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Ian 'APokerJoker2' Steinman Wins First World Series of Poker Bracelet In $400 Freezeout Event

The Four-Time WSOP Circuit Ring Winner Defeated A Field of 1,940 Entries To Earn $110,557


Ian Steinman is a four-time World Series of Poker Circuit gold ring winner, with seven figures in tournament earnings made over the last eight years. The Mountain View, California native’s two largest career cashes both came in runner-up finishes: in march of 2018 he placed second in the World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder main event for $201,428, and a few months later he lost heads-up in a $1,500 no-limit hold’em event at the WSOP, earning $197,461. On July 27, 2020 Steinman finally broke through with the major title on the line, defeating a field of 1,940 entries to win the WSOP Online $400 buy-in no-limit hold’em freezout event for $110,557 and his first WSOP gold bracelet.

This was his 12th cash and his third final-table finish of the series. The moment that Steinman finally secured the title was captured in a cell phone video that was posted to Twitter by Justin Steinman.

The strong turnout for this freezeout event created a prize pool of $698,400, which was paid out among the top 289 finishers. Plenty of big names made deep runs in this event, including recent bracelet winner Ethan ‘RampageP’ Yau (217th – $698), Jamie ‘DanBilzerian’ Kerstetter (163rd – $838), bracelet winner Joon ‘jykpoker’ Kim (145th – $908), Jesse ‘Patient0’ Yaginuma (19th – $3,492), Bryan ‘Pellepelle’ Piccioli (14th – $5,517), and four-time bracelet winner Shaun ‘ddtgg’ Deeb (13th – $5,517).

Steinman came into the final table as the chip leader, with Mahyar ‘Psycho101’ Ebrahimi and Alida ‘av1925’ Veliu sitting on the next-largest stacks. Cody ‘voltron12’ Scherer was the first to fall when he ran K-J into the K-Q suited of Lokesh ‘lanku111’ Garg on a K-6-3 flop. The two got all of the chips in after the first three cards and Scherer’s inferior kicker ultimately resulted in his elimination in ninth place ($9,009).

Huiwen ‘HLM99’ Liu’s run in this event came to an end when their K-Q failed to outrun the A-9 suited of Cameron ‘crezident’ Rezaie. Both players made a pair by the river, but the pair of aces for Rezaie earned them the pot while Liu was knocked out in eighth place ($11,663).

Alida ‘av1925’ Veliu got her last chips in preflop with QSpade SuitQDiamond Suit and ended up against the ASpade Suit6Spade Suit of Ebrahimi. The AClub SuitKSpade SuitJHeart Suit flop gave Ebrahimi the superior pair, but Veliu had a draw to a straight to regain the lead. The turn and river brought no help, though, and Veliu was sent to the rail with $15,295 as the seventh-place finisher.

A classic prelop race situation resulted in the next elimination at the final table. Lokesh ‘lanku111’ Garg three-bet all-in with 7Diamond Suit7Club Suit facing a raise from Steinman in early position. Nicholas ‘Got_The_Glow’ Brancato four-bet shoved from the cutoff with AClub SuitQSpade Suit and Steinman got out of the way. Brancato spiked an ace on the turn and faded a seven on the river to knock Garg out in sixth place ($20,254).

Steinman scored his first elimination at the final table when his 9Heart Suit9Diamond Suit beat out the AClub SuitJDiamond Suit of Cameron ‘crezident’ Rezaie in a preflop all-in showdown. The pocket nines remained an overpaid after an eight-high runout, and Rezaie’s unimproved ace high meant that he sent home with $27,028 as the fifth-place finisher.

Steinman held the lead heading into four-handed play, and he extended his advantage even further by busting Brancato in fourth place ($36,526). All the chips went in with Steinman holding AHeart SuitQDiamond Suit against Brancato’s ASpade Suit10Heart Suit. Neither player improved by the river and Steinman’s ace-queen high ended up winning the pot.

Steinman kept his knockout streak alive with his ASpade Suit9Heart Suit besting the AHeart Suit8Heart Suit of Mahyar ‘Psycho101’ Ebrahimi. The board brought two hearts by the turn to give Ebrahimi a flush draw heading into the river, but the QSpade Suit on the end sent him to the virtual rail with $49,796 for his third-place showing.

With that Steinman took more than a 3:1 lead into heads-up play against Satoshi ‘Godzillla’ Tanaka. In the final hand, Steinman open-shoved for just shy of 27 million with ASpade Suit5Club Suit. Tanaka called for his last 11.7 million (around 23 big blinds) holding KHeart SuitJClub Suit. The board came down QClub Suit8Heart Suit2Spade Suit7Heart Suit6Diamond Suit and Steinman’s ace high was enough to earn him the pot and the title. Tanaka secured $68,373 as the second-place finisher.

Here is a look at the payouts awarded at the final table:

Place Name Earnings
1 Ian ‘APokerJoker2’ Steinman $110,557
2 Satoshi ‘Godzillla’ Tanaka $68,373
3 Mahyar ‘Psycho101’ Ebrahimi $49,796
4 Nicholas ‘Got_The_Glow’ Brancato $36,526
5 Cameron ‘crezident’ Rezaie $27,028
6 Lokesh ‘lanku111’ Garg $20,254
7 Alida ‘av1925’ Veliu $15,295
8 Huiwen ‘HLM99’ Liu $11,663
9 Cody ‘voltron12’ Scherer $9,009

Winner photo credit: WSOP.