First three bracelets awarded in international WSOP Online series

Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: August 25, 2023 08:23 PDT

Players from Israel, Brazil, and Russia have claimed WSOP Online bracelets in the first days of the international series currently running at GGPoker. Bounty events have dominated the first few days of action on GGPoker's international slate, and Israel's Or "Nezer21" Nezer took down the first event of the series, $108 Bankroll Builder Bounty NLH, for a combined prize-and-bounty payday of $58,884. Nezer also claimed the WSOP gold bracelet, the first of 33 to be awarded in the series.

Nezer's opening win was followed yesterday by Brazil's Vinicius "pfkcb" Steves and Russia's Sergei "Meruemu" Koliakov also posting bracelet triumphs. Steves took down Event #2, $300 Gladiators of Poker NLHE, for $234,707, while Koliakov captured the second bounty tourney of the young series, Event #3, $2,100 Bounty NLH championship, for a combined $158,345 in first-place money and bounties.

The wins also triggered the first three "Continental" freeroll entries for roughly a fourth of each event's participants. Nezer's win puts $100,000 into a freeroll for all participants from the "Asia Pacific" region, where Israel was assigned. Steves' win means another $100,000 will be up for grabs in the Event #2 freeroll for all entrants from the "Americas" player population. And Koliakov's triumph sets up a $50,000 freeroll for all participants in that event who were in countries assigned as "Mediterranean".

Each of the Continental freerolls takes place one week after the corresponding WSOP Online bracelet event has completed. The four Continental groups of countries do not necessarily correlate exactly to the continents as they exist on Earth, but were instead designed to slice GGPoker's player base into four roughly equal percentages of players.

Nezer, Koliakov dominate bounty collections in triumphs

One of the quirks involved in bounty events is that on rare occasions, the event winner doesn't even collect the most overall money. Other times, it seems as though the ultimate champion walks away with just about everything. That latter development described both bounty winners in the early going. Nearly half of Nezer's $58,884 combined payday, or $27,554, came from bounties, more than four times as much in bounties than any other player at the final table.

Koliakov's total payout in Event #3 was much the same. He and the eventual runner-up, Dicky "Floatinworld" Tsang, received roughly the same prize payout, about $59,000 each, in the way many bounty events are formulated. But in capturing Tsang's bounty along with many others (including his own), Koliakov had much the better overall result. Koliakov collected a hefty $98,664 in bounties, while Tsang's $25,641 in bounties was far less, but still second-best at the final table.

Steves' win launches early Brazilian assault

Brazil's large population of online poker players likely makes it the favorite country to lead the WSOP Online series in overall final-table cashes. If the first three events are any indication, it might be a runaway in that regard.

Steves' Event #2 victory led eight Brazilian players who made one of the final tables in the first three events. Israel has three final-table finishers to date, and all of those came in the first event, where Nezer took down the win. No other country has managed more than one final-table finisher to date, to underline Brazilian players' early success.