Joao Simao has been #1 on PocketFives and has long been considered one of the most successful online poker players ever. On Monday, the Brazilian added to his resume and his legacy when he navigated through the final 20 players to his first World Series of Poker bracelet in WSOP Online $1,111 Caesars Cares event.
The second day of action began with 20 players remaining from a 1,584 runner field that built the prize pool to $1,759,824 with $111 of each buy-in going to the Caesars Cares charity, which provides financial assistance for Caesars employees impacted by the COVID pandemic.
Peter Raimondi and Le Fang started the final table with the two shortest stacks and spent the first 45 minutes of the final table doing their best to avoid being the first one out. Raimondi ultimately became the ninth place finisher. With blinds at 80,000/160,000 (20,000), Tom Shaham raised to 320,000 from UTG with . Action folded to Raimondi in the small blind and he moved all in for 725,372 with and Shaham called. The flop gave Shaham an even firmer grasp on the hand but the turn gave Raimondi a Broadway draw with just the river to come. The river was no help and the Canadian was eliminated in ninth place.
Two hands later, Fang shoved from UTG for his last 739,228 with and Simao called from his immediate left with . Fang could only watch as the board ran out to signal the end of his tournament in eighth place.
After losing most of his stack in a battle of the blinds, Jinlong Hu was left with just four big blinds. Hu moved all in for 661,394 with and Andras Nemeth called from the button with . Hu found a dream flop to be in perfect position to double up. The turn and river combined to form a nightmare runout for Hu and he was eliminated in seventh after Nemeth went runner-runner to make a better two pair.
Unfortunately for the former #1-ranked Nemeth, that was the end of his run good. Just 45 minutes after he busted Hu, Nemeth was on the wrong end of a bad beat. Simao raised to 500,000 from the hijack with before Nemeth moved all in from the button for 3,197,295 with . The flop came to give Simao an open-ended straight draw. There was no waiting around as the turn completed the straight and left Nemeth drawing dead to the river and was out in sixth.
Espen Sandvik had more than double the next biggest stack at the table when he picked up the next elimination. Sandvik shoved on the button for 15,575,394 with and Ilya Yakunin called all in for 6,542,084 with . Yakunin was in line to double up into the chip lead after the flop, but the turn gave Sandvik a full house and when the fell on the river, Yakunin was out in fifth.
On the very next hand, Simao raised to 600,000 from the button with . Roman Hrabec shoved for 4,837,065 with and Simao called. Hrabec couldn’t connect with the runout and was sent to the rail in fourth place.
Three-handed play lasted 21 minutes with Israel’s Shaham doing everything in his power to stay alive long enough for one of the two big stacks to make a misstep. Unfortunately, that’s not how things panned out. Shama moved all in for 5,253,186 on the button with and Sandvik re-raised to 12,256,372 with to force Simao to fold. The flop gave Shaham a few extra outs. The turn and river ended up giving Sandvik a ten-high straight to eliminate Shaham in third place.
Sandvik had 27,810,764 of the 39,550,050 chips in play when heads-up action got underway. Simao battled back to nearly even when the Brazilian picked up a pot worth nearly 37,000,000 chips when he made a king-high flush on a board. Sandvik had moved all in on the river and Simao tanked before calling with the second-nut flush only to find out Sandvik had been bluffing.
The tournament was over on the very next hand. Sandvik moved all in for 2,634,456 with and Simao called with . The flop came to give Simao top pair. Neither the turn or the river were able to keep Sandvik alive and he was eliminated in second place to give the highly-decorated Simao his first WSOP bracelet.
Event #2 Final Table Payouts
- Joao Simao – $206,075
- Espen Sandvik – $154,533
- Tom Shaham – $115,884
- Roman Hrabec – $86,900
- Ilya Yakunin – $65,166
- Andras Nemeth – $48,868
- Jinlong Hu – $36,646
- Le Fang – $27,480
- Peter Raimondi – $20,607