As the hallways and ballrooms of the Rio were awash with contestants in the “Reunion” live event, the 2021 WSOP Online Bracelet series got underway on the virtual felt.
The series features a total of eleven bracelet events, with ten restricted to the combined NV/NJ pool, and the eleventh a Pennsylvania-only affair. The tournaments run each Sunday from October 3 through November 21.
Even before the digital cards were in the air, complaints were already rolling in from New Jersey.
“Can we please move these WSOP online bracelet events back a little bit? 8:30PM EST for any rec on the east coast is going to be brutal,” tweeted Thejberg.
While the live WSOP may have shifted the center of mass of the poker world to the Pacific time-zone, New Jersey has a larger player pool than Nevada. Moreover, much of the value for pros in large online events comes from the recreational players, many of whom satellite in. Thus the prohibitively late start time on the east coast is a double whammy.
Martin Zamani wins the first online bracelet of the series
The “early” event on today’s schedule was a $5.3k freeze-out. Billed delightfully as WSOP Event OB #1, it left Star Wars fans wishing it had been held on May 4.
As has become the norm for WSOP.com ring and bracelet series, players were in no hurry to get seated, with only 50 entrants involved in the first hand. That number swelled to 156 by the time registration had closed, with a half dozen procrastinators registering in the last three minutes.
The 74 remaining players contested a total prize pool of $780,000, with $210,600 up top and a min-cash of $7,098.
It turns out even high-rolling crushers care a little about seven grand. The bubble saw a humorous preflop game of whack-a-mole as medium stacks opened, only to get 3-bet by big stacks.
The bubble burst when “TommyConway6” min-raised KK from the hijack, and “TruffleLife” in the small blind made a standard 3-bet jam with AJo. The tantalizing board couldn’t save TruffleLife from TommyConway6’s flopped set.
The final table featured some well-known names from recent WSOP.com gold ring and bracelet series, including newly-minted GGPoker ambassador Jason “EddieVedder” Koon.
When the heads-up battle arrived, it was an asymmetric affair. Martin “BathroomLine” Zamani, whose name illustrates he is no stranger to live tournaments, had over 100bb. His opponent Ankush “rickrosstheb” Mandavia, who recently won an online circuit ring on the same platform, had less than 10bb. A brief preflop all-in flurry ensued, seeing Zamani take down the event when he flopped trip jacks.
The title gives Zamani his second WSOP gold bracelet. His first was also won online, in a PLO event last July.
BIG 500 draws big
The undercard today featured the $500 BIG 500 Online Bracelet Event. The 3x reentry tournament saw a total of 742 runners and 325 rebuys, producing a prize pool of $480,150.
Registration did not close until well after midnight on the east coast, confirming this was not conveniently timed for Garden State residents with a day job.
When the $5.3k wrapped up just before 5 a.m. in Hoboken, there were still three tables of players remaining in the BIG 500. Thus in the interests of announcing the $5.3k champion in a timely manner, the winner of the BIG 500 bracelet will be included in our next series update.
Featured image source: Twitter