WSOP Online: Drew O'Connell claims $1,000 NLH Championship

Drew O'Connell
Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: August 02, 2021 11:39 PDT

The 2021 WSOP Online series has produced another first-time winner, as New Jersey’s Drew O’Connell triumphed in the series’ next-to-last event. Playing as “dudeguydrew”, O’Connell, of Middletown, New Jersey, emerged from this $1,000 NLH Championship with a $146,893 payday and his first WSOP gold bracelet.

O’Connell’s big win puts an exclamation point on what’s been a breakout series for the fledgling online pro. The 25-year-old O’Connell has cashed in nine events in the series, including this win. He’d just made another deep run as well, finishing sixth in Event #30, the $600 NLH 6-Max Championship.

O’Connell’s hefty payday came after 11 hours of action that saw 821 total entries from 528 distinct players. His nearly-$147,000 cash here almost equals his recorded career earnings before Saturday night’s win, about $165,000. 

Short-stack comeback for O’Connell

O’Connell barely made it to Event #32’s nine-player final table before his cards caught fire. Felix “madenspauwke” Vandeput led as the final nine began. Reigning two-time GPI Player of the year Alex “OrcinusOrca” Foxen lurked mid-pack as well.

Then, good fortune came O’Connell’s way. He doubled up twice early to build a playable stack, then dodged the other eliminations that soon trimmed the final to four. O’Connell himself picked off Foxen in a hand where Foxen ran his top-pair-top-kicker into O’Connell's flopped two pairs, then didn’t improve.

After early leader Vandeput bowed out in third, O’Connell and veteran pro Jason “jayriv” Rivkin squared off for the win. Rivkin edged past O’Connell for the lead before losing an all-in pot when his pocket sixes fell to O’Connell’s trip jacks. In the next hand, Rivkin had As-3h and moved his last chips into the pot. O’Connell called with Ac-Qh. A 9h-8h-2h flop was no good for Rivkin, since O’Connell already held the higher heart. An empty 6s turn and 2d river completed the board, sealing O’Connell’s comeback win.

Another loaded field for domestic series’ penultimate event

The WSOP Online $1,000 NLH event drew the expected star-loaded field, all playing from locations in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. Prior bracelet winners who made deep runs included Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, Dan Zack, Ryan DePaulo, Brett Apter, and Shankar Pillai.

In addition to Foxen and his fourth-place effort, other notable pros who made extended runs included Joe Bartholdi Jr., Omar Mehmood, and Landon Tice.

Final Results

  1. Drew “dudeguydrew” O’Connell - $146,893
  2. Jason “jayriv” Rivkin - $90,811
  3. Felix “madenspauwke” Vandeput - $63,545
  4. Alex “OrcinusOrca” Foxen - $45,147
  5. Kfir “Nahumus” Nahum - $32,512
  6. Dan “omg_its_dan” Gallegos - $23,793
  7. Michael “annie_r_u_ok” Trivett - $17,660
  8. Kyle “Kpcp22” Phillips - $13,300
  9. Millard “meekmill’ Hale - $10,197

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