Laplante, Cheong & Costa Among Early 2023 Wynn Million Side Event Winners

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

Ryan Wolfson Ryan Wolfson

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

Place Player Hometown Prize
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…

— PokerNews (@PokerNews)

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Ryan Laplante Finally Captures Long-Awaited Wynn Trophy

Ryan LaplanteRyan Laplante

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

Place Player Hometown Prize
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

Joseph CheongJoseph Cheong

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

Place Player Hometown Prize
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

Peter CostaPeter Costa

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

Place Player Hometown Prize
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.

Wynn Millions

2023 Wynn Millions Winners Thus Far

Date Tournament Entries Prize Pool Winner Hometown/County Prize
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

Name Surname

Chad Holloway

Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.