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Found 2 results

  1. It’s the day after 30-year-old poker pro Michael ‘miguelfiesta’ Lech won his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet and he’s spending some time doing what many might do after taking down one of the biggest online tournaments of the 2020 WSOP - he’s drinking some beer, relaxing by the pool. But truth be told, that the same thing he was doing while playing the tournament the night before. “I was at least ten Stellas in by the time the final table hit yesterday,” Lech admits. “I was a little trashed.” To be fair, Lech’s intoxicated state wasn’t entirely his own fault. Lech and his girlfriend, poker pro Vanessa Kade, made their way to Nevada specifically to play in the 2020 WSOP Online events. They've since ended up shutting themselves in with a nice German family that Kade had stayed with during previous trips to the WSOP. Over the past nearly two weeks of staying with his hosts, this family has become a support system of sorts, following the action, checking in on updates, and cheering them on. And on the morning of the WSOP $1,500 High Roller Freezeout Lech’s host family burst into the house with a Kegerator of beer. “He’s like ‘Let’s have some beers for breakfast and for good luck’ and was like, alright that sounds great.” Some who would be on the verge of achieving a poker player's dream may have been overly nervous, perhaps too nervous to partake. But Lech, the first-time bracelet winner, recounts the victory with an even-keel tone of a grinder who has been there before. That’s because, in a sense, he has. Many times. At the 2016 WSOP, Lech had a break-through performance at the final table of the 888 Crazy Eights event. In the end, he finished as the runner-up for a career-high score of just over $400,000. While he was thrilled about the cash, coming so close to the victory and missing out had him wanting another shot. “After that, I was kind of distraught. I was really happy, but I didn’t win. I realized how close I was. I didn’t ever want to lose again,” he said. “Then after that, I won seven [WSOP Circuit] rings in a row without ever losing a heads up match.” In addition to his new gold bracelet, Lech is actually an eight-time WSOP Circuit ring winner. That in its own right is impressive, but what distinguishes him from others in the same elite category is that five of those rings come from five different countries. It’s something he holds in high regard as he’s the only player with that fact on his poker resume. He’s been able to do this by spending the better part of the past five years traveling outside of the U.S., including the past three in South America. “I was backpacking around for a lot and it just happened to be that every time there was a different WSOP Circuit I just went there and ended up winning one,” he said. “I was fortunate to have some families that I knew down there and I lived with them and they got connections and moved between different countries and cities, living relatively cheap,” So when it came to his 2020 WSOP final table, even while perhaps a little inebriated, his extensive experience at final tables kicked in. He was facing some tough competition, including 2020 Spring Championship of Online Poker standout Connor Drinan, but he picked up some hands in key spots. “The thing is, since the final table is so short, it didn’t really take a super amount of concentration. It was like do I min-open here, do I limp, or do I shove,” he explained. “If you stress too much about it then you’re not going to be focused on the actual game. It’s still just poker. It’s the final table just like any other final table be it a daily or a sit-and-go with friends. You’re in the final nine and you gotta beat those guys.” Lech hails from Arkansas and lived in a dry county where, according to him, “poker is even more devilish” than alcohol. But that never stopped his family from encouraging and supporting him. His grandmother, who still plays cards to this day, first taught him poker at age 15. By 18, he was traveling 30 minutes across the border to Oklahoma to cut his teeth playing cash games. “‘If you’re going to do it, put your heart into it and do it the best you can,” Lech said, reciting the words of support said to him by his family. “It’s important to have people that care about you no matter if you win or lose,” Lech said. “They may not even really understand poker that much but they’ll watch every stream just knowing that I’m there, just to support me. That’s an important thing that I know a lot of people have not has as fortunate a situation to have.” In the end, with his family and friends watching, he took down the tournament and locked up the $168,248 first-place prize and also that gold bracelet that he missed out on in 2016. “It’s nice to win one as it’s the pinnacle of most poker player’s career,” he said. “It’s nice to have something that people care about and have outstanding respect for. And now nobody can ever take away the fact that I have a bracelet…even if they say it’s ‘online and anyone can beat online.’ Well, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth were there and in the money too and I hung with them so….” He has plans to play out the majority of the WSOP.com series but will cut his trip to Las Vegas short by returning to the East Coast to attend a yearly family reunion. A chance to celebrate and reconnect with those who have supported him and helped him achieve a major goal. “It’s nice to have people that have your back for anything and what to support you no matter what you do.”
  2. Michael Lech is one of 13 players with at least eight World Series of Poker Circuit rings to his name. Early Tuesday morning the Arkansas native won Event #13 ($1,500 NLHE High Roller) of the 2020 World Series of Poker Online to become just the fifth player of that group to own a WSOP bracelet. Lech topped the 649-player field in Event #13 to win $164,248.92 for his first career bracelet and seventh cash since the Series started on July 1. The final table included Connor Drinan chasing his first career bracelet and a potential six-figure payday from a bracelet bet with Daniel Negreanu. Megan 'wolverine17' Milburn, the player Mike Matusow berated during his YouTube live stream earlier in the Series, also made the final table. The final table had barely begun and one player was shown the door. From the button, Michael 'wsopmd' Dolle moved all in for 836,123 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="7d"] and Lech called with [poker card="qd"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="ks"][poker card="tc"][poker card="8c"][poker card="9s"][poker card="jh"] runout gave Lech a king-high straight to beat Dolle's jack-high straight and eliminate Dolle in ninth place. A few moments later, Milburn moved all in for 775,161 from UTG+1 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="qs"] before 'Bingooo' re-shoved for 1,630,010 from the small blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="jh"]. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="7h"][poker card="3c"] flop gave 'Bingooo' control and all Milburn could do was watch as the [poker card="2s"] turn and [poker card="3s"] river completed the board to eliminate Milburn in eighth. Ten minutes later, 'Bingooo' eliminated another opponent. From the cutoff, 'Bingooo' min-raised to 240,000 and Christopher 'pokeher2014' Fuchs called from the big blind. The flop came [poker card="ah"][poker card="7s"][poker card="4c"] and Fuchs moved all in for 342,320 and 'Bingoooo' called. Fuchs showed [poker card="8h"][poker card="6h"] for a gutshot straight draw while 'Bingooo' tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="6c"] for top pair. Fuchs picked up a pair on the [poker card="8s"] turn but the [poker card="ad"] river made his seventh place finish official. The most high profile player at the final table was the next player shown the exit. Connor '666666' Drinan, who is one of a handful of players with a six-figure bracelet bet against Negreanu, moved all in from UTG for 1,421,573 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="8d"] before William 'SlaweelRyam' Romaine called from the big blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="kh"]. The [poker card="td"][poker card="6s"][poker card="3c"][poker card="4d"][poker card="js"] runout was of no help for Drinan and he was out in sixth. Romaine wasn't done playing executioner. From UTG, Romaine raised to 627,347 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="2h"] and Paul 'ToTheMoon' Dewald called all in from the cutoff with [poker card="5d"][poker card="5s"]. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="9s"][poker card="7h"] flop moved Romain ahead and Dewald missed his chance to improve on the [poker card="tc"] turn and [poker card="7d"] river and was eliminated in fifth place. Despite having picked up a pair of eliminations earlier, 'Bingooo' was the shortstack four-handed. Sean 'SPS8710' Seifert moved all in from the button for 2,054,764 with [poker card="6c"][poker card="6s"] and 'Bingooo' called all in from the big blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="5d"]. Seifert moved way ahead on the [poker card="qd"][poker card="6h"][poker card="2c"] flop. The [poker card="3c"] turn gave 'Bingooo' some hope but the [poker card="tc"] river snuffed it out to eliminate them in fourth. It took 25 minutes of three-handed play to get down to just two players. Down to less than three big blinds, Seifert moved all in from the button with [poker card="qc"][poker card="7h"] and Leach called from the big blind with [poker card="8h"][poker card="5d"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4d"][poker card="7s"] runout gave Lech a runner-runner eight-high straight to eliminate Seifert in third. Lech held a slight lead when heads-up play began and it took nearly 15 minutes for Lech to finish off Romaine. Lech raised to 560,000 and Romaine called. Romaine checked the [poker card="kc"][poker card="td"][poker card="3d"] flop and Lech bet 868,000. Romaine moved all in for 4,898,890 and was immediately called by Lech. Romaine showed [poker card="tc"][poker card="8s"] for second pair but got bad news when Lech tabled [poker card="ah"][poker card="ks"] for top pair. Neither the [poker card="qs"] turn or [poker card="7h"] river were able to save Romaine and he was out in second place giving Lech the title and $164,249. Final Table Payouts Michael 'miguelfiesta' Lech - $164,249 William 'SlaweelRyam' Romaine - $110,979 Sean 'SPS8710' Seifert - $77,408 Bingooo - $56,599 Paul 'ToTheMoon' Dewald - $40,600 Connor '666666' Drinan - $29,964 Christopher 'pokeher2014' Fuchs - $22,381 Megan 'wolverine17' Milburn - $18,404 Michael 'wsopmd' Dolle - $14,982 Faces in the Crowd He wasn't playing in a Whole Foods parking lot on Monday night, but Event #12 winner Ryan 'Joeyisamush' Deangelo finished 23rd for $6,381.29. Negreanu finished also earned $6,381.29 for coming in four spots behind Deangelo. Other notables who finished in the money incldued David 'bewater' Goodman (32nd - $5,456.46), David 'Twizzlers' Prociak (47th - $3,976.74), Philip 'tomte' Yeh (57th - $3,421.85), Daniel 'centrfieldr' Lupo (83rd - $2,219.58), Chris 'Robotbob47' Moorman (86th - $2,219.58).

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