Pennsylvania Online Circuit winners freeroll misses entrant minimum, players divvy $25K bonus pool

Haley Hintze
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Posted on: September 20, 2021 6:30 pm EDT

Normally it’s playing well in a poker tournament that earns a participant a nice day, not just registering to play. But in an unusual circumstance, 13 players on’s Pennsylvania-only online poker site shared an online Circuit series $25,000 bonus prize pool without having to play a single hand.

The Pennsylvania $25,000 freeroll had been scheduled to run at 4:30 pm on Friday, September 17. Eligibility was limited. The $25K freeroll was open only to ring winners in the just-completed Pennsylvania online Circuit series, and to other players who finished in the top ten in the 12-event series’ points leaderboard.

Unfortunately, only three non-event winners accumulated enough points to crack the overall top 10, meaning that only 15 players were eligible to fight for the $25K. On Thursday, the WSOP’s Twitter czar, Kevin “@KevMath” Mathers, posted a reminder to qualified entrants, tacitly urging them to register. Mathers then offered this list of eligible accounts:

Ring Winners:

  • LucaShelby (Davis Phillips)
  • MrTasty (Travis Horning)
  • EatMushrooms (Richard Ali)
  • PunchinAir (Soheb Porbandarwala)
  • Robin_Feld (James Poper)
  • DroppingLoadz (Matt Downey)
  • Donostia (Greg Wish)
  • H0mie_Sr (Brett Freiler)
  • Soil_Brunson (Barret Lipkin)
  • LetMeWin3437 (Kyle Gross)
  • ArnoldSlick (Michael McNeil)
  • sdddave (Casey Hatmaker)

Leaderboard players (in top 10, with no ring wins):

  • Slap_Nuts (Andrew Kappes)
  • johnnylimps (John Brennan)
  • Eldawg8 (Damien Silks)

As Mathers noted, the catch was that the freeroll had been created with a 14-player minimum, meaning nearly everyone eligible would have to register. Instead, entries fell just short, as 13 of the 15 accounts signed up before the event’s scheduled start. It’s not clear which two of the 15 eligible players weren’t available to play, since the event was visible only on the Pennsylvania platform, and since cancelled events don’t generally appear in the list of completed events.

The two non-registered qualifiers missed out on a free chance to win part of the $25,000 bonus money, but they generated an easy payday for the 13 players who did sign up. Per policy, the $25,000 was divided equally among those 13 registered players. Each then collected $1,923.08 simply for signing up, never having to play a single hand.

Whether will lower the cap in future series remains to be seen, but a circumstance like this increases that likelihood. A relative small series, such as this 12-event offering, makes it harder for non-winning players to accumulate enough leaderboard points to overtake event winners. That’s even without considering the possibility of one or more players winning multiple events, which could have further reduced the number of eligible players.

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