Stoyan Madanzhiev won the record-breaking 2020 WSOP Online Main Event and banked $3,904,686. The Bulgarian poker pro goes down in history after triumphing in this huge event.
This year’s WSOP played out online because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Casinos around the world are struggling due to travel restrictions so online poker came to the rescue.
WSOP chose GGPoker to host 54 bracelet-awarding events. The Main Event was billed as the biggest-ever online poker tournament and it didn’t disappoint. A field of 5,802-players gathered and created a $27,559,500 prize pool! This monster-sized pot meant the top four finishers each became millionaires.
Little was known about Madanzhiev going into the final day’s action. The Bulgarian classifies himself as a professional poker player, although he has no major results to shout about. Madanzhiev went into the final day with 15,299,783 chips, placing him third from the 38 returnees. Madanzhiev never found himself outside the top five chip counts all day.
Final Table Begins With Madanzhiev Second in Chips
Tyler Rueger of the United States started the nine-handed final table as the chip leader. The American’s lead was narrow, however. His stack contained six big blinds more than that of Madanzhiev.
Two American players fell in ninth and eighth place. Both had relocated from the United States to play in this incredible event. Their dedication was rewarded with $230,395 and $328,305 respectively. Samuel Taylor and Tyler Cornell secured those payouts.
Stefan Schillhabel of Germany and Joao Santos from Brazil were the next casualties. Schillhabel banked $467,825 with Santos padding his bankroll with $666,637.
Everyone’s attention was now on Wenling Gao who calls China home. Gao won here $5,000 ticket from a $500 buy-on satellite and was now guaranteed $949,937! Was the WSOP Main Event about to crown its first female champion?
It looked more likely when Madanzhiev sent Japanese star Satoshi Isomae home in fifth. Isomae ran an ill-timed bluff when Madanzhiev flopped two pair. Isomae’s exit ensured the remaining players all became millionaires!
Thomas Ward is a talented poker player from New Zealand. He has more than $1 million in live tournament earnings and would have been a worthy champion here. It wasn’t meant to be as Gao sent Ward to the showers in fourth. Ward’s pocket sizes lost to Gao’s sevens and Ward banked $1,353,634.
Heads-Up Set: $3,904,686 Awaits The Champion
The final three became two when Gao busted Rueger in a massive pot. Almost 98 million chips went Gao’s way when her red kings prevailed against Rueger’s ace-queen.
That hand boosted Gao’s stack to 141,725,463, slightly behind the 147,136,208 of Madanzhiev.
Both players had stacks of 200 big blinds and a long, drawn-out battle looked likely. That never happened because Madanzhiev put his foot on the gas and ran oaway with proceedings.
The final hand saw Gao raise with pocket aces and Madanzhiev call with seven-six. Madanzhiev flopped a straight and the writing was on the wall for China’s Gao. She got her stack in on the turn and Madanzhiev snap-called.
An incredible result for Gao who turned her $500 investment into $2,748,605. Congratulations to Madanzhiev who walked away with a gold bracelet and $3,904,686.
2020 GGPoker WSOP Online Main Event Final Table Results
|3||Tyler Rueger||United States||$1,928,887|
|4||Thomas Ward||New Zealand||$1,353,634|
|8||Tyler Cornell||United States||$328,305|
|9||Samuel Taylor||United States||$230,395|
Current regulations mean Australians are missing out on these huge prizes. Top players need to leave the country in order to compete, just like Michael Addamo and Kahle Burns have. Here’s hoping the government changes its stance sooner rather than later. It would be awesome to see an Aussie winning a massive prize from their home.