all, Juan Maceiras attempted to bully the table with his big stack but was unsuccessful, dropping down from 1st to 5th in the process.

All the remaining players have now locked up $900,000 and will realistically compete for the $12,100,000 grand prize which comes with the incredible Main Event bracelet and a rightful place in poker history.

The action will resumeon Sunday at 1:30pm local time as the final nine will play down to four, with a champion set to be crowned on Monday.

2023 WSOP Main Event final table players

2023 WSOP Main Event Final Ten Chip Counts:

Adam Walton (United States) – 143,800,000 Chips
A professional poker player from Seattle, Wash., Adam Walton has found success in smaller tournaments with several wins. No stranger to the WSOP, he has 19 career cashes including a 42nd-place finish in the 2021 Main Event. So far this year, Walton has cashed twice at the WSOP, placing 358th in Event #39: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Monster Stack and Event #59: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Freezeout.

Steven Jones (United States) – 90,300,000 Chips
Based in Phoenix, Ariz., Steven Jones entered the WSOP Main Event with $245,536 in live tournament winnings. Now, with nine players remaining, Jones is guaranteed more than three times his lifetime earnings with a prize of $900,000 or more. Jones’ deepest run in the WSOP was in 2019, placing second in the WSOPC $400 Double Stack. 

Daniel Weinman (United States) – 81,700,000 Chips
With more than $3.7 million in career earnings, Daniel Weinman is one of two WSOP bracelet holders at the Final Table. As a regular international winner, the Atlanta, Ga. native has won tournaments in Spain and Australia and finished first in the 2015 WSOP Circuit Cherokee Main Event domestically. 

Jan-Peter Jachtmann (Hamburg, Germany) – 74,600,000 Chips
Jan-Peter Jachtmann is a semi-professional poker player and marketing CEO who is one of two WSOP gold bracelet holders in the Main Event. In 2012, Jachtmann took home his first WSOP bracelet after winning the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event, earning himself the moniker “Mr. Omaha.” 

Juan Maceiras (La Coruna, Spain) – 68,000,000 Chips
Following seven years of tough finishes, high-stakes poker pro Juan Maceiras is making moves at the 2023 World Series of Poker and entered the seventh day of Main Event play as the chip leader. So far in his 2023 WSOP run, Maceiras cashed in the $1,500 Millionaire Maker event. The Spaniard boasts a total of $1,010,607 in lifetime live poker earnings.

Ruslan Prydryk (Ukraine) – 50,700,000 Chips
With four wins in European tournaments, Ukrainian poker pro Ruslan Prydryk now sits at the Final Table at the 2023 Main Event, seeking to claim his first victory in the United States. Before this year’s Main Event, Prydryk’s only cash under the WSOP umbrella was in 2011, where he finished in 79th place in the 6-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event.

Dean Hutchison (Glasgow, Scotland) – 41,700,00031, Chips
Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, Dean Hutchison is one of two finalists from the United Kingdom. He comes into the tournament after winning the $1,100 online Mega Satellite and boasts career total of $721,376 in live poker earnings. So far, he has cashed in four events in this summer’s WSOP. 

Daniel Holzner (Italy) – 31,900,000 Chips
After some success in European tournaments, Daniel Holzner is making an impressive United States appearance as he enters the Final Table at the WSOP. Holzner currently has $25,517 in total live poker earnings. This will be Holzner’s first-ever WSOP cash with a guaranteed prize of at least $900,000.

Toby Lewis (United Kingdom) – 19,800,000 Chips
A pro both online and on the felt, British multi-table specialist Toby Lewis is best known for his success in international poker tournaments, earning victories in multiple high-profile events. Lewis has already cashed in two online WSOP events this year and has netted $8,213,476 in live poker winnings.