For the last five days, 38 poker players have been dreaming about having the possibility of becoming the 2020 World Series of Poker Online Main Event champion.
That’s how many players were left when the tournament was paused last Monday. Bryan Piccioli was the chip leader and online crushers Benjamine Rolle, Samuel Vousden, and Jonas Lauck were all still in contention. But as the 38 players began clicking buttons on Saturday afternoon, those four players were all pushed aside to make way for Serbian Stoyan ‘Nirvana76’ Madanzhiev.
Piccioli was eliminated in 23rd place after coming out on the losing end of a massive pot with Julien Perouse before surrendering the remainder of his stack to Rolle. Lauck went out in 34th place while Vousden and Rolle went out in 12th and 11th place respectively.
The final table started with Tyler Rueger in the lead and Madanzhiev in second place.
Almost as quickly as Samuel Taylor took his seat at the final table, he was removed from it in brutal fashion. Wenling Gao raised to 1,400,000 from UTG+1 and Taylor, who started the final table with the sixth largest stack, called from middle position. The flop came and Gao bet 1,750,000 and Taylor called. The turn was the and Gao checked. Taylor bet 4,200,000 and Gao clicked back to 11,900,000. Taylor called. The completed the board and Gao bet 8,750,000. Taylor moved all in for 9,918,268 and Gao snap-called. Taylor showed for a flopped set but Gao showed for top set to eliminate Taylor in ninth.
It was 24 minutes before the next player was eliminated. Rueger raised to 1,400,000 from UTG+1. Tyler Cornell shoved his last 4,796,374 into the middle from Rueger’s direct left. Action folded back around to Rueger and he called and showed . Cornell tabled but the flop put Rueger in control. The turn and river changed nothing for Cornell and he was eliminated in eighth place.
Gao found her second victim of the final table just a few moments later. Gao raised to 1,400,000 from UTG+1 before Stefan Schillhabel raised to 7,987,052. Gao re-raised to 25,606,156 and Schillhabel called off the last 2,100,000 in his stack. Gao tabled and found out she was racing against Schillhabel’s . The flop gave Gao the nut flush draw to go with her two overcards. The turn gave her the nut flush and Schillhabel was eliminated in seventh place as the completed the board.
Rueger went back to work as the executioner just 35 minutes later. Rueger min-raised to 1,400,000 from the cutoff and Joao Santos moved all in for 9,061,138 from the big blind. Rueger called and turned over which was bad news for Santos who tabled . The flop gave Santos some chop out and the turn gave him extra outs for the win. The river was the to miss both players to give Rueger the pot and eliminate Santos in sixth place.
Four minutes later, Satoshi Isomae was sent to the rail. Madanzhiev raised to 1,540,000 from late position and Isomae re-raised from the small blind to 4,483,500. Madanzhiev called and the pair saw a flop of . Isomae bet 11,605,800 and Madanzhiev called. The turn was the and both players checked to see the river. Isomae moved all in for 23,411,295 and Madanzhiev called. Isomae showed for ace-high which wasn’t good enough to beat Mandazhiev who flopped top two pair with . Isomae was eliminated in fifth.
On the very next hand, Gao was once again in charge of ending one of her foe’s tournaments. Action folded to Thomas Ward on the button and he moved all in for 9,508,960 before Gao called from the small blind. Ward tabled and Gao was ahead with . The board ran out to eliminate Ward in fourth place.
The inevitable confrontation between Gao and Rueger happened 14 minutes later. Gao raised to 1,400,000 from the button before Rueger raised to 4,395,000 from the big blind. Gao made it 9,800,000 to go and Rueger replied by moving all in for 48,697,202. Gao called and showed while Rueger tabled . Rueger whiffed on the flop and got no relief via the turn or river and was eliminated in third place.
Madanzhiev held an eight big blind lead over Gao when heads up play began. Madanzhiever ceased control as the pair battled for a half hour. On the final hand of the tournament, Gao raised to 1,600,000 and Madanzhiev called. The flop came and Madanzhiev bet 1,700,000. Gao raised to 3,944,000 and Madanzhiev called. The turn got Madanzhiev to check. Gao bet 5,644,000 and Madanzhiev raised to 15,040,000. Gao moveda all in for 8X,000,000 and Madanzhiev called. Gao tabled but Madanzhiev showed for a flopped straight that improved on the turn. The meaningless river was the and Gao was eliminated in second place giving Madanzhiev the 2020 WSOP Online Main Event bracelet and just over $3.9 million.
After his victory, the Bulgarian 29-year-old was ready to celebrate.
— WSOP (@WSOP) September 6, 2020
Final Table Payouts
- Stoyan Madanzhiev – $3,904,686
- Wenling Gao – $2,748,605
- Tyler Rueger – $1,928,887
- Thomas Ward – $1,353,634
- Satoshi Isomae – $949,937
- Joao Santos – $666,637
- Stefan Schillhabel – $467,825
- Tyler Cornell – $328,305
- Samuel Taylor – $230,395