New Kid on the Block: Punnat Punsri Wins First Two High Rollers of 2022

Punnat Punsri

Move over Ali Imsirovic, Alex Foxen, and Stephen Chidwick, there's a new sheriff in town and his name is Punnat Punsri, a poker player from Thailand who shipped back-to-back high rollers to start the new year.

The Venetian in Las Vegas is currently hosting a high roller mini series with four tournaments, one daily, scheduled from January 5-8. With two events in the books, both part of the PokerGO Tour, Punsri is the only player thus far to win a title.

Going Back-to-Back

To start off the year, Punsri took down the first $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament following a heads-up chop with nine-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Erik Seidel.

In the deal, the declared champion received $118,037 for finishing on top of a 34-entry field. Seidel received a slightly smaller cut — $106,363. The tournament took place January 5 at the Las Vegas Strip resort. Final table results were as follows:

PlacePlayerPrize
1Punnat Punsri$118,037*
2Erik Seidel$106,363*
3Barry Hutter$54,400
4Alex Foxen$37,400
5Jake Schindler$23,800

*Denotes heads-up deal.

The following day, Punsri scooped another $10,000 buy-in NLH event at the same venue for $133,200. This time around he didn't chop, and he defeated Chris Brewer heads up to win the 37-entrant tournament. Brewer received $88,800 as a consolation prize. The second event final table results are below:

PlacePlayerPrize
1Punnat Punsri$133,200
2Chris Brewer$88,800
3Masashi Oya$59,200
4Andrew Lichtenberger$40,700
5John Flynt$29,600
6Barry Hutter$18,500

The Year has Just Begun

The good news for Punsri if he chooses to chase the 2022 PokerGO Tour championship, he's currently in first place. But the bad news is the year has barely even started.

Punsri is new to the U.S. high roller live tournament scene. He cashed in three PokerGO Tour events in December, so he was already on the rise prior to the start of the year. But his career live tournament cashes are only at $584,000 even after his recent run of success.

Can he sustain this level of play throughout the year? That's certainly a story we'll be monitoring as 2022 progresses. The competition in the high roller circuit is brutal, with superstars such as Imsirovic, the reigning PokerGO Tour and GPI Player of the Year, battling on a daily basis.

The Venetian series rolls on Friday at 2 p.m. PT with Event #3: $15,000 No-Limit Hold'em, and then wraps up Saturday at the same time with Event #4: $25,000 No-Limit Hold'em.

*Image courtesy of PokerGO.

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