Another WSOP gold bracelet was awarded today, as players on WSOP.com’s Nevada and New Jersey servers contested a $666 no-limit hold’em tournament. Beyond the numerical significance of the buy-in, WSOP.com chose to avoid Halloween puns, and simply provided a well-attended 6-max MTT for their customers.
While only 162 players were seated for the scheduled start time, the four hours of late registration saw the field and prize pool grow. The contest ultimately featured 720 unique entries and 309 rebuys, building a respectable prize pool of $617,400.
John (Jake) “Relevancy” Ripnick, eventually came out on top, winning his first WSOP bracelet and the $114,898 prize for first. As previously reported by Poker.org, Ripnick was in contention for WSOP online jewelry a couple of weeks ago, when he just missed getting his hands on a gold ring in Circuit Super Series Event #9.
How it happened
With sixty players and ten tables remaining, Michael “MiguelFiesta” Lech had pulled out an impressive chip lead, having twice the stack of his nearest competition. With eight gold rings and a bracelet already jangling, he maintained that lead as the remaining field halved.
With seven players remaining on the final-table bubble, Lech jammed J7s from the button and was called by “estateking87” in the big blind who tabled 99. Lech nonchalantly flopped a jack along with a flush draw and looked like a significant favorite to win the title as the final table began.
A couple of setbacks, however, pulled Lech back to the pack. He was subsequently eliminated by “Legend92782” in an all-in preflop confrontation with Lech’s 22 losing to KJ. Legend92782 would in turn fall to Ripnick, who began the heads-up tussle with a 2:1 chip lead over “Sucra71.”
Ripnick chipped away at his opponent until they were in push-fold mode. The inevitable all-in of K9s versus ATs was won by Ripnick thanks to a nine on the flop.
Halloween horror? The rake!
Since the earliest days of online poker tournaments, it has been conventional for the rake to be slightly less than 10% of the buy-in, with that number usually falling as buy-ins increase. This has given us familiar structures such as the $100+$9 and the $200+15 on major sites.
WSOP.com has always adopted the convention of making the total buy-in a round number, giving entry fees such as $91+$9, thereby conforming to the industry standard of a rake below 10%.
Not so in today’s event. The $666 was a $600+$66. Similarly, the “Crazy Eights” event from earlier in the series had $800 going to the prize pool and $88 charged as a fee. And last week’s $1000 Championship event — which per WSOP.com’s own convention would be at worst a $910+$90 — was instead a $900+$100.
A player familiar with the situation remarked to Poker.org, with heavy sarcasm, that at least one could be confident the extra rake would be well spent on customer service and software upgrades. He then suggested this inflated rake likely covers the cost of the bracelets.
Featured image source: Twitter