The 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP) in its new home at Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas has crowned a new gold bracelet winner as Ben Diebold came out on top of a short-lived heads-up duel with Mike Gorodinsky in Event #10: $10,000 Dealer's Choice 6-Handed Championship to lock up the marquee victory. One of the most coveted mixed game competitions set a new attendance record of 123 entries in this, the seventh edition, surpassing the previous record from 2019 by one entry.
Diebold and Gorodinsky shared the biggest slice of the $1,146,975 prize pool and it took just 45 minutes on the extra day to determine a champion. The 28-year-old from Mt. Pleasant near Charleston in South Carolina entered the duel against two-time WSOP bracelet winner Gorodinsky with a 3.5-to-1 lead and was never in danger of losing it.
Both title contenders were in a very jovial mood not only during the heads-up play but also on the final table last night as well and Diebold described his opponent as an "incredible player." By default an Omaha cash game player, Diebold started taking tournaments more seriously in the last few years and simultaneously expanded his choice of poker variants, also thanks to Gorodinsky.
"He's a very, very good friend of mine. He's helped me a lot in my mixed game. A lot of this is because of him. He's a great guy, a great player and a very good person."
The first WSOP gold bracelet for Diebold came with a top prize of $299,488 while Gorodinsky was denied a third victory and had to settle for a consolation prize of $185,095.
Event #10: $10,000 Dealer's Choice 6-Handed Championship Final Table Results
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (in USD)|
|1||Ben Diebold||United States||$299,488|
|2||Mike Gorodinsky||United States||$185,095|
|3||Brian Rast||United States||$134,370|
|4||Christopher Claassen||United States||$98,738|
|6||Randy Ohel||United States||$55,329|
Even after Diebold got his hands on a WSOP gold bracelet, he said that he was still full of adrenaline.
"It's pretty exhilarating," he told PokerNews. "My heart's still pumping! I woke up a couple of times last night and realized it wasn't 11 a.m. or midday, but 6 a.m." The eventual winner showed up a few minutes early and was already eagerly awaiting the arrival of Gorodinsky as both had agreed last night, after the elimination of Brian Rast in third place, to postpone the duel for the title.
In the opening stages of the extra day, both contestants settled on no-limit hold'em and Badeucey while then also adding Limit 2-7 Triple Draw and A-5 Single Draw into the equation as well. The game selection for the heads-up match was entirely based on the stack distribution as confirmed by Diebold.
"Mike's good at a lot of games. He's a very, very tough limit player. I thought the stack sizes and the big antes in No-Limit Hold'em were the best for me." That choice turned out to be the winning strategy as Diebold sealed his victory in NLHE by winning a flip with pocket sevens versus queen-jack suited.
The game selection during the first three days of the tournament was certainly different, however, as he went back to his roots. "I predominantly picked pot-limit Omaha the entire tournament until probably last night where I had the chip lead. I don't think I picked a limit game the entire tournament. I play a lot of limit games, but I think I just stuck with no-limit."
Diebold will have the opportunity to showcase his talents in WSOP tournaments throughout the next few days and weeks, as three high-stakes competitions in his preferred poker variant, pot-limit Omaha, await. The first of them is just around the corner and will kick off on Thursday, June 9th at 1 p.m. local time.
"I'll play the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha tomorrow. I might play tonight. But I don't have any plans," Diebold said before leaving the secondary feature table, moments before the final table of Event #12: $50,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold'em kicked off.
Biggest Dealer's Choice Championship in History
Despite the absence of several well-known poker pros and mixed game specialists, the seventh edition of the $10,000 Dealer's Choice 6-Handed Championship and first WSOP at Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas attracted a new record attendance. A total of 123 entries surpassed the previous largest field by one entry and the incredible win streak of Adam Friedman ended.
Since 2018, the last three editions were won by Friedman and this unique feat has been widely considered as one of the most impressive achievements in the history of the WSOP. Friedman was also involved in the action for a potential fourth consecutive victory but bowed out on the first day of the tournament this time. Diebold has now followed in his footsteps and will be full of confidence for the remainder of the series in Las Vegas.
|Year||Entries||Prize Pool||Winner||Runner-Up||Top Prize|
|2015||108||$1,015,200||Quinn Do||Rep Porter||$319,792|
|2016||118||$1,109,200||Jean Gaspard||William O'Neil||$306,621|
|2017||102||$930,600||John Racener||Viacheslav Zhukov||$273,962|
|2018||111||$1,043,400||Adam Friedman||Stuart Rutter||$293,275|
|2019||122||$1,146,800||Adam Friedman||Shaun Deeb||$312,417|
|2021||93||$867,225||Adam Friedman||Phil Hellmuth||$248,350|
|2022||123||$1,146,975||Ben Diebold||Mike Gorodinsky||$299,488|