The Top 10 Poker Stories of 2022


As the year ends, let us bring a nice rundown of what happened in the poker world this year, both live and online.

  1. Mystery Bounty on fire
  2. Crazy influencer cash game at Hustlers featuring MrBeast
  3. iPoker TOP5 network
  4. Martin Zamani comes forward with Bryn Kenney's Accusations
  5. The PLO5 boom
  6. New poker rooms
  7. Biggest pot in online poker history
  8. Jungleman defends his WSOP Poker Players Championship Title
  9. The Robbi Lew Vs. Garrett Adelstein cheating allegation scandal erupts
  10. Live events feature attendance records

Mystery Bounty on fire

Mystery Bounty 2022

In 2022 this MTT format invented at the Wynn Casino began its "triumphal march" in online poker.

In early March, the first Mystery Bounty events were played across GGNetwork skins as part of the WSOP Circuit Online Series (two events: $210 and $2,100). Shortly after, such events were added to the regular grid, and 888Poker and PokerBros followed the path. "Eights" became the first site to hold a series.

Let's recall that Mystery Bounty rewards players randomly for knocking out players, and its attractiveness lies in a massive prize hidden in one player.

Crazy influencer cash game at Hustlers featuring MrBeast

Speaking of celebs entering the poker world, we had one of the most illustrious examples of that happening back in May.

Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson, who has since become the most subscribed individual channel on YouTube with over 120 million subscribers, was the show star in this casual $100/$200 NLHE cash game. He ended the session with $440K in profit after flipping blind for $400K with Alan Keating. Phil Hellmuth and Tom Dwan represented the best of poker in the game. Meanwhile, the e-celebs at the table included chess streamer Alexandra Botez, Fortnite streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, and general Twitch streamer Félix “xQc” Lengyel, among others.

iPoker TOP5 network

iPoker 2022

Slowly but steady is the best way to describe the iPoker raise. Without making any noise, the European network evolved its traffic and right now beats giants like 888Poker and partypoker combined.

There are many reasons for this, but we highlight a renewed MTT portfolio, a stable platform, and an unmatchable reputation in the industry.

Recently they added high-stakes games up to €5k and hosted a €5,000,000 Festival.

Martin Zamani comes forward with Bryn Kenney's accusations

This story initially broke in April, but it took till September for the accused, Bryn Kenney, to respond in substance. Initially, Martin Zamani, a backee of Kenney, made the explosive claims that Kenney and his stable are colluding with each other, taking over each other’s accounts, and some even using real-time assistance (RTA) software.

However, what stuck the most with the online poker community was Zamani’s claims of Kenney instructing him to have a drug-fueled session with a shaman for better results. Bryn Kenney went on Joe Ingram’s podcast to deny (some of) the accusations - not his involvement with the infamous shaman, though…

The PLO5 boom

5-Card Omaha

Omaha has gained popularity against Hold'em in the last few years, and one of the reasons behind this is the expansion of the formats. Unexpectedly, in 2022 5-Card Omaha became the main locomotive of the game. 

PLO5 tables were added to Winning Poker Network and Chico Poker Network, and it's also an important share in mobile poker apps (PPPoker, PokerBros, and ClubGG). Many casual players love his action-packed game.

It's quite possible that in 2023 we will witness a PLO6 boom.

New poker rooms

The launch of new poker rooms in an industry that many called "death" a few years ago is always good news. This year a few sites decided to open their doors, but we highlight two of them:

  1. WPT Global, from the giant World Poker Tour, partnered with an Asian site led by Alex Scott (ex-MPN), the room quickly climbed steps to the top and now offers cash games and tournaments around the clock.
  2. Bryn Kenney gathered an experienced team and announced 4Poker, a site backed by several personalities that will cause some noise in 2023. They have already announced a massive 400% welcome bonus for new players. In an exclusive interview with WPD, Heath Cram told us they plan to launch in 166 territories.

GGPoker also launched WSOP.CA to operate in the Ontario-regulated market.

Biggest pot in online poker history

Biggest pot in online poker history

Another unexpected news. The largest cryptocurrency room, CoinPoker, reached the headlines for its nosebleed games.

On February 13, a $7,750,652 (USDT) pot was played at a $5k/$10k table. Tony G was the reason behind such games. Thanks to his efforts, his friends joined him to play high-stakes poker and please the fans.

And although such games didn't last long in the room, the noise drew the attention of many players and positively affected the CoinPoker traffic. Now the highest game played is PLO$50/$100.

Jungleman defends his WSOP Poker Players Championship Title

Daniel "Jungleman" Cates won his second WSOP gold bracelet in early July. And he won it in the same event as his first one: the biggest mixed tournament in the world, the $50,000 WSOP Poker Players Championship. Evidently, “Jungleman” Cates became the first player to defend the title and the Chip Reese Trophy with it.

The Robbi Lew Vs. Garrett Adelstein cheating allegation scandal erupts

This story generated the most buzz in the poker world in the passing year of 2022. Just ask popular poker YouTuber Joe Ingram: the man did about a dozen 10-hour-long streams investigating the matter.

It all started when, defying all logic and reason, Robbi Jade Lew decided to call Garrett Adelstein’s 2X pot 3-bet river shove for $130,000 on the turn with Jack-high, no draw on Hustler’s live-streamed NLHE cash game. And she happened to be correct, as Adelstein was bluffing with an 8-high flush draw. Lew’s J-high held…

Many people accused Lew of cheating. Reminiscent of the Mike Postle scandal of 2019, they believed that she was relayed hole card information from the broadcast booth. What made her more suspicious was that her initial explanation of misreading her hand seemed implausible since she is seen in the footage re-checking her hole cards for 15 seconds before making the call. Also, one of the Hustlers Live employees has been indicated, as Bryan Sagbigsal was taped, taking $15,000 in chips off Robbi’s stack after the incident. He’s also been confirmed to have had access to the hole card information in real-time during the broadcast.

A recent investigation cleared Robbi's name, but many questions will never be answered.

Live events feature attendance records

Live poker records

After the COVID recession, many experts predicted a live poker room. The most optimistic assumed a return to pre-pandemic levels, but the reality exceeded all expectations. The following tournaments and series broke their attendance records in 2022:

  • WSOP: All tournaments raised more than $330M, over $50M than three years ago. The Main Event gathered 8,633 players and became the second largest in history.
  • WPT: The Main Event of the World Championship played in December collected 2,960 entries and a $29,080,000 prize pool, nearly doubling the record set in 2007.
  • EPT: The Main Event of the Barcelona stop collected 2,294 entries, and for the first time, two players received more than 1 million euros.

One of the main factors for this success was online satellites, but most likely because many players missed live events.

As a bonus track, we would like to remind all of you that Worldpokerdeals was shortlisted again as Best Poker Affiliate in the iGB Awards 2023. Thank you all for playing with us, and let's rock in 2023!

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