The Wynn Millions returned for 2023 with a new price point for its main event, with the $10,000 buy-in from the 2021 and 2022 lowered to $3,500. This shift saw the guarantee decrease to $3 million from the $10 million of the two previous offerings. By the time registration closed, the new-look main event had attracted a field of 1,314 entries to the Wynn Poker Room in Las Vegas, building a final prize pool of $4,171,950.
After nine days of tournament action, it was Las Vegas resident Michael Rossitto who came away with the trophy and the largest share of the prize pool. Rossitto earned a career-high payday of $604,637 for the win, blowing away his previous top score of $250,073 earned as the winner of the 2021 WPTDeepStacks Championship main event. This latest victory increased his lifetime tournament earnings to more than $2.7 million.
Rossitto earned 1,440 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion of this event. This was his third final-table finish of the year, with 1,795 total points earned and $645,611 in POY earnings. The upshot of all that is that Rossitto now sits inside the top 30 in the 2023 POY race standings, which are presented by Global Poker.
This tournament featured three starting flights, two day 2s, and then four more full days of action with the field all combined. The final day began with nine remaining, with Zachary Donovan in the lead and Rossitto in sixth chip position.
Andrew Esposito scored the first two knockouts, busting Clifford Ziff (9th – $67,765) and Kharlin Sued (8th – $80,310) to secure the lead. Zhigang Yang was the next to fall, with his pocket nines losing a race to the Q-10 suited of Mark Zajdner to finish seventh ($96,706). Zajdner continued to climb thanks to picking up pocket aces against the pocket kings of Donovan.
Rossitto’s first knockout out the final table came when his pocket tens held up against the A-6 of Jacob Powers (6th – $120,361). Donovan’s run then came to an end when his pocket sevens were outflipped by the A-9 of Zajdner, who made aces up to win the pot. Donovan took home $154,29 as the fifth-place finisher.
The next big clash saw Pedro Ingles three-bet all-in with A-J suited from the big blind facing a small-blind raise from Rossitto. Rossitto made the call with A-K and held to narrow the field to three. Ingles was awarded $208,598 for his fourth-place showing.
After being on the good end of an aces vs. kings preflop cooler earlier at the final table, Zajdner found himself on the opposite side during three-handed play. He was unable to come from behind and was left on fumes after Espoitos aces held up. Zajdner tripled up right away to get off the mat, but was soon all-in and at risk again. This time around it was a classic race, with his pocket jacks facing the A-K of Rossitto. An ace-high flop gave Rossitto the lead, which he maintained through the river to win the pot. Zajdner cashed for $294,540, the first six-figure score on his poker resume.
Heads-up play began with Rossitto holding just shy of a 2:1 chip lead over Esposito. The tables soon turned when Esposito flopped two pair against the pocket aces of Rossitto. The chips went in before the turn and Esposito held from there to take roughly a 3:2 lead of his own.
During heads-up action the final two came to an agreement that saw $50,000 shaved from the planned top payout and added to the second-place payout. That resulted in $604,637 for the winner and $480,752 to the runner-up.
Rossitto managed to regain the lead and then extend it. He held more than a 2.5:1 advantage by the time the final hand was dealt. Esposito limped in from the button with 97 and Rossitto checked with 86. The flop came down K75 and Rossitto check-raised a bet from Esposito, who came along with second pair. The turn brought the 4 to give Rossitto a straight. He bet out and Esposito called again. The 2 completed the board and Rossitto moved all-in for an effective bet of 9,600,000. Esposito thought it over before making the call with what was still second pair, only to be shown the eight-high straight of his opponent.
Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table: