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World Series Of Poker Online Series Draws More Than 157,000 Entries

GGPoker International Series Awards 33 Gold Bracelets

by Erik Fast |  Published: Oct 20, 2021


The 2021 World Series of Poker Online was split into three unique segments. Things kicked off on the client serving New Jersey and Nevada, with 33 gold bracelet events awarded throughout the month of July. The first-ever Pennsylvania-facing WSOP Online gold bracelet series was next on the agenda, with another eight bracelets handed out in August on the new WSOP-branded site.

The final, and by far the largest and richest segment of the three, was the international-facing series hosted on GGPoker. Nearly 128,000 of the more than 157,000 total entries throughout the entire WSOPO were recorded during the 33 gold bracelet events on the international schedule.

Collectively, the 74 events of the WSOPO paid out $109.9 million in total prize money. More than $90 million of that cash was awarded internationally, with all but eight of the events creating prize pools with at least seven figures on the line.
Full recaps of the previous two WSOPO segments can be found in previous issues of Card Player (NV/NJ Vol. 32 Issue 19, and PA Vol. 32 Issue 20). Below is an in-depth look at the international online bracelet series.

Going For The Gold

Of the 33 champions decided during this series, only five had previously won WSOP gold bracelets. The most decorated player among them was Erik Seidel, who took down the $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em Super Million$ high roller event for his ninth bracelet and the $977,842 first-place prize.

The 61-year-old Poker Hall of Fame member entered into a tie with Johnny Moss for the third-highest bracelet count in WSOP history. Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, and Johnny Chan have a one-win lead on Seidel and Moss, but remain five victories behind 15-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth. (A full recap of Seidel’s win was printed in Vol. 32 Issue 20.)

In addition to Seidel, there were four players with a single previous WSOP win under their belt who came away with their second bracelets. 2020 WSOP Online $1,100 buy-in no-limit hold’em bounty six-max event champion Nicolo Molinelli emerged victorious in this year’s $2,500 buy-in limit hold’em championship.

2015 WSOP Europe €1,100 buy-in no-limit hold’em event winner Georgios Sotiropoulos secured his second piece of hardware as the first-ever FLIP & GO bracelet winner, topping a field of 6,368 entries in the $200 buy-in event.

Russia’s Dmitry Yurasov won the $10,000 six-max no-limit hold’em event for his first bracelet back in 2017. He came out on top of the 2021 $1,050 pot-limit Omaha event for his second, beating out an 896-entry field.

Alexandru Papazian made poker history as the first Romanian player to ever capture a WSOP bracelet when he took down the 2017 $888 buy-in eight-max no-limit hold’em Crazy Eights event for $888,888. The format of the tournament must suit Papazian’s game, as he managed to win his second bracelet in the online version of the same event this year for another $241,128.

The other 28 events featured first-time bracelet winners, including several highly accomplished players who were surely relieved to remove their name from the list of the best players without a bracelet.

Brazilian tournament regular João Simão took down the $1,111 Caesars Cares charity event for his first bracelet.

Recent Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $50,000 buy-in high-roller winner Arthur Conan came out on top of the prestigious $10,000 buy-in heads-up no-limit hold’em championship, earning $466,167 in addition to his first bracelet.

Samuel Vousden is an online tournament poker superstar who is known to many by his screen name ‘€urop€an.’ The Finnish poker professional has accumulated countless major online titles, but up until this year, had not secured a bracelet. He remedied that by taking down the $1,050 buy-in no-limit hold’em GG Masters event, earning $274,519.

American poker pro David Jackson had around $2.7 million in prior tournament earnings, including wins in a few large-field main events. He broke through for his first WSOP bracelet win in the $777 buy-in seven-max event for $194,178.

2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure main event champion Dominik Panka locked up his first bracelet by defeating a field of 1,064 in the $2,100 buy-in bounty event for $185,228.

Arkadiy Tsinis won his only bracelet by taking down a $1,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em event in 2011. While the Ukrainian-born poker player couldn’t secure his second during the 2021 WSOP Online, he did set the record as the player with the most cashes throughout the entire series. He recorded an astounding 32 cashes out of 74 events. Incredibly, 20 of those in-the-money finishes alone came during the 33 events on the international schedule. Tsinis finished 14 cashes ahead of the nearest competitor Jason Gooch (18 total cashes).

Tsinis managed two final tables during the series, with one coming during the international segment. He finished eighth from a field of 2,989 entries in the $315 no-limit hold’em deepstack bounty event for $8,053. He cashed for more than $122,000 during the stretch, with his largest score being $16,476.

2019 WSOP main event runner-up finisher Dario Sammartino bagged the second-most cashes of any player during the international section of the series with 18. The Italian poker pro made two final tables along the way, including a runner-up finish in the $1,500 Monster Stack freezeout event for $159,588.

The centerpiece of the whole WSOPO schedule was the $5,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event. The tournament drew a massive field of 4,092 entries, but still fell just short of the ambitious $20 million guarantee, resulting in an overlay for those that took their shot at this huge event.

The tournament officially began on Aug. 22, with registration not coming to a close until Sept. 5. After a week-long pause, the final table resumed on Saturday, Sept. 11. In a matter of hours, the final nine were narrowed down to a champion in Aleksei Vandyshev. The Russian player earned $2,543,073 and his first WSOP gold bracelet for the win.

This was by far the largest score of Vandyshev’s tournament career. His biggest previous cash was his seventh-place finish in the 2016 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open main event for $132,089.

He was one of just three players to earn a seven figure-payday as the champion of a WSOPO event this year, joining Millionaire Maker winner Eduardo Pires ($1,384,013) and $25,000 buy-in high roller champion Alexandros Theologis ($1,212,033).

Vandyshev was not the only player to earn seven figures in this event, though. In fact, the top four finishers all cashed for over $1 million. Runner-up Edson Tsutsumi Jr took home $1,907,035, third-place finisher Nikita Kuznetsov earned $1,430,073, and Christine Do pocketed $1,072,405 as the fourth-place finisher. WPT season 10 player of the year award winner Joe Serock finished fifth for $804,191, which was the largest score of his tournament career.

The main event was the exclamation point on roughly 10 weeks of continuous WSOP Online action. Given the hundreds of millions in prize money awarded and hundreds of thousands of entries, it’s a safe bet that the online series will be returning in the future. ♠