He came, he saw and he very nearly conquered but in the end Brisbane’s Adrian Attenborough fell just short of WSOP Main Event glory, finishing runner-up as Norway’s Espen Jorstad was crowned 2022 champion.
Looking to emulate Joe Hachem’s 2005 WSOP Main Event triumph, Attenborough looked on course to etch his name into the history books when he sent local hope Michael Duek home in third, entering heads-up play just about level with Jorstad.
He then found himself short after a hand in which he tanked for almost a full 20 minutes before correctly folding to Jorstad’s river shove, doubled back through to take the lead before a brief period of back and forth eventually ended with one monster hand.
Holding J♣4♠ against Jorstad’s Q♦2♠ on a 4♥2♥2♣ board, Attenborough re-raised Jorstad’s 4,000,000 lead to 14,000,000 and then called his 32,000,0000 3-bet. He also called Jorstad’s 62,000,000 turn bet before going deep into the tank after the Norwegian announced he was all-in on the Q♣ river.
Eight minutes later, Attenborough picked up a stack of chips and made the call, only to find out the bad news as Jorstad showed the boat.
Speaking with PokerGo shortly after the final hand played out, Attenborough described his huge call as “such a big mistake” but admitted he was still “super proud” after notching an incredibly $6 million payday against the second largest WSOP Main Event field of all time.
“I ran really good and definitely don’t deserve to win $6 million,” Attenborough said. “I was just along for the ride and it sucks. Such a big mistake at the end, but it’s ok. I’m super proud.”
For Jorstad, it was also a second WSOP bracelet of the summer, having already teamed up with Patrick Leonard to win the $1,000 Tag Team event.
“I think is going to mean more in a few days when it sinks in,” Jorstad said after his career-defining triumph.
“Right now, it just feels absurd. I was so focused on this match. I came in today to just play poker. I didn’t think too much. I tried to not think too much about what was at stake here, what we were playing for, and whatnot. I was just trying to play the best poker.
“My opponent, Attenborough, was the one guy I didn’t want to meet heads-up. He’s the one that’s been giving me the most trouble the whole tournament. I remember on Day 6 as well, I was like, he kept winning every pot against me, and I was like, get this guy out of here. Then I end up heads-up with the guy and I was like, ‘Oh, not like this.’
“But I kept making good hands, fortunately, so yeah, the cards just fell in my favor today.”
With his runner-up finish, Attenborough – a long-time regular on the Aussie poker scene before relocating to Las Vegas pre-COVID – moves to fourth spot on Australia’s all-time money, behind only Michael Addamo, Hachem, and Kahle Burns. He also moves ahead of the likes of Jeff Rossiter, Jeff Lisandro, Jonathan Karamalikis and the last man to make the WSOP Main Event final table, fellow Queenslander Alex Lynskey, who finished seventh in 2018.
Congratulations to Attenborough on a truly epic run.
2022 WSOP MAIN EVENT ($10,000 buy-in, 8,663 entries, $80,782,475 prizepool)
|4||John Eames||United Kingdom||$3,000,000|
|6||Jeffrey Farnes||United States||$1,750,000|
|8||Philippe Souki||United Kingdom||$1,075,000|
|9||Matthew Su||United States||$850,675|