Sunday, July 2, 2023 4:38 PM Local Time
Jesse Lonis Steamrolls to Victory for Second Bracelet in Event #71: $50,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller
Eleven players came into the final day of Event #71: $50,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller with hopes of capturing the prestigious title and $2,303,017 top prize. What the other 10 didn't foresee was that Jesse Lonis had a date with destiny.
Lonis dominated the final table, eliminating every player on his way to capturing his second World Series of Poker bracelet and first million-dollar score of his career. Lonis took his shot in a high roller for the first time, and it paid off in a big way.
"It's incredible. It's my first $50,000, so I can't start better in the high rollers," he said following his win. "It just feels great because it's a tough tournament. Obviously, every player in it, 99 percent of them, are great players. It was a mental battle and nice to come out on top."
The win over one of the most elite fields on the WSOP calendar only adds to a profile that Lonis has steadily built over the last two years. The Little Falls, New York native entered 2021 with just over $100,000 in total career earnings. He then burst onto the poker scene when he finished second to Jeremy Ausmus in the $1,000 Covid-19 Relief event at that year's WSOP, following it up with a 25th-place run in the Main Event. He had made three final tables, including two runner-up finishes in the last two WSOPs. Lonis won his first bracelet in a $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event on WSOP.com last September. Just over the last two years, he's won five tournament titles and finished second a further eight times.
Lonis' career earnings now eclipse $5,000,000 as he has become one of the top players in the game. It's a testament to the hard work he's put in at the game he's dedicated his life to.
"I put a lot of hours in. Besides family, poker is pretty much what I do. I don't do studying. I've actually never studied in my life," he said. "I just play. Volume over and over. The more and more hands you see obviously you're going to get better. I watched some of the best players in the world play over and over. After you see it enough times you're going to eventually get better and better. And I think this proves the point that hard work pays off."
Final Table Results
|Prize (in USD)
Day 3 Action
Lonis came into the day second in chips among the 11 players who survived a record-setting field of 200. From the start of the day he dominated his table, taking down multiple pots with preflop raises as his shorter-stacked opponents tried to wait each other out and move up the pay jumps.
By the time the nine-handed final table was set following the eliminations of Kabeelan Rajamurthy and Anthony Marsico, Lonis had increased his stack to 13,500,000 as he and Tyler Smith controlled more than half the chips in play. He then went on a career-changing run of a lifetime.
Lonis knocked out Player of the Year frontrunner Ian Matakis in ninth place with trip fours. He then rivered a flush to take out Finnish pro Elias Harala in eighth and climb near 20,000,000. Isaac Haxton, a veteran of high-roller events who won his first WSOP bracelet earlier this series, was his next victim after Lonis flopped a set of jacks while Haxton missed flush and straight draws.
James Park then moved all in for 3,000,000 with two pair, but Lonis made jacks and nines to win the pot and bust another player, controlling nearly half the chips as five-handed play began. Adam Hendrix tripled up his short stack twice before running into the queens of Lonis to finish in fifth. Lonis then flopped a flush to crack the aces of Danny Hannawa and send him out in fourth.
Lonis had a strategy at the start of the final table: take the chip lead from Smith early and then start running over the table. It worked to perfection. "Honestly, I really didn't have time to think about anything but the next hand. I just knew I had to keep applying pressure," he said.
"I came into the final table with the same stack as [Smith] so I wanted to, early, take over the table and get a chip lead a little bit because I knew he would be pretty handcuffed if I got a little chip lead. And I did. After that, it was just kind of smooth sailing. Every time I had a flip or any kind of close equity spot, I was winning."
His run would continue three-handed when Jonas Kronwitter called all in for around 13,000,000 with two pair, but once again Lonis made a flush on the turn to win the massive pot. Lonis led Smith 44,000,000 to 16,000,000 at the start of heads-up and steadily wore him down until Smith got his last 2,500,000 in the middle and flopped a pair of aces, but Lonis made jacks and fours on the turn to capture the title.
The win, the bracelet, and the money are all life-changing for Lonis. But what really made him emotional afterward is the thought of what comes next. He and his fiancee Meghan are expecting their second daughter in August, and what this title means for his growing family was foremost in his mind.
"It's crazy. It's a blessing. I'm just so happy. The most emotional part of this whole thing is just knowing my kids will have money set aside for a good college and everything. So it's great timing," he said.
There was no stopping Lonis on this day. He had been on the precipice of the big score, the big title, for two years. He smashed through that wall today.
That concludes PokerNews' coverage of the $50,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller. Stay tuned for more coverage as the 2023 WSOP enters its closing stages.
Sunday, July 2, 2023 4:22 PM Local Time
Tyler Smith Eliminated in 2nd Place ($1,423,372)
Tyler Smith raised to 1,800,000 on the button before Jesse Lonis potted and Smith called off his last 2,500,000.
Smith took the lead on the flop with a pair of aces, but Lonis improved to two pair on the turn. The river sealed his win as Smith had to settle for a runner-up finish.
Sunday, July 2, 2023 4:14 PM Local Time
Level 29 started
Sunday, July 2, 2023 4:10 PM Local Time
Lonis Picks Off a Bluff
Jesse Lonis tossed in a black 500,000 chip to match the big blind and Tyler Smith checked back.
The flop came and Smith led out for 600,000. Lonis called and both players checked the turn.
Smith again led for 800,000 on the and Lonis gave it some thought before calling. Smith shook his head and tossed his cards into the middle, exposing two sevens, while Lonis turned over to win the pot.
Smith dropped the next two hands after limp-folding the button to a 1,500,000 raise by Lonis, then folded his big blind when Lonis potted.
Sunday, July 2, 2023 3:59 PM Local Time
Lonis Pulls Further Ahead With a Flush
Jesse Lonis limped the button and Tyler Smith raised to 1,500,000 for Lonis to call. On the flop, Smith continued for 900,000 and the call of Lonis followed.
Both opted to check the turn and the river completed the board. Smith bet 1,000,000 and Lonis verified the bet sizing before he called. While Smith sorted his cards to show what he had, Lonis announced "I have a flush" and tabled his .
The cards of Smith were never revealed but he tossed them into the muck as Lonis pulled even further ahead.
Sunday, July 2, 2023 3:56 PM Local Time
Lonis Takes Two Limped Pots
Tyler Smith limped in and Jesse Lonis checked his option to see the flop.
Lonis checked over to Smith who bet 500,000. Lonis called, then check-called another 1,200,000 on the turn. Both players checked the river.
Lonis turned over for a full house to take the pot.
The next hand, Lonis did the limping and Smith checked. The flop came and Lonis bet 500,000 before Smith came back with a raise to 1,100,000.
Lonis called and Smith led out for 1,700,000 on the turn. Lonis again called and they checked down the river.
Smith showed a queen, but Lonis had for a straight to win yet another pot and widen his chip lead.
Sunday, July 2, 2023 3:49 PM Local Time
Small Chip Changes at the Start
Jesse Lonis limped in and Tyler Smith checked to the flop. Smith check-called a bet worth 500,000 and they checked the turn as well as the river. Smith tabled for two pair and won the pot.
Smith opened to 1,500,000 on the button and Lonis folded.
Lonis made it 1,500,000 to go on the button and Smith let go.
Smith limped the button for Lonis to check to the flop. Lonis checked, Smith bet 750,000 and that won the pot right there.
Sunday, July 2, 2023 3:43 PM Local Time
Jonas Kronwitter Eliminated in 3rd Place ($1,037,441)
Jonas Kronwitter opened to 1,500,000 from the small blind and Jesse Lonis called in the big blind.
The flop came and Kronwitter checked to Lonis, who bet 1,900,000. Kronwitter then potted to 9,200,000, Lonis moved all in, and Kronwitter called for his last 4,000,000.
"Two pair against a flush draw. Ten or a four seals it," Kronwitter shouted to his rail, but he saw the fall on the turn to complete Lonis' flush.
Kronwitter needed to fill up to survive but missed the river as he headed to the rail in third place.
Lonis and Tyler Smith are now taking a short break as the table is prepared for the start of heads-up play.
Sunday, July 2, 2023 3:36 PM Local Time
Two in a Row for Kronwitter
Out of the small blind, Jonas Kronwitter raised the pot to 1,500,000 and Jesse Lonis called from the big blind.
The flop came and Kronwitter bet 600,000, Lonis folded.
In the very next hand, Kronwitter opened to 1,500,000 on the button for Lonis to call in the small blind.
They headed to the flop and Lonis asked for the size of the pot, then bet 1,800,000 into 4,000,000. Kronwitter raised the pot and Lonis folded.
Sunday, July 2, 2023 3:30 PM Local Time
Level 28 started
Sunday, July 2, 2023 3:21 PM Local Time
Updated Chip Counts
Sunday, July 2, 2023 3:16 PM Local Time
First Break for the Final Three Players
Two hours of four-card poker have wrapped up and eleven initial hopefuls have been reduced to the final three contenders. They have been sent on a 15-minute break.
Sunday, July 2, 2023 3:14 PM Local Time
Danny Hannawa Eliminated in 4th Place ($764,950)
Danny Hannawa raised to 1,400,000 on the button and both Jesse Lonis and Tyler Smith called in the blinds.
The flop came and Lonis led out for 875,000. Smith folded, while Hannawa moved all in for around 1,800,000. Lonis snap-called.
"I'm dead," Hannawa shouted to his rail after seeing Lonis' flopped flush. The on the turn, though, gave him some outs.
"I have a queen," he said, but Hannawa missed the river and became Lonis' latest victim at the final table.
Sunday, July 2, 2023 3:11 PM Local Time
Adam Hendrix Eliminated in 5th Place ($570,671)
Jesse Lonis raised the pot to 1,400,000 and that sent Adam Hendrix into the tank. He used one time bank extension and tossed it towards the dealer, which prompted Tyler Smith to muck his cards prematurely but pulled them back.
Hendrix then min-clicked to 2,400,000 with 500,000 behind and it folded back to Lonis, who pushed all-in. Hendrix called and they flipped them over.
The board provided no help to Hendrix, who had to settle for fifth place worth $570,671.
Sunday, July 2, 2023 3:09 PM Local Time
Lonis, Kronwitter Can't Finish Off the "Iceman"
Jonas Kronwitter limped in as action folded to Jesse Lonis in the small blind, who raised to 900,000. Adam Hendrix tossed in his last 875,000 and Kronwitter called to create a three-way pot.
Lonis and Kronwitter checked down the board. Lonis turned over , while Hendrix had for kings and jacks. Kronwitter couldn't beat that and mucked his hand, as did Lonis.
"I've had him all in six times this tournament. Iceman, you can't kill him," Lonis said as Hendrix tripled up yet again.
Sunday, July 2, 2023 3:05 PM Local Time
Chip and a Chair for Hendrix
Adam Hendrix raised the pot to 1,400,000 and fellow short stack Danny Hannawa defended the big blind with 775,000 behind. The flop brought the shove by Hannawa and the call by Hendrix.
The turn and river runout ensured the double up of Hannawa while Hendrix was left with 300,000.
With the big blind and big blind ante coming the hand after, Hendrix moved all-in from under the gun for three quarters of a big blind. Hannawa in the small blind and Jesse Lonis in the big blind called, then checked down the board.
Hannawa exposed the while Lonis had the . Hendrix more than tripled with for a king-high straight.
Sunday, July 2, 2023 2:59 PM Local Time
James Park Eliminated in 6th Place ($430,806)
James Park raised to 1,400,000 from the button and Jesse Lonis called in the small blind.
The flop came and Lonis announced pot. Park snap-called for his last 3,000,000.
Park had two pair, while Lonis had straight and flush draws. The turn improved him to a higher two pair, while the on the river was no help for Park as Lonis continued to steamroll the final table by busting his third player in short succession.
Lonis now controls nearly half the chips in play five-handed.
Sunday, July 2, 2023 2:51 PM Local Time
Isaac Haxton Eliminated in 7th Place ($329,142)
One hand after losing half of his stack to the aggression of Jesse Lonis, Isaac Haxton was in the small blind and raised the pot with few chips behind. Lonis peeled his cards and moved all-in for Haxton to call it off.
The flop gave Haxton to pair with back door outs while Lonis had the middle set. Haxton picked up a lot of equity on the turn but the river ended his run in seventh place for $329,142.
Sunday, July 2, 2023 2:46 PM Local Time
Lonis Continues Aggression
Jesse Lonis didn't let up after busting Elias Harala, taking down the next several pots at the final table.
First, he raised to 1,250,000 from early position and the rest of the table got out of the way. Lonis then raised to 1,250,000 again from under the gun and Isaac Haxton called in the big blind.
The flop came and Haxton used a time bank before checking. Lonis then moved all in and Haxton snap-folded.
Sunday, July 2, 2023 2:38 PM Local Time
Elias Harala Eliminated in 8th Place ($254,538)
Isaac Haxton got through with a pot-sized raise and Tyler Smith then raise-folded to a pot-sized three-bet of Jonas Kronwitter.
The third hand of the new level saw Jesse Lonis with a raise to 1,250,000 and Elias Harala defended the big blind with 1,800,000 behind.
They headed to the flop on which the first 30-second shot clock of the Finn ran down. He was breathing heavily before announcing all in and Lonis snap called.
Harala was ahead with the top two pair but he had to dodge plenty more outs on the turn. The river completed the nut flush for Lonis and Harala was eliminated in 8th place for $254,538.