Every year for the past 51 years, the world’s best poker players have gathered to battle for money and ego in the World Series of Poker. No matter the format, online or live, or the location, Europe, Australia, or in the birthplace of it all, Las Vegas, poker’s heroes are born in the WSOP. The 2021 WSOP Online runs on WSOP.com from July 1 to August 1 and PocketFives is keeping tabs on all kinds of statistics from the action and will highlight one interesting stat or fun nugget from each day.
July 21: Brock Lesnar Released From Cage Hits 10th Cash
Michael ‘BrockLesnar’ Holtz joined Anthony Zinno and Ryan Depaulo as the only players with double-digit cashes this year after his runner-up finish in Event #21. He’s now made a pair of final tables and has $79,823 in earnings. His summer success almost wasn’t allowed to happen. In May, Holtz was banned by WSOP.com after he made a withdrawal at the cashier cage at Caesars in Las Vegas. After filling out the necessary paperwork with Caesars, Holtz had his ban lifted and he was again allowed to play.
July 20: #1-Ranked Chris Basile Narrowly Misses out on #1 Bracelet
Over the past year, Chris Basile has skyrocketed up the PocketFives Rankings to become the #1-ranked player in the United States. Two online WSOP Circuit wins, one in April and another in June, helped propel him to the top spot but he’s also managed a couple of oh-so-close calls in bracelet events. He started the 2021 WSOP Online with a second place finish in Event #1 ($500 NLHE Big 500 Kick Off) where he earned $64,935. On Tuesday, Basile finished fourth in Event #20 ($3,200 NLHE High Roller) for $71,990. He now has seven cashes this summer for more than $144,000 in earnings.
July 19: Ryan DePaulo Makes First Final Table of 2021
One after being one of the breakout stars of the 2020 WSOP Online, Ryan DePaulo made his back to a final table for the first. DePaulo, who famously won Event #12 ($500 NLHE The Big 500) while sitting in his car in a Whole Foods parking lot in New Jersey, earned $27,094 for finishing in fourth place in Event #19 ($888 Crazy Eights PLO). It was his tenth cash of the 2021 WSOP Online, but his first appearance at a final table since his win last June.
July 18: 2020 WSOP.com Leaderboard Champ Shows Signs of Life
Last summer, Ian Steinman won the WSOP.com Leaderboard during the WSOP Online by cashing 15 times. The highlight of those 15 cashes was his victory in Event #27 ($400 NLHE Freezeout) where he earned $110,557 and his first career bracelet. He made two other final tables, finishing fifth in Event #7 ($800 NLHE KO Deepstack) and sixth in Event #9 ($1,000 NLHE Six Max).
The 2021 Series hasn’t been quite as kind to Steinman but his game has started to show signs of life. After cashing in Events #7, #11, and #12, for his first three cashes, Steinman has made it into the money in the last two events, coming in 69th in Event #17 ($400 NLHE Eight Max) and then 43rd in Event #18 ($1,000 NLHE North American Open).
July 17: Anthony Zinno First to Double Digits
Just past the halfway mark of the WSOP.com online bracelet event schedule, Anthony Zinno became the first player to hit the double-digit mark in cashes. Zinno finished 40th in Event #17 ($400 NLHE Eight Max) to earn his tenth cash of the of the Series. Michael Holtz is one cash behind Zinno, with nine, and 2020 WSOP Online bracelet winner Ryan Depaulo and Martin Zamani are tied for third with eight cashes each.
July 16: Allen Chang Rights a Wrong One Year Later
Allen Chang topped the 498-entry field to win Event #16 ($600 Pot Limit Omaha 8 or better) for a $61,394 payday. That win allowed Chang, who won Event #5 ($1,000 NLHE Freezeout) in 2020, some level of revenge. In 2020, he made his way through 853 other entries in that event before busting in 30th place.
July 15: Ali Imsirovic Still Chasing Bracelet #1
Over the last 3.5 years, Ali Imsirovic has risen from an unknown American online grinder to a verified poker superstar. He’s won nearly $12 million by crushing the super high roller poker scene, but he has to find much success at the WSOP. In 2019, he finished runner-up in the $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty event for his best Series result. He cashed 7 times in the 2020 WSOP Online events on WSOP.com, but failed to make a single final table. On Thursday, Imsirovic, who played ever PokerGO Cup event, picked up his first 2021 WSOP Online cash, finishing 17th for $9,870.
July 14: Jeff Gross – the Other One – Breaks 2021 Goose Egg
There’s at least a couple of Jeff Gross’ in the poker world. While the partypoker ambassador is the most high profile, there’s one out of New Jersey who has been fairly successful in WSOP.com bracelet and ring events during the pandemic. In 2020, Gross cashed if five WSOP Online events. He picked up 31 cashes in WSOP Circuit Online event between October 2020 and June 2021. His first 2021 WSOP Online cash came in Event #14 ($500 NLHE), where he finished 49th for $1,538.
July 13: Ryan Leng is All About Equal Opportunity
Ryan Leng doesn’t differentiate between live and online WSOP events. He finds success in both. At the 2018 WSOP, he defeated 1,982 other players to win Event #51 ($1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Bounty) for his first career bracelet. On Tuesday, he beat out 560 other entries to win Event #13 ($1,000 NLHE Freezeout) for his second bracelet. He’s also been a winner in WSOP Circuit events – and yes, he split those evenly as well. He has four Circuit rings, two live (2017 & 2020) and another two online (2018 & 2020). He has five runner-up finishes as well, with three of them coming online and the other two coming live.
July 12: Darren Elias Gets Closer to Gold
Some would argue that Darren Elias is the greatest player in World Poker Tour history. He has four titles, beating fields of 162, 489, 118, and 1,226. Yet he’s never won a WSOP bracelet and the closest he’s ever come – a pair of third place finishes – didn’t come in NLHE events. On Monday, Elias posted the best NLHE finish of his WSOP career, coming in fifth in Event #12 ($500 NLHE Deepstack) for $18,729. Prior to that, his best NLHE finish came in 2017 when he finished sixth in a $1,500 buy-in event.
July 11: Roland Israelashvili Keeps on Rollin’
Last summer, Roland Israelashvili cashed 14 times in the WSOP Online events on WSOP.com, including an impressive six consecutive in-the-money finishes from Event #14 through #19. Through the first 11 events last year, he had cashed four times. This year, Israelashvili is ahead of that pace. On Sunday, he finished 26th in Event #11 for his sixth cash of the year. While he made two final tables last year, Israelashvili has yet to make one this year with a 15th place finish in Event #7 his best result to date.
July 10: About the “World” Part of the WSOP
So COVID-related travel restrictions – both in and out of the United States – are making it very difficult for tourists of any kind to enter the country. The fields in the first 10 events of the WSOP Online show this. There have been 1,377 in-the-money finishes so far and only 52 of them have belonged to non-American players. To the surprise of nobody, Canada leads the way with 17 cashes. No other country has cracked double digits. The second-best performing country is Russia with six cashes. Germany has five – including the only win by a non-American, thanks to Manig Loeser’s Event #2 triumph.
July 9: Poker Vlogging Kingpins Battle It Out
There is an amazing level of talent in the poker vlogging world these days, and most of them will tell you that Andrew Neeme and Brad Owen are the Godfathers of the medium. In Event #9, Neeme and Owen each picked up their second cash of the Series. Owen busted in 106th and turned his $400 buy-in into $701 while Neeme went a little bit deeper, finishing 82nd for $832. Owen scored his first cash in Event #2 ($600 NLHE Monster Stack) where he finished 17th for $3,699. Neeme didn’t wait long to one-up his good friend. The next night, Neeme made the final table of Event #3 ($500 NLHE Turbo Deepstack) before busting in sixth for a $14,022 score.
July 8: Joon Kim Misses Out on Bracelet #2
One year and one day after winning his first WSOP bracelet, Joon Kim almost won his second. Kim, who shipped Event #7 ($800 NLHE Knockout Deepstack Freezeout) for $106,127 on July 7, 2020, found himself heads-up against Carlos Welch early Friday morning with a chance at a second bracelet and $124,369. Ultimately, it was Welch who took home the hardware and the six-figure score. Kim had to settle for runner-up status and $76,886 in Event #8 ($888 NLHE Crazy Eights).
July 7: Jack McClelland Finds His Way into the Money
Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth aren’t the only Poker Hall of Famers clicking their way to WSOP success this summer. Former WSOP tournament director Jack McClelland picked up his first cash of the summer in Event #7 ($777 Lucky 7’s). McClelland, who went into the PHOF in 2014 – the same year as Negreanu – finished 27th for $3,481. Last year, he cashed in Events #23 and #30. He’s also managed to pick up some WSOP Circuit Online cashes over the past year.
July 6: Ben Yu Picks Up Pace in Pursuit of Online Cashes Record
Last summer, Ben Yu cashed in 16 of the 31 bracelet events available on WSOP.com for the second-highest total behind only Ryan Laplante, who had 17. On Tuesday, Yu made the final table of Event #6 ($2,000 NLHE Deepstack) before falling two spots short of a bracelet, finishing in third place for $73,958.46. It is his second cash of the summer, following up on his 16th place finish in Event #5 ($1,000 NLHE 8-Max). He’s now cashed in 106 WSOP events with 20 of those coming online.
July 5: The House of Moorman Continues to Battle – Each Other
This time last year, PocketFives took readers along for the ride in The House of Moorman series as husband and wife Chris Moorman and Katie Lindsay worked their way through the WSOP Online events in Las Vegas and then in Mexico. Earlier this year they finished first and second in an online WSOP Circuit event with Moorman getting the ring. On Monday night, they got close to duplicating that feat in Event #5 ($1,000 NLHE 8-Max). Lindsay finished 37th for $2,789.41 and a few minutes later, Moorman busted in 34th place for a $3,178.63 score.
July 4: Jonathan Dokler Continues to Impress
Making his way through 1,715 total entries in the opening event of the 2020 WSOP Online, Jonathan Dokler wasn’t exactly a household name in the poker world. Fast forward a year later and he has continued to make a name for himself by putting up solid results. In May, right before the WSOP Online started, Dokler won the WSOP.com Caesars Atlantic City Circuit Main Event for $52,761. He’s since cashed in three of the first four WSOP Online events. He finished 75th in Event #1, 74th in Event #3, and then made the final table of Event #4 before busting in ninth place. His total earnings so far are $7,543.55.
July 3: Field Sizes Down Year-Over-Year, But Still Massive
The opening of the 2020 WSOP Online came right in the heart of the early days of the pandemic lockdown – and the field sizes reflected that. Now that live poker is back to something resembling normal, players have more options to choose and the 2021 field sizes and prize pools reflect that. The first three events in 2020 attracted a total of 4,725 entries and prize pools of $2,397,760. Both the schedule and calendar are different (outside of the opening evnet) but the 2021 numbers are 3,265 – a 30.9% decline – and $1,562,670 – a 34.9% drop. Still, as live events in Las Vegas and Florida continue to draw record turnouts, the 2021 WSOP Online events are putting together some of the biggest prize pools in American online poker.
July 2: Strong Start for Kathy Liebert
Kathy Liebert, who sits second on the Hendon Mob’s Women’s All-Time Money List, cashed in Event #2 ($600 NLHE Monster Stack) on Friday to secure back-to-back cashes to start her 2021 WSOP Online run. Liebert finished 39th in Event #1 and then narrowly missed out on making the final table in Event #2, busting in 12th place. Her total earnings through the first two events are $8,011.66.
July 1: Phil Hellmuth Keeps Cashing
There is no player more closely tied to the World Series of Poker than 15-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth. During the 2020 WSOP Online events on WSOP.com, Hellmuth picked up 10 cashes, including an 11th-place finish in the first event on the schedule, the $500 NLHE Kickoff. He didn’t quite get that deep this year, but did pick up another cash with a 141st place finish for $862. That’s his 165th career WSOP cash and puts him just one behind Daniel Negreanu for the all-time lead.