Updated July 15, 2022 - 9:32 am
Espen Jorstad believed he was in excellent physical shape.
That is, until the Norwegian poker pro had to endure Day 7 of the World Series of Poker Main Event.
“I was thinking that it’s probably to my advantage if we played very long because I try to take care of myself by exercise and get rest,” Jorstad said Thursday. “But I realized that I’m not in the shape that I thought I was in. I was very tired at the end and I could definitely feel that I made a couple of plays that I regret in retrospect.”
After almost 17 hours of play in the $10,000 buy-in No-limit Hold’em World Championship, officials halted the tournament shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday with 10 players remaining rather than playing down to the final table of nine.
The Main Event was off Thursday to allow players to recover, and the battle for the $10 million first prize will resume at 2 p.m. Friday at Bally’s. Poker legend Doyle Brunson is scheduled to appear for the “Shuffle up and deal!” ceremony to kick off the action, which Action is expected to continue until four players are left.
All the remaining players are guaranteed at least $675,000. The top eight finishers will take home at least $1.075 million.
“I was getting cranky at the end,” poker pro Matthew Su said. “Every time one of the short stacks doubled, I think I was on the feature table and I kept yelling, ‘Die! Die!’ They wouldn’t die.”
“It was tough, but I think when you’re playing high-stakes cash, playing overnight is pretty routine because you don’t know when good games are going to happen.”
Jorstad shares the chip lead with Su of Washington, D.C., entering the unofficial final table. Each has 83.2 million chips, which represents 69 big blinds. Philippe Souki of Great Britain is the short stack with 13.5 million chips (11 big blinds).
Six countries are represented among the final 10 players, including Croatia’s Matija Dobric in third place (68.65 million, 57 big blinds).
This is the second straight year Dobric has run deep in the Main Event after finishing 32nd in 2021.
“It was really tough, because from the first day we played approximately 14 hours a day,” Dobric said of Day 7. “I was mad at myself because I showed to other guys that I’m really tired. But I did it. I made the final table and that is the most important thing.”
Jorstad, who had the chip lead for much of the evening after winning a massive pot against 14th-place finisher Tom Kunze of Germany, is the lone WSOP bracelet winner remaining. The resident of London won the $1,000 buy-in Tag Team No-limit Hold’em event this summer alongside partner Patrick Leonard.
This is the first time Su, a high-stakes cash-game player, has made the money in a WSOP event. His biggest tournament result prior to the Main Event came in December at the World Poker Tour Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event at Bellagio when he finished 43rd for $29,230.
New Yorker Asher Conniff in ninth place (24.4 million chips, 20 big blinds) is one of the most accomplished tournament players remaining with more than $2.8 million in live career earnings, according to HendonMob.com. That includes a WSOP Circuit ring and a WPT title.
John Eames of Southport, England, who is fifth in chips (54.95 million, 46 big blinds), also owns an impressive resume with more than $2.1 million in live career earnings, according to HendonMob.com. He won a WSOP Circuit ring in 2014 and also owns a handful of first-place finishes in Europe.
“I’ve played with Asher a bunch the past couple of days,” Su said. “I think his rail will be really fun. And he claims he has guys coming in from New York who are even rowdier.”
WSOP final table
What: $10,000 buy-in Main Event No-limit Hold’em World Championship
When: Friday and Saturday
Streaming: PokerGO (subscription required)