WSOP: Michael Gathy Wins The Closer For $272K, 4th Bracelet

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Michael Gathy wins his fourth career WSOP Bracelet in Event #85 (Photo Courtesy WORLD POKER TOUR

As the 2020 World Series of Poker Online draws to a close with just a few tournaments left on the schedule, Event #85 ($500 The Closer [Last Chance]) tournament drew 4,012 to generate a prize pool of $1,905,700. Two-time World Series of Poker Bracelet winner Shankar Pillai and three-time WSOP Bracelet winner Michael Gathy both found their way into the final three in this massive field. And in the end, it was Gathy who came out on top to earn a first-place prize worth $260,504 and his fourth WSOP Bracelet.

Gathy already had an impressive WSOP resume coming into this event. The Belgium native had 32 WSOP cashes worth $1,874,375 before Sunday’s big score. His last bracelet and biggest career cash came in 2016 when he won the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed Event #35 for $560,843.

The whole final table started with shallow stacks and took only 45 minutes to complete. The first elimination came within five minutes of reaching nine-handed play when action folded around to Vitor Adiron in the cutoff who raised to 3,184,066, leaving himself 500,000 chips behind. Gathy raised to 5,368,132 on the button and Yuan Yuan Li moved all-in from the small blind for 8,020,851. Adiron called with 5s5c and Gathy called with Ac7h and both found themselves behind Li’s KhKs. Gathy flopped a pair on a Qd8c7s flop and Adiron turned an open-ended straight draw when the 6d fell, but a 3h on the river delivered a massive pot to Li and eliminated Adiron in ninth place.

Just four minutes after the players returned from break, Li min-raised to 2,000,000 in early position with 5c5d and faced an all-in shove from Toni Ojala in the cutoff for Ojala’s last 9,845,965. The button and blinds folded and Li called to see the bad news that Ojala was holding AsAd. But a Qc6h5h flop shot Li into the lead with a set of fives, and Ojala failed to catch up when the Kh came on the turn and the 9d completed the board on the river.

Seven-handed play lasted for about five minutes before Li would claim yet another victim. Gathy min-raised from the hijack position with Kd8d and Li called in the cutoff with KhQh. The action folded to Paul Hockin who went all-in for 11,591,938 in the big blind with AcJs. Gathy folded and Li called, taking the lead away from Hockin on a QsTd2s flop that gave Li top pair. The Jc turn and 7d river completed another winning board for Li and eliminated Hockin in seventh place.

Ten minutes later, two eliminations occurred on back-to-back hands. The action folded to Craig Mason in the small blind who had Qs7c and just over two big blinds left. He went all-in for his last 2,749,096 and was quickly called by Erik Von Buxhoeveden in the big blind who held the As8c. An Ah5c2d flop provided little drama and Mason was drawing dead when the Kd fell on the turn. A meaningless 8d on the river knocked Mason out in sixth place.

The action folded around to the small blind again where Luis Gustavo Kamei raised to 4,222,222 with Ac2d. Gathy raised his big stack from the big blind with Tc6s to put Kamei in for the 671,446 he had left behind. Kamei called and fell behind on a 7h6d2s flop that gave both players a pair but put Gathy’s pair of sixes in the lead. The 5d on the turn and Qs on the river changed nothing and eliminated Kamei in fifth place.

It took less than five minutes to narrow the field from four players down to two. Von Buxhoeveden went all-in for 12,254,336 with 6h6c on the button and was called by Gathy’s TsTc in the small blind. The board ran out As9c2d5s7s to bring Gathy’s stack up to just under 60,000.

Moments later, Li raised enough from the small blind with Kd8c to virtually put Pillai all-in, and Pillai shoved with Ac3h in the big blind for 6,194,434. Li called and was still behind when the flop fell 7d5c4d and the turn came the Ts. But the 6c on the river completed Li’s gutter-ball straight draw and sent Li and Gathy to heads up.

Gathy entered heads up play with a 3-to-2 chip advantage. He held over 80% of the chips in play after about 10 minutes of heads-up play when Li moved all-in with the Qs7s. Gathy called with As3c and a safe runout of Kd5c4dTh4s earned him a fourth career WSOP Bracelet.

Final Table Payouts

1. Michael Gathy – $260,504
2. Yuan Yuan Li- $194,248
3. Shankar Pillai – $138,467
4. Erik Von Buxhoeveden – $98,704
5. Luis Gustavo Kamei – $70,359
6. Craig Mason – $50,154
7. Paul Hockin – $35,751
8. Toni Ojala – $25,485
9. Vitor Adiron – $18,166