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Aleksei Vandyshev Wins 2021 World Series of Poker Online $5,000 Main Event

The Russian Player Defeated A Field of 4,092 Total Entries To Earn $2,543,073 and His First WSOP Gold Bracelet


The 2021 World Series of Poker Online $5,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event drew a massive field of 4,092 entries. The $20,000,000 guarantee was just missed, 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. The final table was set later that day. 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: 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 largest previous cash in an event with full real-name results was his seventh-place finish in the 2016 World Poker tour Borgata Winter Poker Open main event for $132,089.

The final day began with Brazil’s Edson Tsutsumi Jr in the lead and Vandyshev sitting in second chip position. It only took a handful of minutes for the first elimination of the final table to arrive. Dimitrios Farmakoulis called all-in from the small blind with AHeart SuitKSpade Suit and was racing against the 6Spade Suit6Diamond Suit of Joe Serock, who had shoved from the button. Neither player improved and Farmakoulis was sent to the rail with $254,308 for his ninth-place finish.

Vandyshev earned his first knockout at the final table when he flopped top pair of kings with a nine kicker and got all of the chips in against the top pair, seven kicker of Dawid Smolka. The turn gave Smolka a gutshot straight draw, but the river improved Vandyshev to kings and nines. Smolka earned $339,123 as the eighth-place finisher.

An all-Brazilian showdown narrowed the field to six contenders. Renan Meneguetti three-bet shoved for 12,145,171 from the big blind over the top of Tsutsumi Jr’s button raise. Meneguetti’s QSpade Suit10Heart Suit failed to outrun the AHeart Suit9Heart Suit of Tsutsumi Jr, with ace high playing by the river. Meneguetti finished seventh, earning $452,229 for his deep run in this event.

Espen Jorstad got the last of his stack in the middle with KSpade SuitKHeart Suit leading the AHeart SuitQDiamond Suit of Nikita Kuznetsov. The king-high flop gave Jorstad top set, but also brought straight draw for Kuznetsov. The 10Heart Suit on the turn completed that draw, leaving Jorstad in need of a board pair on the river. The 4Diamond Suit changed nothing and Jorstad was eliminated in sixth place ($603,057). Jorstad was streaming his play online. By making the top six, he surpassed the previous record of $455,000 set by Doub Polk for the largest tournament payout earned while broadcasting on the popular streaming platform Twitch.

Joe SerockJoe Serock started the final table off by winning a preflop race with a pocket pair against A-K. He found himself on the opposite end of the that battle in what turned out to be his final hand of the event. He got all-in with AClub SuitKSpade Suit facing the pocket eights of Tsutsumi Jr. The pocket pair held up through the river and Serock was sent home in fifth place, earning $804,190 for the largest recorded score of his career. The World Poker Tour season 10 player of the year award winner now has more than $4.9 million in lifetime earnings.

Four-handed action continued for more than an hour before the next knockout took place. Christine Do got all-in preflop with 6Spade Suit6Heart Suit. She was up against the 10Heart Suit10Club Suit of Tsutsumi Jr, who flopped a set and improved to a full house to leave Do drawing dead. Do secured $1,072,405 as the fourth-place finisher.

Nikita Kuznetsov was the next to fall. They opened with a min-raise from the button holding AClub SuitJDiamond Suit, and called off the rest of their stack when Tsutsumi Jr three-bet all-in from the big blind with ASpade Suit10Diamond Suit. Kuznetsov was ahead, but the flop gave Tsutsumi Jr two pair to overtake the lead. Kuznetsov found no help on later streets and was knocked out in third place ($1,430,073).

With that Tsutsumi Jr took nearly a 2:1 chip lead into heads-up play against Vandyshev. The Russian player was able to battle his way back to even, and then took the lead roughly 20 minutes before the final hand of the tournament was dealt. Tsutsumi Jr raised to 5,250,000 from the button with 7Spade Suit7Club Suit. Vandyshev picked up 10Spade Suit10Heart Suit in the big blind and three-bet to 24,907,000. Tsutsumi moved all-in and Vandyshev made the call. The board ran out KClub SuitJSpade Suit2Heart Suit3Spade SuitJClub Suit to lock up the pot and the title for Vandyshev. Tsutsumi Jr was awarded $1,907,035 as the runner-up finisher.

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

Place Player Earnings
1 Aleksei Vandyshev $2,543,073
2 Edson Tsutsumi Jr $1,907,035
3 Nikita Kuznetsov $1,430,073
4 Christine Do $1,072,405
5 Joe Serock $804,191
6 Espen Jorstad $603,058
7 Renan Meneguetti $452,229
8 Dawid Smolka $339,124
9 Dimitrios Farmakoulis $254,308

Vandyshev photo credit: World Poker Tour / Joe Giron.