With 12 players left in the World Series of Poker $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event on GGPoker, Stoyan Madanzhiev got involved in what seemed to be a relatively standard lucky all-in hand, hitting a three on the turn with ace-three against the ace-nine of a short-stacked Samuel Vousden. Then, two players showed they'd folded a three, meaning Madanzhiev had hit a one-outer.
While it helped him eliminate a major threat in one of the most accomplished and skilled players in the final day, it wasn't really among the most impactful hands Madanzhiev played.
It just summed up how his day went as he cruised to a fairly mundane victory, the last player standing in a field of 5,802, of which 38 made the final day. The Bulgarian, whose WSOP earnings amounted to about $5,500 coming in, all from GGPoker, won a staggering $3,904,686, the largest prize ever awarded in online poker.
Final Result 2020 GGPoker WSOP Online $5,000 Main Event
|Position||Winner||Country||Prize (in USD)|
|3||Tyler Rueger||United States||$1,928,887|
|4||Thomas Ward||New Zealand||$1,353,634|
|8||Tyler Cornell||United States||$328,305|
|9||Samuel Taylor||United States||$230,395|
The most crucial pot Madanzhiev played came with 25 players left, when he faced off with Martin Arce holding kings against ace-king. The preflop all-in spot went Madanzhiev's way to give him a pot of 22 million and a stack of 40 million at 300,000 big blind.
Then, against Julian Stuer, Madanzhiev opened under the gun and barreled off on a paired board when he made kings full of eights on the river after flopping two pair. Stuer, unfortunately for him, held the last king and called off with trips.
The heater saw Madanzhiev race ahead of the field with about double the next stacks. From there, he kept the pressure on as highly credentialed players like start-of-day leader Bryan Piccioli, Vousden and online tourney legend Benjamin "bencb789" Rolle ran out of chips en route to the final table.
Big Names Down Early
Several notable names still remained at the final table as poker millionaires Stefan Schillhabel, Tyler Cornell, Thomas Ward of New Zealand and Samuel Taylor all made it.
However, none was above 20 blinds other than Taylor, and he proceeded to run into a nasty set-under-set cooler right away to bust ninth. The others didn't fare much better other than Ward, who managed to ladder all the way to fourth thanks to a lightning-quick final table that lasted about two hours as all of the chips got concentrated into two seats: those of Madanzhiev and WSOP neophyte Wenling Gao.
The only player to build a stack that challenged their was Tyler Rueger, who started the final table about even with Madanzhiev. But, when Gao relegated him to third place with kings over ace-queen, Gao and Madanzhiev went heads up with both players a staggering 200 blinds deep.
Deep-Stacked Heads-Up Match Ends in a Hurry
The final table theme of speed continued heads up despite how deep the two players were, though.
Madanzhiev was a step ahead of his foe at every turn as he got thin value with an overbet on the river then turned around and picked off her multi-barrel bluff moments later. Suddenly, he had a decent lead, but Gao still had plenty of chips with more than 100 big blinds.
Unfortunately for her, the end came moments later when she couldn't find the fold button with aces after Madanzhiev defended his big blind with seven-six and flopped a nut straight. Nonetheless, Gao, an active participant in the Asian tournament scene with almost $700K in cashes, earned more than $2.7 million for her efforts.
As for Madanzhiev, who identifies himself as a pro player on his Instagram, live events don't appear to be a major part of his portfolio as he has just about $30K in cashes. Perhaps that will change now that he's almost $4 million richer and in the record books until some brave operator decides to top this historic event.
Congrats to Stoyan Madanzhiev for winning the WSOP Online Main Event and $3,904,685, the largest 1st place prize in… https://t.co/aP1b2Pi8EM— WSOP (@WSOP)