As we reported two weeks ago, Espen Jorstad had yet to claim his $10 million prize money after winning the World Series of Poker Main Event more than half a year ago. But this has now changed as he was finally able to cashout his winning, tax free!
The main culprit for the long delay was IRS as Jorstad was waiting for them to issue him an ITIN – Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, which exempts international players from paying taxes to the IRS and instead leaves all tax obligations to the local authority, if the countries have signed a tax treaty.
In the past getting an ITIN usually took only a few minutes on the casino floor, but due to new regulations and rules that is not possible anymore since circa 2017. The only way now is through the IRS and the process takes from a few weeks to a few months to more than half a year in Jorstad’s case due to a big backlog at the tax agency.
Getting an ITIN and taking advantage of the tax benefit was especially important for 2022 Main Event champ, as he currently resides in London, UK, a country that does not tax gambling winnings, which means he got paid the full $10 million. If he was still living in his native Norway, he would have to pay 28% of his winnings. Or if he decided to cash out without the ITIN, casino would withhold 30% of his winnings or $3,000,000 and he would need to jump through even more hoops in order to claim those back.
Usually, the taxes are the biggest winners of WSOP Main Event final tables, but that wasn’t the case this year, all thanks to the three players from the United Kingdom.
2022 WSOP Main Event Final Table Taxes
|Position||Player||Country||Prize||Taxes||Prize after taxes|
|1||Epsen Jørstad||United Kingdom||$10,000,000||0%||$10,000,000|
|2||Adrian Attenborough||Nevada, United States||$6,000,000||39.81%||$3,611,125|
|3||Michael Duek||Florida, United States||$4,000,000||39.83%||$2,406,936|
|4||John Eames||United Kingdom||$3,000,000||0%||$3,000,000|
|6||Jeffrey Farnes||Oregon, United States||$1,750,000||45.70%||$950,312|
|8||Phillipe Souki||United Kingdom||$1,075,000||0%||$1,075,000|
|9||Matthew Su||Washington, United States||$850,675||47.70%||$444,921|
|10||Asher Conniff||New York, United States||$675,000||48.21%||$349,598|
|Total Taxes: $6.592.783|
GGPoker Team Champions
To say that his life turned around after his Main Event win would be quite an understatement. Espen admitted he lost quite a big chunk of his net worth after a crypto crash in May last year and that’s why he played some "lower" events at the 2022 WSOP and made several swaps for the $10k event.
First, he won his first-ever bracelet in Tag Team event with Patrick "Pads" Leonard and only few weeks later the big Main Event for $10,000,000. He also made his friends a lot of money because as mentioned, he swapped about 44% of his action in the Main Event.
It also seems his YouTube vlogs have finally started picking up some traction and we can hardly wait for new episodes from PCA and PSPC in Bahamas. We speculated back in October that Jorstad might become one of the best Main Event winner ambassadors ever and he certainly is on a right path for that.
Jorstad qualified to 2022 WSOP Main Event through GGPoker. On top of that, he is now the newest member of GGPoker’s Team Champion, representing the biggest poker site in the world on and off the felt.
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