Less than year removed from a runner-up finish in the 2021 World Series of Poker $10,000 limit hold’em championship event, FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver once again found himself heads-up with a prestigious poker title on the line. For the second time, the Editor in Chief at the data-driven news organization fell just short of securing the win. It was Alaskan poker pro Adam Hendrix that emerged victorious, earning $192,400 as the champion of event no. 4 of the 2022 Poker Masters, a $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament.
This was the third title and 10th final-table finish of the year for Hendrix. The 420 Card Player Player of the Year points he locked up for the win in this event were enough to see him climb into eighth place in the 2022 POY race standings, which are presented by Global Poker.
Hendrix also earned 192 PokerGO Tour points for his second cash of this series, enough to see him climb into second place in the race for the Poker Masters Purple Jacket. He now has nearly $4 million in career tournament earnings, with almost $1.5 million of that coming from his 38 in-the-money finishes recorded this year.
Silver took home $140,600 as the runner-up finisher, the second-largest score on his resume. The former semi-professional poker player turned media maven now has more than $515,000 in recorded tournament earnings.
From the 73 entries that turned up to the PokerGo Studio at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, only the top 11 made the money in this event. Big names to cash but fall short of making day 2 included Chris Brewer (11th), three-time bracelet winner Nick Schulman (8th), and World Poker Tour champion Justin Young (7th).
The final day began with Hendrix in the lead and nine-time bracelet winner Erik Seidel sitting in second chip position. Despite starting the day near the top of the leaderboard, Seidel was ultimately the first to hit the rail. The 62-year-old Poker Hall of Famer lost a huge chunk of his stack with A-K facing the pocket jacks of short stack Victoria Livschitz. He then got the last of his stack in with pocket jacks facing A-6 for Xuan Liu, who had shoved from the small blind once it folded to her. Liu flopped an ace and held from there to send Seidel home with $44,400.
This was Seidel’s 13th final-table finish of the year, with more than $3.2 million in POY earnings accrued across those scores. With the 140 POY points he earned for his sixth-place showing, he has moved into 9th place on the leaderboard.
Ed Sebesta’s run in this event came to an end when his pocket sevens clashed with the pocket kings of Silver. All the chips went in preflop. The larger pair remained ahead after the board ran out, sending Sebesta to the rail with $59,200 for his efforts.
Four-handed play lasted for more than an hour and a half, with plenty of swings along the way. The stalemate ended not long after when Hendrix shoved from the button with A-Q and was called by the pocket queens of Livschitz. Hendrix flopped trip aces to double, leaving Livschitz with just a handful of blinds. She got all-in with A-K not long after, and was in a dominant position against the A-Q of Liu. Once again, though, A-Q came from behind. As a result, Livschitz was eliminated in fourth place, earning $74,000. This was the second-largest recorded score so far on her tournament resume.
Xuan Liu was down to just eight big blinds when her elimination hand arose. She moved all-in from the button with Q-5 and ran into the A-J of Hendrix in the big blind. Hendrix flopped an ace to take a huge lead, and a blank on the turn left Liu drawing dead. She earned $96,200 as the third-place finisher. This was her fourth-largest recorded score. It brought her career tournament earnings to more than $2 million.
Heads-up play began with Hendrix holding 6,625,000 to Silver’s 2,625,000. Silver doubled into the lead in the early going, with pocket sevens outflipping A-10. Hendrix pulled back out in front after picking off a bluff from Silver. While Hendrix sniffed out the bluff in that hand, Silver was able to force a big fold in a later spot, getting Hendrix to lay down a flopped king high flush when a fourth spade hit the river.
Managed to win even after this savagery by @NateSilver538. Wp man good game. https://t.co/QoghMUQtO4
— Adam Hendrix (@AdamHendrix10) September 27, 2022
Hendrix surged back out in front not long after that wild hand, winning a big pot with flopped trips against the turned queens and fives of Silver. Hendrix held just shy of a 2:1 chip lead when the final hand of the event was dealt. Silver limped in for 150,000 total from the button with 74 and Hendrix raised to 525,000 with A9. Silver called and the 986 hit the flop. Hendrix bet 600,000 into the pot of 1,200,000 with his top pair and Silver moved all-in for 2,600,000 with his straight draw and backdoor flush possibilities. The 9 on the turn and 2 on the river locked up the pot and the title for Hendrix, ending Silver’s run in second place.
Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:
|Place||Player||Earnings||POY Points||PGT Points|
Photo credits: PokerGO / Antonio Abrego.