WSOP 2022: Kolev’s Final Winning Hand

The recently concluded 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP) has crowned a new champion: Yuliyan Kolev, a Bulgarian player who won the grand prize of $1,125,141 and his first live WSOP bracelet.


Being the last player standing in Event #37: $1,500 Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’em, Kolev also won his second bracelet just just seven months after winning his first one in online Event #9: $777 Lucky 7’s No-Limit Hold’em.


Key highlights of Kolev’s journey

  • Kolev outmaneuvered 7,961 entrants to claim a huge chunk of the $10,627,934 prize pool. 
  • During the final two tables, Kolev suffered a huge loss against Raul Martinez. Fortunately, he managed to get back on his feet with just a single 25,000 chip with the big blind at 500,000. 
  • As of this writing, he is the first Bulgarian to win a breakthrough and win a second WSOP bracelet.
  • He was the seventh player to win more than a million in first-place prize money in WSOP 2022. 


Final table chip counts 

Before we tell you Kolev’s final winning hand, we need to show you his final table chip counts along with his opponents. 

  1. Tyler Gaston – 53,500,000
  2. Nick Marchington – 21,800,000
  3. Bastien Joy – 20,000,000
  4. Yuliyan Kolev – 19,000,000
  5. Raul Martinez – 18,000,000
  6. Dominic Brazier – 16,000,000
  7. Stanley Weng – 14,700,000
  8. Oren Rosen – 9,500,000
  9. Yita Choong – 8,000,000
  10. Alen Tinoria – 7,200,000


Kolev’s Final Winning Hand in WSOP 2022

After the elimination spree that kicked out five players, Kolev landed on the second place in terms of the table chip counts, right above Tyler Gaston (64,000 vs 58,300,00). 


Kolev’s first casualty was Brazier, who already lost about a fifth of his chips after Day 5 started. Kolev moved all in with J♠ 8 for 6,200,000, which sufficiently covered his opponent who was in the big blind and was dealt with Q 7♠.


Kolev took Brazier down with his rivered two-pair, ejecting Brazier from the table. 


Using his position and momentum to his advantage, Kolev also managed to eject Choong by moving all-in with Q4♠, with the latter making a call with 7♠ 7♣. Initially, Choong’s K♠ 106gave him an advantage, before the Q♣ on the turn sealed his fate as the 2river was a blank. 


Meanwhile, Gaston’s leading position during the start of Day 5 did not continue when he lost a few sizable pots that his stack plummeted to 23.2 million. And with his J 10against Rosen’s Q♣ 10♣, he was eliminated after the dealer fanned out the J7♣ 5♣ 9Qand his opponent paired his queen. 


After Rosen eliminated the start-of-the-Day 5 leader Gaston, he found himself facing Kolev to battle it out.


When the final hand was dealt, Kolev three-bet to 14 million with AA♣ while Rosen raised to 4 million with his QJ♣. Then, the flop ran 3♣ Q♠ 8♠, which gave Rosen the top pair. 


Rosen called when Kolev fired a bet of 10 million, only to see the turn card open 3. And when the board paired, Rosen called, although the 9♣ on the river already sealed his fate–him losing the WSOP gold bracelet and the $1,125,141 prize money to Kolev.