Ohio Poker Dealer Katie Kopp Wins First Bracelet Of 2022 World Series of Poker


The first gold bracelet of the 2022 World Series of Poker has been awarded!

Ohio poker dealer Katie Kopp wrote her name in the history books by becoming the first WSOP champion decided at the new home of the series, Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas. She defeated a field of 832 entries in the customary kickoff event of the summer, the $500 buy-in Casino Employees no-limit hold’em tournament, to secure the hardware and the top prize of $65,168.

Incredibly, this was not the first time that Kopp has made a deep run in this tournament. Back in 2018, she finished third for what was then her largest live tournament score of $26,250. Four years later, she was able to get back to the final table and seal the deal. She now has six figures in recorded earnings to her name.

Kopp secured the bracelet in the early morning hours of Thursday, June 2 with a rail that included her mother Patty. As it turns out, in addition to being her profession, poker is also the family hobby.

“The feeling is so surreal being here with my mom,” she told WSOP reporters after coming away with the title. “We travel and deal together. My whole family plays poker. My grandpa taught us. My brother and sister both have WSOP Circuit rings and even my nine and 10-year-old [kids] know how to play.”

Lisa VanderpumpThis event began with reality TV star and restauranteur Lisa Vanderpump handling the ‘shuffle up and deal’ honors. Vanderpump (along with a canine companion) played in the event, but she was not among the 125 players to make the money.

The Casino Employees event is one of a few at the series that is not open to everyone, along with the senior’s event, super senior’s event, ladies event, and Tournament of Champions. The tradition started in 2000, although that first tournament was only open to poker dealers. It was then expanded to include all casino employees, and even others in the gambling industry.

The second and final day of this event began with 82 players remaining. It took just over six and a half hours to narrow that number to a final table of nine. A number of notable players hit the rail along the way, including defending champion James Barnett (81st – $880) and 2016 WSOP main event sixth-place finisher Kenny Hallaert (15th – $2,483).

Kopp entered the final table as the second-shortest stack. She outlasted Kyle Dempsey (9th – $4,813) Arturo Jimenez (8th – $6,210), Gonzalo Gonzalez (7th – $8,147) and Vikram Vijay (6th – $10,865) before scoring a crucial double-up with pocket eights beating the A-7 suited of Shaun Colquhoun. She still remained toward the bottom of the leaderboard for the time being.

Joe Chang’s run in this event came to an end when his pocket kings lost a preflop showdown against the AQ of Wyatt Frost. He earned $14,725 as the fifth-place finisher after an ace hit the flop.

Kopp went on a rollercoaster ride during short-handed play, winning several crucial all-ins to keep his hopes alive. She scored her first knockout at the final table when her pocket fives won a race against the K-8 suited of start-of-day leader Shaun Colquhoun (4th – $20,275).

A few minutes later Kopp struck again, with her pocket sixes besting the KQ of Brandon West (3rd – $28,356) to give her the chip lead heading into heads-up play with Frost. She lost one preflop race to see Frost close the gap considerably, with her pocket eights losing to a turned pair of aces.

She remained in the lead, though, and had extended her advantage by the time the final hand was dealt. Frost shoved from the button with AClub Suit9Spade Suit and Kopp called with ADiamond SuitQSpade Suit. The board ran out KHeart Suit5Spade Suit5Heart Suit4Club Suit8Spade Suit to see Kopp lock up the pot and the title. Frost earned $40,273 as the runner-up.

Final Table Results

Square Player Earnings
1 Katie Kopp $65,168
2 Wyatt Frost $40,273
3 Brandon West $28,356
4 Shaun Colquhoun $20,275
5 Joe Chang $14,725
6 Vikram Vijay $10,865
7 Gonzalo González $8,147
8 Arturo Jiménez $6,210
9 Kyle Dempsey $4,813

Photo: WSOP / Rachel Kay Miller.

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