The 2023 Wynn Millions kicked off on February 20 and is slated to run through March 19. While the $3,500 buy-in, $3 million GTD Wynn Millions Main Event, which kicks off today, is capturing the big headlines, there have been a series of side events playing over the past couple of weeks.
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Ryan Wolfson Wins Big in $1,600 Mystery Bounty Event
From February 23-26, the $1,600 buy-in, $1.5 million GTD Mystery Bounty took place. With 1,270 entrants competing over three starting days, a $2,463,800 prize pool was created. Among those to make relatively deep runs and earn a piece of the regular prize pool were Nipun Java (14th – $12,303), Eric Baldwin (15th – $12,303), Qing Liu (18th – $9,300), Ben Palmer (21st – $8,125), and Adam Hendrix (22nd – $8,125).
A deal was worked at the final table that ultimately saw Ryan Wolfson of Westbury, New York take $130,080 in prize money plus nine bounties for a total of $163,580 in prizes.
Wynn Millions $1,600 Mystery Bounty Final Table Results
|1||Ryan Wolfson||Westbury, NY||$130,080|
|2||Mike Allis||Post Falls, ID||$93,132|
|3||Tyler Willse||Lake Tapps, WA||$76,317|
|4||Brady Osterman||Henderson, NV||$74,265|
|5||Ken Einiger||Las Vegas, NV||$67,232|
|6||Ike Nlemchi||Houston, TX||$63,232|
|7||Pervez Ahmed||Newbury, Park, CA||$47,304|
|8||Vuong Do||Anaheim, CA||$22,981|
|9||Danith Ham||San Digeo, CA||$19,391|
As for those who captured big bounties, check out this PokerNews Twitter thread for videos of some of the biggest moments:
Follow this thread throughout the day for the biggest envelope draws from the #WynnMillions $1,600 Mystery Bounty E… https://t.co/YpG7DO2AvO
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Ryan Laplante Finally Captures Long-Awaited Wynn Trophy
In the $600 H.O.R.S.E. tournament, 92 runners generated a $47,380 prize pool awarded to the top 11 finishers. Two players to cash for $1,279 apiece but fall just short of the final table were Svetlana Gromenkova (10th place) and Ke Chen (11th place).
It was the 19th final table appearance in a Wynn tournament by poker pro Ryan Laplante, but amazingly he had never taken home a coveted trophy. That all changed when he closed out the tournament to the tune of $12,401 after a heads-up deal with Tony Phan, who claimed $12,400 in prize money.
Wynn Millions $600 H.O.R.S.E. Final Table Results
|1||Ryan Laplante||Las Vegas, NV||$12,401*|
|2||Tony Phan||Las Vegas, NV||$12,400*|
|3||Daniel Anton||Las Vegas, NV||$5,761|
|4||Ryan Roeder||Missoula, MT||$3,970|
|5||Lawrence Berg||Las Vegas, NV||$2,961|
|6||Leonard August||North Bergen, NJ||$2,350|
|7||Gail Sarett||Las Vegas, NV||$1,928|
|8||Frank Menendez||Tampa, FL||$1,630|
|9||Lindsay McDougal||Las Vegas, NV||$1,421|
*Denotes heads-up deal.
Joseph Cheong Nabs Early Title in $600 NLH
From February 21-23, the $600 NLH $200K GTD saw 805 entrants generate a $414,575 prize pool, which was reserved for the top 88 finishers. Among those to cash but fall short of the final table were Tuan Mai (13th – $5,511), Chris McNulty (18th – $3,608), Cole Ferraro (20th – $3,608), Jeremy Pekarek (29th – $2,412), Ben Palmer (35th – $2,412), and Rachel Whetstone (39th – $2,118).
The final table contained several well-known poker players including Elvis Toomas (7th – $10,737), David Jackson (4th – $23,258), and James Van Alstyne (3rd – $32,876). In the end, it was Joseph Cheong defeating Vinny Pahuja in heads-up play to win the tournament for $74,670.
Wynn Millions $600 NLH $200K GTD Final Table Results
|1||Joseph Cheong||Las Vegas, NV||$74,670|
|2||Vinny Pahuja||Jersey City, NJ||$48,339|
|3||James Van Alstyne||Las Vegas, NV||$32,876|
|4||David Jackson||Jacksonville, FL||$23,258|
|5||Julio Pulido||Garland, TX||$17,122|
|6||Russel McClean||Las Vegas, NV||$13,349|
|7||Elvis Toomas||Las Vegas, NV||$10,737|
|8||Dor Peleg||Scotsdale, AZ||$8,913|
|9||Ryan Awwad||Sacramento, CA||$7,515|
Former Aussie Millions Champ Peter Costa Wins $1,100 Seniors Event
From February 27-28, the $1,100 Seniors NLH $100K GTD saw 240 entrants generate a $232,800 prize pool, which was reserved for the top 27 finishers. Among those to cash but fall short of the final table were Michael Ruter (10th – $4,598), Danny Bigelow (14th – $3,562), Cy Williams (19th – $2,863), and Arnie Friedman (25th – $2,363).
At the final table, a three-way deal was struck that ultimately saw Peter Costa win the tournament for $44,179. If that name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you recognize Costa as the winner of the 2003 Aussie Millions Main Event for $221,862.
“Just before the mass shutdowns due to COVID in 2020, I decided that I had unfinished business with poker,” Costa shared on social media. “It was just a matter of when rather than if, regardless of the fact that I was not getting any younger … This year, I was determined that the unfinished business needed to be finished.”
He continued: “Looking back at this event, it really was fun seeing the numbers dwindle down with me and my short stack being mere bystanders for the most part … I was just enjoying the moment for it was – a fun time with really nice people.”
Some of his accomplishments that year included victories in the $300 Limit Hold’em event at the California State Poker Championship for $115,662; Bellagio’s $2,500 Limit Hold’em for $112,000; $5,000 Championship Event at the 2002 Hall of Fame Poker Classic for $101,520; a pair of victories at the 2002 Four Queens Poker Classic for nearly $40,000; and winning the Late Night Poker Series 6 Grand Final for $78,275.
Wynn Millions $1,100 Seniors NLH $100K GTD Final Table Results
|1||Peter Costa||Las Vegas, NV||$44,179*|
|2||Mark Gregorich||Las Vegas, NV||$39,376*|
|3||Mark Johnson||Las Vegas, NV||$35,454*|
|4||Brendan Shiller||Las Vegas, NV||$16,529|
|5||Nick Phoenix||Encino, CA||$12,175|
|6||Sejo Kasic||Las Vegas, NV||$9,382|
|7||Larry Wright||McQueeney, TX||$7,543|
|8||Gary Simpson||Rancho Santa Margarita, CA||$6,262|
|9||Dennis Pollock||Grand Junction, CO||$5,331|
*Denotes three-way deal.
2023 Wynn Millions Winners Thus Far
|Feb. 20||$500 NLH $50K GTD||290||$124,700||Maher al Mouselly||Calgary, Canada||$30,228|
|Feb. 21||$600 H.O.R.S.E. $30K GTD||92||$47,380||Ryan Laplante||Las Vegas, NV||$12,401|
|Feb. 21-23||$600 NLH $200K GTD||805||$414,575||Joseph Cheong||Las Vegas, NV||$74,670|
|Feb. 24||%400 PLO Turbo $20K GTD||129||$43,860||Pete Rocha||Victoria, TX||$10,965|
|Feb. 26||$400 NLH $40K GTD||325||$110,500||Brian Hughes||Las Vegas, NV||$21,271|
|Feb. 23-26||$1,600 Mystery Bounty||1,270||$2,463,800||Ryan Wolfson||Westbury, NY||$130,080|
|Feb. 27-28||$1,100 Seniors NLH $100K GTD||240||$232,800||Peter Costa||Las Vegas, NV||$44,179|
|Feb. 28||$400 NLH $40K GTD||296||$100,640||Patrick Hackenburg||Manhattan, KS||$24,395|
Executive Editor U.S.
Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.