History of WSOP Online Bracelet Events, Part 1
Table Of Contents
- 2015: Anthony Spinella Makes History
- 2016: Maguire Prevails in Heads-Up Marathon
- 2017: Mitchell First Online-Only Champ
- 2017: Former November Niner Gets a Bracelet
- 2017: Java Doubles Up
- 2018: Reymond Opens 2018 Online Series With Bracelet
- 2018: Mendez Tops Star-Filled Final Table in PLO
- 2018: Tosoc Adds Bracelet to WPT Title
- 2018: Kornuth Wins Bracelet No. 2
While the World Series of Poker has dipped its toes into offering online bracelet events in the past, 2020 looks to be much different.
Where the WSOP previously offered its customers the chance to win a handful of bracelets online to supplement the dozens that were available through traditional live events, 2020 will see a minimum of 86 bracelets awarded from online tournaments — 85 in a two-pronged summer series and another in the Global Casino Championship.
The unprecedented online-focus of the WSOP this year prompted PokerNews to take a look back at WSOP history — a theme this month — and examine the history of online bracelet events. They began with a single one awarded in 2015 and expanded to the nine awarded in 2019, and the following is a look back through each one.
Take a look at the WSOP Online bracelet schedule across WSOP.com and GGPoker
2015: Anthony Spinella Makes History
When the WSOP decided to hold an online bracelet event, its first attempt was a bit of a hybrid between online poker and live poker. That's because while the majority of the tournament would take place online, the final six players would meet up to play a live final table at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in traditional WSOP fashion.
The $1,000 buy-in drew 905 entries and came down to a final table led by Craig Varnell, with notable pros Anthony Spinella and Ryan Franklin not far behind.
An early cooler in Spinella's favor boosted him into the lead as he picked up aces when Franklin held ace-king, resulting in the latter's elimination. Spinella also scored the next elimination when his top pair held against the flush draw of David Tuthill, and he was in the driver's seat for the bracelet.
Spinella, who had played under the moniker "casedismised," had more than 75% of the total chips three-handed. While Varnell would go on to some tournament glory in the coming years with a bracelet and a WPT title, he'd have to settle for third here, and Spinella had no trouble polishing off Hunter Cichy heads up.
Spinella was the first online bracelet winner — and in an interesting footnote, he'd later become the first WSOP Circuit ring winner.
|6||Ryan Franklin (AB)||U.S.A.||$33,530|
2016: Maguire Prevails in Heads-Up Marathon
The same format with a live final table of six was used the following year, as once again the only online event was a $1K buy-in late in the summer.
This time, a clear top two had emerged after the online portion: Clayton Maguire and Simeon Naydenov, holding 89 and 77 blinds, respectively. Three players were clinging to short stacks below 15 blinds, and they busted fairly early on, with Marc Perrault following them in short order.
Maguire was still leading and had widened the gap against Naydenov, with 13 million against about 5 million. However, plenty of play still remained at 120,000 big blind, and plenty of play indeed followed.
Naydenov took the lead after only about half an hour, when he ran a sneaky backdoor flush after betting the flop with total air. Maguire worked Naydenov down to about eight big blinds, buut Naydenov climbed back and the match continued.
A massive flip went Naydenov's way for about 80% of the chips in play, and Naydenov's victory seemed near at hand as Maguire was down to 11 big blinds. Maguire managed to retake the lead, only for another flip for nearly all the chips to go Naydenov's way.
Left with two big blinds, Maguire doubled. He doubled again. He doubled a third time. Then, he limped aces and was lucky as Naydenov found a suited ace to shove with. Suddenly, Maguire had the lead, and he wouldn't let it slip away this time. A few hands later, after almost four hours of heads-up play, "SLARKDUCK" was the champion.
|6||Sparrow Cheung||Hong Kong||$46,201|
2017: Mitchell First Online-Only Champ
The WSOP switched tactics for its online bracelet events starting in 2017, moving the entire things online. There would also be three different price points, with the first of those coming at the lowered price of $333.
There would be 1,780 entries logged at that price, and the final table included future tournament superstar Michael "oookillthem" Addamo. However, Addamo would go down in third place, following former chip leader John Sun, a Midwest reg who finished fourth.
Meanwhile, Joseph "ul_gg" Mitchell ran red-hot at the final table. After starting with about 20 blinds, he scored almost every elimination to take a big chip lead into heads-up play with Mark "PLODonkey17" Scacewater. Scacewater may have had a connection issue as he wound up blinding off awhile heads up, returning too late to mount any sort of comeback.
|1||Joseph "ul_gg" Mitchell||United States||$122,314|
|2||Mark "PLODonkey17" Scacewater||United States||$73,539|
|3||Michael "ooookillthem" Addamo||Australia||$54,044|
|4||Hao "sandongcpa" Sun||United States||$39,592|
|5||Bobby "bcmclawh" McLawhorn||United States||$29,205|
|6||Michael "TonyPerkis1" Jacoby||United States||$21,828|
|7||Kevin "SEQUENCE" Sheetz||United States||$16,559|
|8||Casey "rhin0" Long||United States||$12,645|
2017: Former November Niner Gets a Bracelet
The high-stakes event offered in 2017 was $3,333 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold'em High Roller, which drew 424 entries, 320 of those being unique players. The final table included the likes of Dan "Pepperprince" Zack, Adam "HLEDERERER" Owen and Tom "FLOATZ" Cannuli.
The latter, a former November Niner, found himself on the ropes early in the final table when he was all in for most of his stack holding queens, having run into the pocket kings of Ryan "holdNfold" Jones. However, a queen on the flop kept Cannuli in it and pushed him to the chip lead.
Zack had the chip lead four-handed but ran into a sick run of bad luck as he lost with a dominating hand all in preflop, then ace-king to ten-nine suited. Finally, he found a cooler in his favour when a three-way all in developed, only to see his kings smashed as Cannuli once again found a set of queens on the river, busting Zack and reducing Owen to a nub.
Moments later, FLOATZ had secured the bracelet and more than $300K with a double knockout to end it.
|1||Tom "FLOATZ" Cannuli||United States||$322,815|
|2||Tara "BeatrixKiddo" Cain||United States||$201,408|
|3||Adam "HLEDERERER" Owen||United Kingdom||$136,231|
|4||Daniel "Pepperprince" Zack||United States||$97,232|
|5||Darren "LegionofBoom" Rabinowitz||United States||$66,112|
|6||Blake "bk1048" Kelso||United States||$47,547|
|7||Vinny "AllinVin138" Moscati||United States||$34,859|
|8||Ryan "holdNfold" Jones||United States||$26,178|
|9||Millard "Undisputed23" Hale||United States||$20,168|
2017: Java Doubles Up
For the first time, the $1K event was branded as the WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold'em Championship to differentiate it from the other events. Attendance was down a bit, though, as 951 entries were logged.
Richard Tuhrim made another run to the final table one year after his fifth-place finish, and this time he'd ladder up to third despite a short stack.
Meanwhile, the two clear chip leaders at the start of the final table were Nipun Java and Jason James. Thanks to some big hands at the final table, including an aces-over-kings cooler, "Javatinii" had a slight chip lead when they met heads up.
An early flip gave James the lead, and he had the bracelet in his sights when he got it in with queens against Java's ace-five. However, Java found an ace on the turn to retake the lead, and he then won another clash of massive hands when his two pair held against a straight flush draw for the win.
It was Java's second bracelet of the summer after he was part of the winning tag team tandem.
|1||Nipun "Javatinii" Java||United States||$237,668|
|2||Jason "jadedjason" James||Canada||$146,202|
|3||Richard "jklolz" Tuhrim||United States||$103,326|
|4||Evan "YUDUUUUUUUUU" Jarvis||Canada||$73,911|
|5||Vinny "Mr_Sinister" Pahuja||United States||$53,595|
|6||Jeffrey "Jeffrey27rj" Turton||United States||$39,510|
|7||Sean "Hurricane27" Legendre||United States||$29,415|
|8||Steven "meditations" Enstine||United States||$22,185|
|9||Stanley "stanman420" Lee||United States||$17,075|
2018: Reymond Opens 2018 Online Series With Bracelet
The first online bracelet event of 2018 dwarfed any of the others to this point, drawing 2,972 entries for the $365 price point.
Anthony Spinella would once again make the final table, but his bid for another online bracelet — he'd still be the only one with two — went bust in seventh when he ran jacks into the aces of Steve Buell. Buell and fellow American reg Ryan Belz would make the final four but each missed out on heads-up play, with Buell losing a flip to William "Twooopair" Reymond that gave Reymond for about 75% of the total chips.
That meant Reymond, whose queens held against ace-king, had a huge lead against Shawn "sHaDySTeeM" Stroke, and Stroke was unable to reverse it as his king-three suited failed to hold against ten-nine suited, crowning Reymond the winner.
|1||William "Twooopair" Reymond||United States||$154,996|
|2||Shawn "sHaDySTeeM" Stroke||United States||$94,265|
|3||Steve "SteveSpuell" Buell||United States||$69,017|
|4||Ryan "LoveMy11Cats" Belz||United States||$50,593|
|5||Elliott "Ekampen05" Kampen||United States||$37,530|
|6||Josh "YoelRomero" King||United States||$27,977|
|7||Anthony "nowb3athat" Spinella||United States||$21,251|
|8||Michael "myapologies" Hauptman||United States||$16,279|
|9||Jennifer "moistymire" Miller||United States||$12,478|
2018: Mendez Tops Star-Filled Final Table in PLO
The 2018 WSOP would be the first to see an online pot-limit Omaha bracelet awarded. Despite the client's limitations — players couldn't compete on the mobile version of the software — a solid field of 1,223 was logged for Event #47: $565 WSOP.com ONLINE Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed.
A very tough final table emerged, featuring the likes of Ankush "rickrosstheb" Mandavia and Anthony "heheh" Zinno. Everyone was looking way up at Marton "GS.GURU" Czuczor, a Hungarian pro who had emerged as runaway leader with double the next stack.
Czuczor held his advantage for most of the final table, and when he got lucky to bust Zinno with an open-ender against top set, he had about 80% of the chips heads up against longtime online grinder Matthew "mendey" Mendez.
However, Mendez was able to turn the tide heads up. He made a straight flush when Czuczor held the nut flush to score a massive cooler double up, and he soon held a sizable chip lead. Mendez closed it out in a dreamy spot with a flopped straight against a pair and a gutshot, securing himself the bracelet and $135K.
|1||Matthew "mendey" Mendez||United States||$135,077|
|2||Marton "GS.GURU" Czuczor||Hungary||$82,865|
|3||Anthony "heheh" Zinno||United States||$57,299|
|4||Alex "3shotwonder" Smith||United States||$40,256|
|5||Ankush "rickrosstheb" Mandavia||United States||$28,745|
|6||Ao "Maimai1990" Chen||United States||$20,859|
2018: Tosoc Adds Bracelet to WPT Title
The previous year's dip in the online $1K Championship looked to have been schedule-related, as the 2018 edition drew a very robust 1,635, a little shy of double the 2017 count.
At the final table, New Jersey online superstar Anthony "Flawlessbink" Maio held a sizable chip lead.
While Maio maintained his strong chip count, former WPT Five Diamond champ Ryan "Toosick" Tosoc caught fire when it got short-handed. He busted Justin "lappypoker" Lapka, getting lucky with ace-nine against jacks. Then, his ace-queen held against the king-eight of James "5.56cal." Robinson, whose three-bet shove backfired. Finally, he raise-called king-ten and got there against the pocket sevens of Joel "AjaWilson22" Feldman.
In a 15-minute span, Tosoc went from playing five-handed to heads up with a small chip lead. The heads-up match took some time as the players were about 50 blinds deep. Maio had Tosoc on the ropes at one point but Tosoc found a double with nine-eight against ace-king, won another all-in pot with top pair fading a flush draw, and finally held with a superior ace all in preflop to grab the title.
|1||Ryan "Toosick" Tosoc||United States||$283,778|
|2||Anthony "Flawlessbink" Maio||United States||$175,206|
|3||Joel "AjaWilson22" Feldman||Australia||$124,570|
|4||James "5.56cal." Robinson||United States||$89,777|
|5||Justin "lappypoker" Lapka||United States||$65,391|
|6||Markus "thegreatrise" Gonsalves||United States||$48,306|
|7||Russell "AntonChigurh" Powers||United States||$36,190|
|8||Aurelian "Winamax" Guiglini||United States||$27,337|
|9||Aditya "pokerpop76" Sushant||India||$20,968|
2018: Kornuth Wins Bracelet No. 2
Like the $1K, Event #63: $3,200 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold'em High Roller saw its numbers go up when 480 entries were logged to build a prize pool north of $1.4 million.
A table full of recognizable names emerged as the final nine, including bracelet winners Justin "kingfortune" Liberto and Chance "BingShui" Kornuth, as well as online superstar David "bewater" Goodman. The latter two had the clear inside track to the bracelet as each player had about 30% of the total chips at the start, putting them way clear of third-place Timothy "poker." Nuter.
Kornuth's stack had barely budged by the time things got three-handed, but Goodman had raced ahead with more than half of the total chips. Kornuth dominated from that point on, though, including pulling off a big hero call with ace-high for a significant pot. By the time Kornuth busted Nuter in third, he had more than a 5-to-1 lead on Goodman.
It took Kornuth only about 15 minutes to finish off Goodman, and he added a second bracelet to his collection as well as winning one of the biggest prizes ever awarded on WSOP.com.
|1||Chance "BingShui" Kornuth||United States||$341,598|
|2||David "bewater" Goodman||United States||$212,021|
|3||Timothy "poker." Nuter||United States||$144,168|
|4||Noah "ThePunter" Bronstein||United States||$99,809|
|5||Frank "flcrivello" Crivello||United States||$70,625|
|6||Taylor "ReadyGambo" Black||United States||$50,926|
|7||Justin "kingfortune" Liberto||United States||$37,355|
|8||Jonas "LobyPewis" Mackoff||Canada||$28,016|
|9||Pete "petechen" Chen||Taiwan||$21,596|