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Eric Van Auken Wins 2021 World Series of Poker Online Big 500 Encore Event

The New Jersey Resident Overcame A Field of 1,118 Entries To Win His First Bracelet and $93,627


Eric Van AukenEric Van Auken’s online poker screen name is ‘8Bracelets’. The New Jersey resident overcame a field of 1,118 entries in the 2021 World Series of Poker Online $500 buy-in no-limit hold’em ‘Big 500 Encore’ event in the early hours of Monday, July 26 to make it one down, seven more bracelets to go until his screen name’s prophecy is fulfilled.

Van Auken earned $93,627 as the champion of the event, by far the largest tournament score on his resume. Prior to this victory, his top payday was the $40,040 he took home as the sixth-place finisher in a 2018 WSOP International Circuit Canada $1,100 CAD event held at Playground Poker Club.

Plenty of notable players were among the 167 to make the money, including two-time bracelet winner Ryan ‘adopt_adogg0’ Leng (130th – $805), recent bracelet winner Ryan ‘hagzzz021’ Hagerty (64th – $1,157), six-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Matt ‘RubberFist’ Stout (53rd – $1,610), 2020 WSOP $10,000 main event domestic final tablist Ye ‘yuan365’ Yuan (28th – $2,214), Krista ‘Pollux’ Gifford Eliminated (15th – $4,176), and three-time bracelet winner Nick ‘cashusklay’ Schulman (14th – $4,176).

The final table began with Dominick ‘Flow_Cold’ Sarle in the lead and Van Auken in the middle of the pack. Poker Hall of Fame member Jack ‘Borgia92’ McClelland was the first to be eliminated, with his AHeart SuitKHeart Suit clashing against the QHeart SuitQClub Suit of Naichang ‘cncly1314’ Chen. McClelland flopped a king to take the lead, but the board brought four clubs to give Chen a flush and McClelland settled for $6,792 as the ninth-place finisher. Chen added to his chip lead by busting Jacob ‘tooletime13’ Toole (8th – $8,855), winning another preflop race with a pocket pair facing two overcards.

Justin ‘pocketprofit’ Wong’s run in this event came to an end when his QHeart Suit10Heart Suit for top pair on a ten-high board ran into the pocket kings of Sarle. Wong failed to improve any further by the river and was sent to the virtual rail in seventh place ($11,722). Sarle continued to accumulate, knocking out Dean ‘nikobellic99’ Curreri in sixth place ($15,697) to take the lead heading into five-handed action.

Van Auken scored his first elimination at the final table when his ASpade Suit10Club Suit held up against the KSpade Suit8Diamond Suit of short stack Tomasz ‘ToMRoX’ Trelski (5th – $21,331). He backed that up by busting Naichang ‘cncly1314’ Chen in fourth place ($29,381), picking up ADiamond SuitQSpade Suit against Chen’s ADiamond SuitJClub Suit and holding to jump to the top of the chip counts with three remaining.

Corey ‘Corgasm’ Paggeot was just one day removed from a runner-up finish in the $400 buy-in WSOP Online ‘MonserStack’ event for $47,840. Incredibly, he managed to make it down to the final three players in this event, ultimately finishing third for $40,952. Paggeot was eliminated when his A-5 ran into the pocket kings of Sarle, whose hand held up to give him the lead heading into heads-up play with Van Auken.

Sarle took roughly a 2:1 chip advantage into the final showdown for the bracelet, and was able to extend that lead even further before Van Auken began to mount a comeback. The largest pot of the day saw all the chips go in preflop with Van Auken holding 8Heart Suit8Club Suit against the AHeart Suit10Club Suit of Sarle. The JHeart Suit10Heart Suit7Spade Suit flop gave Sarle the lead. The 5Diamond Suit turn changed nothing, but the 9Spade Suit on the river gave Van Auken a straight to take down the pot for the vast majority of the chips in play. Sarle was left with just eight big blinds, and was eliminated moments late when his JSpade Suit10Club Suit failed to outrun the KClub Suit10Spade Suit of Van Auken. Sarle took home $57,857 as the second-place finisher.

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

Place Player Earnings
1 Eric ‘8Bracelets’ Van Auken $93,627
2 Dominick ‘Flow_Cold’ Sarle $57,856
3 Corey ‘Corgasm’ Paggeot $40,952
4 Naichang ‘cncly1314’ Chen $29,381
5 Tomasz ‘ToMRoX’ Trelski $21,331
6 Dean ‘nikobellic99’ Curreri $15,697
7 Justin ‘pocketprofit’ Wong $11,722
8 Jacob ‘tooletime13’ Toole $8,855
9 Jack ‘Borgia92’ McClelland $6,792

Photo credit: Parx poker blog.