Earlier this week, the WSOP 2020 Online which kicked off on July 19th on GGNetwork reached its half-time mark. It was the first time players from all over the world could take a shot at winning a WSOP online bracelet while not on American soil.
With the completion of Event #58, exactly 27 out of the 54 scheduled tournaments on the GGNetwork have come to a conclusion. It’s time to take a closer look at some key numbers and stories that have emerged thus far while plenty of highlights remain.
Four Championship events have already taken place with two of them holding a buy-in of $10,000, and two with $5,000 respectively. The $10,000 Heads-up Championship is due to determine a winner on Saturday, August 15th as the final four from four different countries return to their seats with the action of all matches to be broadcasted with cards-up coverage and commentary at GGPoker.tv.
Four of the first 27 events featured a prize pool of fewer than $1 million whereas five events awarded more than $3 million in cash prizes. The average winner prize currently stands at $314,370 throughout the first 27 tournaments of the festival.
It comes as no surprise that one of the special WSOP events. which has already drawn big fields in the live edition in Las Vegas. has produced the biggest prize pool so far. There were a total of 6,299 entries in Event #48: $1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER to create a prize pool of $8,976,075. The top two finishers Daniel Dvoress ($1,489,289) and Caio De Almeida ($1,072,428) have earned the only seven-figure prizes of the festival so far.
The MILLIONAIRE MAKER was the fourth-biggest field of the festival on the GGNetwork at half-time as Event #32: $100 The Opener set a new attendance record for a WSOP event with a total of 29,306 entries. Brazil’s Marcelo Jakovljevic Pudla was crowned champion of this event and was one of six Natural8 bracelet winners. His prize of $265,880 represents 2,659 times the buy-in.
Both Event #41: $400 COLOSSUS and Event #42: $400 PLOSSUS continued their successful path of the live editions from Las Vegas and attracted big fields. Ranno Sootla won the first-ever WSOP bracelet for Estonia after coming out on top of a field of 12,575 entries in the COLOSSUS (top prize of $595,930). Yuri Dzivielevski was the last player standing out of 4,356 entries in the PLOSSUS (top prize of $221,557).
The streak of at least one player winning multiple bracelets during the WSOP continues as Canada’s Alek Stasiak won his maiden gold bracelet in Event #33: $1,111 Every 1 for Covid Relief (Caesars Cares) and followed that up with a second victory in Event #52 $1,000 No Limit Hold’em. Stasiak started his first quest from just $10 as he won two satellites to enter the tournament.
In the overall leaderboard of the festival, Stasiak was only trailing Daniel Dvoress by a small margin while Malaysia’s Paul Teoh was just outside of the top ten. Teoh has already reached three final tables throughout the first 27 events and came close to a fourth when he bowed out in 12th place in Event #55: HK$8,000 Asia championship.
Teoh won a WSOP bracelet of his own in Event ##47 Short Deck, which was the fourth time a bracelet was awarded in this new popular and upcoming poker variant. Lev Gottlieb topped a field of 130 entries in Event #43 $10,000 Short Deck Championship for a top prize of $276,393.
Three players added a WSOP online bracelet to their poker resume after previously winning one live in Las Vegas. This includes the Finnish legend of televised poker Juha Helppi, Brazil’s Yuri Dzivielevski, and Canada’s Kristen Bicknell. Dzivielevski has become the first Brazilian to win a second WSOP bracelet and has done so in back-to-back years, which is also the case for Helppi.
Bicknell won her third career bracelet and has become only the fourth female player to achieve that feat, joining Barbara Enright, Vanessa Selbst and Nani Dollison. The Canadian has been crushing the online tables for many years and has further cemented her name as one of poker’s greatest talents.
Eight players had achieved a rare feat in the world of poker and won Main Events of the World Series of Poker, the European Poker Tour and the World Poker Tour – the so called Triple Crown. This number increased to nine as Welshman Roberto Romanello topped a field of 922 entries in Event #39: $1,500 No Limit Hold’em and defeated online legend Niklas Astedt for his maiden WSOP bracelet and top prize of $216,213.
Another player that has certainly made the headlines with a unique victory was Eoghan O’Dea. The Irishman had several WSOP Pot-Limit Omaha cashes to his name, including sixth place finishes in the $10,000 PLO Championship in 2017 and 2019. O’Dea finally won his first bracelet in Event #51 $400 Pot-Limit Omaha. His father Donnacha “The Don” O’Dea was the first Irishman in 1998 to win a WSOP bracelet – also in PLO – and they are the second father and son duo after Doyle and Todd Brunson to do so.
Farhintaj and Farzad Bonyadi are the only mother and son duo so far. However, several brothers have engraved their name into the history books of poker such as Michael and Robert Mizrachi, Grant and Blair Hinkle, Puggy and J.C. Pearson, and Max and Sam Greenwood to name a few certain duos.
As previously mentioned, six players have won bracelets on Natural8 so far and have thus profited from an additional and exclusive prizes on top of the network promotions. The winners hail from five different countries including Brazil, Japan, Australia, Malaysia and Canada.
Shoma Ishikawa and Marcelo Jakovljevic Pudla earned bronze sponsorship worth $7,500 total for buy-ins below $1,000 whereas Hun Wei Lee, Paul Teoh, Daniel Dvoress and Luis Assuncao Garla all received a $15,000 Team Bling sponsorship. If a Natural8 player happens to win the $5,000 Main Event, they will become the Team Bling captain and earn a $100,000 sponsorship.
Several tournaments have added a package for the World Series of Poker Europe for the eventual champion in order to boost the momentum of a possible return to the live poker circuit in the not so distant future.
In the weeks to come, poker enthusiasts world-wide can look forward to big guarantees in the flagship events of the festival and most notably, the $5,000 Main Event, which comes with at least $25 million in guaranteed prizes. There are a total of 22 Day 1 flights which give players the chance to qualify for Day 2 on August 30th. However, all participants are only allowed to enter a maximum of three times.
All four tournaments which featured guarantees in the first half of the festival easily surpassed the required amount and the next highlight with an affordable buy-in awaits this weekend with Event #63: $500 Mini Main Event, which features a guaranteed prize pool of $5 million. Another four events are boasting guarantees and the total prize pool of the festival is expected to double in the second half.