Daniel Weinman has won the largest World Series of Poker main event ever held.
The 35-year-old from Atlanta, Georgia defeated a record field of 10,073 entries that came to the Paris and Horseshoe Las Vegas for the 2023 WSOP $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em world championship to capture the championship gold bracelet and the massive $12.1 million first-place prize.
“It doesn’t feel real. I mean, there’s so much luck in a poker tournament. I thought I played very well, but so many hands where I was just so incredibly lucky for the situations to arise,” Weinamn said after coming out on top.
“You need so much luck to win any poker tournament. There’s been three or four hands in this tournament, I got unbelievably lucky. And you just kind of feel like, you know, maybe it’s my time,” said a smiling Weinman. “Whether that’s because I’ve put in the time for close to 20 years now or something else, it feels so incredible.”
The Georgia Tech engineering degree holder now has more than $15.8 million in lifetime earnings to his name after this career-defining victory. This win also gave him his second career bracelet to go with his two World Poker Tour main event titles. His first bracelet win came last summer when he took down a $1,000 pot-limit Omaha event for $255,359.
This main event win was the first by an American since John Cynn came out on top in 2018, with recent champions being Norwegian (Espen Jorstad, 2022), German (Koray Aldemir, 2021 and Hossein Ensan, 2019), and Argentinian (Damian Salas, 2020).
Weinman came into the final day of this event in second chip position among the last three contenders. Click HERE for a recap of the first day of action from the final table.
Adam Walton was the shortest stack to begin the day, but was still far from in desperation mode with 83 big blinds to start. The 40-year-old professional poker player from Seattle, Washington had actually joined Weinman in surpassing start-of-day chip leader Steven Jones. Weinman only had Walton covered by just over seven big blinds when the pivotal hand of the day arose.
With blinds of 1,250,000-2,500,000 with a big blind ante of 2,500,000, Jones raised to 6,000,000 on the button with the Q6 and Walton flat called from the small blind with 88. Weinman looked down at AA and three-bet to 27,000,000 in the big blind. Jones folded and Walton very quickly four-bet shoved for 209,500,000. Weinman snap-called with pocket aces and was in great shape to take a massive lead heading into heads-up play.
The board camera down 7539K and Weinman’s pocket aces held to earn him the massive pot and the elimination.
Check out a replay of the hand from PokerGO, the exclusive livestreaming provider of the WSOP.
Nearly 200 big blinds get in the middle before the flop between Daniel Weinman (
notontilt09</a>) and Adam Walton. <br><br>And we are now heads up for the title in the 2023 <a href="https://twitter.com/WSOP?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">WSOP Main Event.
— PokerGO (@PokerGO) July 17, 2023
Walton earned $4,000,000 as the third-place finisher. This was his second deep run in the main event, having placed 42nd in 2021 for $163,900. He now has more than $4.9 million in lifetime live tournament earnings to his name after this momentous result.
“It was the first hand I had really put a lot of chips in the pot and came in with the squeeze after the Steven open and the Adam flat. And I know that Adam likes to flat some big hands, so I ended up sizing up a little bit, kind of with the hopes that he would try to take advantage of all the dead money in there. And I don’t know if it was me inducing him or him just deciding that it was too good of a hand to not go with, but it all ended up working out so well,” said Weinman of the key clash.
With that, Weinman entered heads-up play with 443,000,000 to the 159,500,000 of Jones. The championship bracelet and the pile of money were set out and the final two began their battle for the honor of being this year’s world champ.
It took just 24 hands for Weinman to convert his chip lead into the title. He still had more than a 2:1 lead when the final hand arose. At the same blind level, Jones opened to 7,000,000 on the button with J8 and Weinman called with KJ. The flop came down J52 and Weinman checked. Jones bet 6,000,000 and Weinman check-raised to 18,500,000. Jones called and the 4 rolled off on the turn. Weinman bet 38,000,000 and Jones went into the tank for a few minutes before moving all-in for 146,000,000. Weinman took almost 30 seconds before making the call with his top pair and superior kicker.
Jones needed held, but the A on the river did not supply any and he was eliminated in second place, earning $6,500,000. The 35-year-old real estate broker and poker enthusiast from Scottsdale, Arizona now has more than $6.7 million in total tournament earnings. This runner-up showing surpassed his previous top score of $57,425 that he earned for a ninth-place showing in the 2018 WSOP Colossus.
In addition to the hardware and the money, Weinman was also awarded a bevy of rankings points as the champion of this event. The 3,600 Card Player Player of the Year points he secured were enough to catapult him into 19th place in the 2023 POY standings presented by Global Poker.
Weinman also locked up 2,300 PokerGO Tour points for the score, enough to catapult him into the lead on the high-stakes-centric PGT leaderboard.
This was actually Weinman’s first final table of the year. He actually took a break during the middle of the series this year, and almost didn’t come back for the main event.
“This is my either 15th or 16th series and every year before this I’ve been here from event one to the last event. By the time the main event comes around, I’m burnt out,” said Weinman. “About two weeks into the series this year, uh, I told my girlfriend Sarah how I was feeling and she said ‘come home’. So I did and life went back to normal and I was honestly on the fence about even coming back and playing this tournament.”
“Shaun Deeb was pivotal in convincing me to come out. Sarah’s very new to all of this. I’m trying to explain like, ’I’m gonna go, but I’m never gonna win’” he continued. “I’ve cashed this tournament one out of 15 times, most likely I’m just gonna go lose 1$0,000 and fly home. And she was behind it. You’d never dream this up.”
Weinman walks away as poker’s world champion, having topped the largest field in the history of this storied event to capture the biggest top prize ever awarded in this contest. Despite the momentous achievement, he seems committed to staying grounded. He even plans on returning to his work at RF Poker, which deals with RFID tables for poker broadcasts.
“I don’t think life is gonna change very much for me. I’m a very happy person. I enjoy very simple things back home. I will be at work next week, maybe play a little more golf, maybe travel a little bit more, but life is gonna be very similar… with a few extra dollars in the bank.”
Here is a look at the full results from the 2023 WSOP main event final table:
|Jan Peter Jachtmann