The fifth and final high roller event of the 2022 Wynn Millions schedule came to its conclusion during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Mar. 9. The $15,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event had attracted a total of 43 entries, building a prize pool of $645,000. After a long day of high-stakes tournament action, Grand Rapids, MI-based ICU nurse Brek Schutten emerged victorious with the title and the top prize of $219,300.
This was the second-largest score of Schutten’s career, behind only the $1,261,095 he earned as the champion of last year’s World Poker Tour Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $3,500 buy-in main event. He now has more than $2.1 million in lifetime live tournament earnings to his name.
In addition to the title and the money, Schutten also scored 360 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his second POY-qualified score of 2022, putting him just outside the top 200 in the overall standings. He climbed considerably higher in the “PokerGO Tour”:https://www.pgt.com/leaderboard/ points race, with the 219 PGT points he secured being enough to move him into 22nd place on that high-stakes-centric leaderboard.
The top seven finishers made the money in this event. The money bubble burst thanks to a huge three-way all-in. Jake Schindler was at risk for the main pot with AQ, while Barry Hutter was also all-in holding AA. Dragana Mackelprang, who made a deep run in the 2021 World Series of Poker main event (65th – $95,700) had both opponents covered with KK. The pocket aces held for Hutter and Schindler was knocked out in eighth place, while Mackelprang was left on fumes. She was eliminated soon after that when her A-3 ran into the pocket jacks of Schutten, earning $25,800 as the seventh-place finisher.
Dan Smith got all-in with pocket tens facing the A10 of Schutten. The flop came down J98 to give Schutten a monster draw. The 6 on the turn kept Smith ahead, but the K river completed Schutten’s flush to send Smith packing in sixth place ($38,700). Smith now has just shy of $38.3 million in career tournament earnings, which is good for sixth place on the all-time money list.
Schutten continued to roll thanks to a preflop coinflip against Hutter. His pocket queens beat out Hutter’s A-K suited after an eight-high runout to narrow the field to four. Hutter, a bracelet winner with more than $7.3 million in prior earnings, took home $51,600 for his fifth-place showing.
Cary Katz was the next to fall, with his J9 failing to outrun the K8 of big blind Sergio Aido. Katz was awarded $70,950, which saw him surpass $34.2 million in lifetime earnings. He remains in tenth place on poker’s all-time earnings leaderboard.
Despite scoring that knockout, Aido ultimately followed Katz to the rail. His 108 was dominated by the J10 of Stanley Tang when the chips went in, and Tang made a flush on the turn to seal Aido’s fate. The Spanish poker pro was awarded $96,750 as the third-place finisher, increasing his lifetime total to nearly $12.9 million.
With that Schutten took 2,525,000 into heads-up play against Tang, who sat with 1,775,000. Schutten extended that lead initially, only to have Tang score a key double to close the gap. Shcutten was once again able to stretch his advantage, and ultimately held more than a 6:1 chip lead by the time the final hand was dealt. Schutten moved all-in with A4 and Tang called with K7. The board ran out AJ242 and Tang was sent to the rail with $141,900 for his runner-up showing.
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Winner photo credit: PokerGO/Antonio Abrego.