Italy’s Nicolo Molinelli must have liked what the wheel had to say in Event #81 (People’s Choice Spin the Wheel). The format of Thursday’s World Series of Poker Online event was left to the fate of the spin of the wheel. Once that wheel stopped spinning, the Six Max No Limit Hold’em Bounty format was chosen and Molinelli worked his way through a 1,925-entry field in the $600 buy-in event to win his first career WSOP bracelet and earn $243,415 with $99,216 coming from bounties alone.
Michelle Shah only got to spend 24 minutes at the final table. Molinelli raised to 220,000 from the hijack before Shah moved all in from the cutoff for 1,810,581. Molinelli called and flipped over and Shah discovered she was racing with . The flop moved Molinelli in front and Shah found no help on the turn or river and was eliminated in ninth place.
Thirty-five minutes later another race ended a second player’s run. Lucas Hafner raised to 240,000 from the button with before Pavel Plusev re-raised to 1,800,000 with . Hafner re-raised to 3,360,000 and Plesuv called all in. The flop put Hafner in front. The turn left Plesuv needing a five on the river and when the river completed the board, he was sent out in eighth.
Molinelli had to wait another 30 minutes before finding his second victim of the night. Itai Drory raised to 280,000 from the cutoff and Molinelli decided to defend his big blind. The flop came and Molinelli checked. Drory bet 217,425 and Molinelli called. The turn was the and Molinelli checked again. Drory bet 518,000 and then called all in after Molinelli moved all in for 16,437,829. Drory showed but Molinelli had turned top pair with . The river was the and Drory was out in seventh place.
Kyle Menard raised to 280,000 from UTG before Sami Kelopuro moved all in from the cutoff for 3,424,452. Aleksandr Grishchuk called from the button for 1,600,388 and Menard got out of the way. Kelopuro tabled while Grishchuk showed . The flop moved Kelopuro well in frton. Neither the or river changed anything and Grishchuk, a world-class chess champion, was eliminated in sixth.
The final five players played for over an hour before losing a player. Kelopuro opened with a raise to 1,160,000 with and action folded around to Menard in the big blind. Holding , Menard moved all in fro 11,250,432 and Kelopuro called off for 6,085,048. The board ran out to give Menard the nut flush and send Kelopuro to the rail in fifth place.
Menard picked up another bounty a half-hour later in a blind versus blind scenario. Longyun Li moved all in from the small blind for 4,565,740 and Menard called from the big blind. Li turned over which put him behind Menard’s . The flop gave Menard a virtual lock on the hand. The turn meant Li was drawing dead through the river and was eliminated in fourth.
Li’s elimination was the last that Molinelli wasn’t responsible for. Another 30 minutes passed before the Italian sent another opponent packing. Lukas Hafner was down to 5,091,376, Hafner shoved from the small blind with only to have Molinelli wake up with in the big blind. The board ran out to give Molinelli a decent sweat before eliminating Hafner in third place.
Heads-up play began with Molinelli holding a nine big blind lead and the pair battled for nearly an hour before Molinelli was able to put a bow on his final table performance. Menard opened with a raise to 900,000 holding and Molinelli called wiht . The flop got Molinelli to check. Menard bet 600,000 and Molinelli raised to 1,885,000 and Menard called. The turn was good enough for Molinelli to bet 2,175,000 and Menard called again. The river was the and Molinelli checked. Menard moved all in for 6,708,172 and Molinenlli called to eliminate Menard in second and win his first career WSOP bracelet.
Final Table Payouts
- Nicolo Molinelli – $144,199 + $99,216 in bounties
- Kyle Menard – $104,644 + $24,000 in bounties
- Lukas Hafner – $75,940 + $22,000 in bounties
- Longyun Li – $55,110 + $11,766 in bounties
- Sami Kelopuro – $39,993 + $7,828 in bounties
- Aleksandr Grishchuk – $29,023 + $1,875 in bounties
- Itai Drory – $21,062 + $10,000 in bounties
- Pavel Plesuv – $15,285 + $15,000 in bounties
- Michelle Shah – $11,092 + $13,828 in bounties