The twelve-event Rio Online Circuit series hosted by WSOP.com concluded today, with a $1k no-limit hold’em high roller. Rudy Cadenas took home the last of the rings on offer, supplemented by a $37,651 first prize.
Played on a soothing virtual felt of deep pink, 133 players contested the high-roller title. 56 rebuys bloated the prize pool to over $180k.
When late registration ended, 56 players remained, placing them in sight of the bubble at 30th place and a min-cash of $1516. A couple of late entrants apparently decided that leaping in to the tourney immediately before late registration ended was good value, despite giving them only 12.5bbs soon after the event resumed.
It only took an hour for the bubble to burst, when the Q♣J♣ of “BrockLesnar” outflopped A♣T♣ held by “GOGGINS”. With many players now short stacked and the next pay jump not until 18th place, the post-bubble play allowed contestants to show off their knowledge of push-fold ranges.
A frantic half hour trimmed the field from four to two tables. Then play slowed as pay jumps became more significant and the glint of a gold ring beckoned.
The final table began with two-time WSOP bracelet-winner Tony “Panoramic” Dunst with the chip lead. Despite adding to his stack, he eventually relinquished that lead to Rudy “SiParaTu” Cadenas. By the time the two players were heads-up, Cadenas’s unorthodox bet sizes and lines had taken him to a 2:1 chip edge over Dunst.
Dunst briefly regained the position of chip leader, but this was to be Cadenas’s day. The final hand saw Dunst call off an all-in river bet with top pair, only to see Cadenas roll over the overpair of AA.
The gold ring marks the first piece of WSOP jewelry for Cadenas. His Hendon Mob stats indicate this is his second biggest cash, behind only a $115k win at the Jack Poker Open in Cincinnati in 2017.
Series exceeds low expectations
WSOP.com will likely regard the series as a success. All the events comfortably met their guarantees, taking the total prize pool to over $1.5 million. The series guaranteed a combined $1 million in prizes. More importantly, given the brand’s online and bricks-and-mortar controversies, the twelve events were completed without any technical or coding issues.
That nothing went wrong, however, is a low bar to jump. Further, the twelve events exhibited a puzzling lack of imagination on the part of WSOP.com. Eleven of the events were no-limit hold’em, with some tweaks to starting stacks and structure providing a little differentiation. The lone pot-limit Omaha tournament was one of three events to be played 6-max.
The annual WSOP in Las Vegas has been praised in recent years for offering a broad slate of poker variants. This both provides some variety for the players, as well as showcasing to newer players the wonderful diversity of this great game.
Part of the issue for the online brand is technical. Despite providing stud variants on its cash tables for several years, the site is apparently not equipped to offer these games in a tournament format. PLO8 is offered as a tournament option, and includes a weekly $215 tournament. Despite the popularity of this variant, it did not make the cut for the latest NLHE-dominated series.
These decisions and limitations continue to frustrate players and hold back WSOP.com as a premier tournament platform. Having been in the market for eight years, we would hope they could do better by now.
Featured image source: Poker.org