Sunday was a busy day on the NV/NJ WSOP.com servers, as both a Circuit Super Series ring and WSOP 2021 online bracelet were up for grabs.
The gold ring event kicked off the action. With a $215 buy-in and $125k guarantee “monster stack,” the tournament attracted a total of 576 runners by the time late registration closed.
The deep starting stacks of 500bb translated into plenty of play at the final table. Kyle “ineedtime” Morris led the pack with 90bb, with Ben “ChaiPoker” Abrahams in second on 45bb.
Local favorite Abrahams comes up short
Many of the Las Vegas poker players railing the event were hoping for an Abrahams victory, for at least two reasons.
First, Abrahams is well-known in the card rooms of Las Vegas as one of the rare local grinders who smiles at the table.
Second, and more importantly, Abrahams is actively involved in charity work within the community through his “Chai Poker” organization. This work includes putting together charity poker tournaments to benefit local causes and institutions, such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada.
Abrahams was one of the more active players on the final table, which saw him still standing once the action was three-handed. But a turn overbet semi-bluff with KJ on a 2T6Q board was picked off by “BuyBitcoin” sending Abrahams to the rail.
Bad time for a disconnect
That elimination saw BuyBitcoin taking on “DelightedTHC” in the heads-up duel for the gold ring. The elimination of Abrahams had left BuyBitcoin with 80bb and a nearly 4:1 chip advantage over DelightedTHC.
Then every online poker player’s nightmare scenario happened. The dreaded “Disconnected” sign appeared over BuyBitcoin’s name as their hands were instafolded preflop by the software.
Whether BuyBitcoin was rattled by the disconnect, the match now swung in DelightedTHC’s favor. The final hand that decided the outcome is shown below.
Facing a big river bet, BuyBitcoin went into the tank, apparently concluding enough draws had bricked that his pair gave him plenty to bluff catch. But DelightedTHC had the goods and won the ring.
Despite protestations last week from New Jersey players, the second event of the day started at 8:30 p.m. on the east coast. Online Bracelet Event #3 was billed as a “NL Hold’em Ultra Deepstack” tournament. Not only were starting stacks deep, but the slow structure made the decision to start the tournament so late even more perplexing.
After 235 minutes of late registration, Monday on the east coast was already 25 minutes old. At that time, 796 of a total 1023 entrants were still alive.
While winning a WSOP bracelet should be a challenge, the sentiment among east-coasters in particular is that a start time this late does nothing other than inconvenience players. Further, running multiple satellites to encourage smaller-stakes players to compete is strange, when those with day jobs are discouraged from the event by the prospect of skipping sleep.
Finally, the allegedly prestigious bracelet event doesn’t get the coverage it deserves when it ends in the small hours of the morning.
The final table started around 7:30 a.m. on the east coast. A little less than an hour later, Pete “PeteChen” Chen faced off against “Selvastar7.”
Pete Chen is a professional poker player from Taiwan with live lifetime poker earnings of over three million dollars. Selvastar7 is currently ranked 3,733rd on WSOP.com’s Player of the Year leaderboard.
With a 2:1 chip lead, Chen converted the win after 25 minutes of heads-up play. The preflop all-in saw Chen holding AJo against Selvastar7’s A4s. A 4 on the flop looked like it would extend the match, but Chen spiked a jack on the end to take the $82,560 first prize and the WSOP bracelet.
Featured image source: Kat Martin