The trio of opening events for the 2023 World Series of Poker Online on GGPoker have come to their conclusion, which has seen three players add their names to the long list of bracelet winners from the last couple of months.
The series, which began on August 20 and runs until October 2, hosts 33 bracelet events with buy-ins that vary from $108 to $25,000. The $5,000 WSOP Online Main Event headlines the festival and comes with a massive $25 million guarantee. The first starting flight has already played out, with 30 players booking their spot for Day 2, which gets going on September 25.
$108 Bankroll Builder Bounty NLH
Or “Nezer21” Nezer claimed the first WSOP bracelet on offer after taking down #1: $108 Bankroll Builder Bounty. The Israeli topped the 7,619-entry field to win his maiden piece of WSOP hardware after he beat compatriot “Micros” in heads-up play.
Nezer tore up the competition and ended up with a bounty prize of $27,554, which was added to his $31,330 payout for a final score $58,884.
The payout falls short of his biggest-ever live cash, which stands at $63,215. That prize was awarded to him after he bowed out in second place at a side event at the 2021 Swiss Poker Open.
Nezer’s poker journey appears to be in its infancy, with his first live cash recorded in 2018, but since then, he’s accrued a respectable $151,073 in live cashes. Now, with poker’s most sought-after accolade on his wrist, the Israeli will no doubt be looking to add a major live win to his fledgling career.
The opening bracelet event had a $761,900 prize pool, with 50% allocated towards the payouts and the remainder used as bounties. The top 800 players made the paid places, with the min-cash set at $124.
Kevin Martin (611th – $143+$150), Shannon Shorr (181st – $336+$100) and Kelvin Kerber (16th – $1,619+$1,378) were just some of the notable names to make the money.
#1: $108 Bankroll Builder Bounty NLH Final Table Results
|1||Or “Nezer21” Nezer||Israel||$27,554||$31,330||$58,884|
|3||Guilherme “ViKingPower” Franco||Brazil||$1,469||$23,247||$24,716|
|6||Tzlil “opener” Ozer||Israel||$5,100||$9,535||$14,635|
|9||Talin “SoFumoGelo” Vasconcellos||Brazil||$4,582.00||$3,911||$8,493|
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Gladiators of Poker Breaks $2.5M Guarantee
Going into the Last Chance flight of the #2: $300 Gladiators of Poker Opener, the $2.5 million guarantee had yet to have been eclipsed. But thanks to the 1,085 entries in the final qualifier, the prize pool milestone was surpassed, with the final kitty confirmed at $2,647,152.
From the 9,488 total entries, just 1,135 had made Day 2 and the paid places to lock up the $651 min-cash.
After successfully navigating the first hurdle, Vinicius Steves became the last player standing to secure his WSOP bracelet as well as Brazil’s 26th. Along with the honors and glory, Steves also banked the $234,707 first-place prize after seeing off Maher Achour in heads-up play.
Steves came into the final table as the second shortest stack but managed to ladder up and survive various all-ins to shoot out the chip count leaderboard.
#2: $300 Gladiators of Poker Opener Final Table Results
|9||Yiannis Liperis||United Kingdom||$20,831|
Koliakov Reigns Supreme in First Championship Event
#3: $2,100 Bounty NLH Championship was the first championship event of the series and saw the spoils head to Russia, with Sergei “Meruemu” Koliakov walking away as the victor. Like Nezer and Steves, Koliakov became a first-time bracelet winner and pocketed $158,345 thanks to his efforts on the virtual felt.
Koliakov is an online specialist by trade and had 29 recorded cashes in online WSOP events prior to this year’s edition kicking off. A majority of those scores were for four figures, with two breaching the five-figure mark. His payout for his win is almost eight times as much as his biggest recorded score on The Hendon Mob. The Russian collected $20,185 in last year’s Online Main Event from his 220th-place finish.
Dicky “Floatinworld” Tsang was the player pipped to the title and had to settle for the $59,547 runners-up prize along with an additional $25,641 in bounties.
The Bounty Championship is the biggest event to play out in the series so far and saw 667 entries. This saw $1,354,000 collected for the prize pool, which had a 50/50 split between the payouts and bounties like the opening event.
#3: $2,100 Bounty NLH Championship Final Table Results
|1||Sergei “Meruemu” Koliakov||Russia||$98,664||$59,681||$158,345|
|2||Dicky “Floatinworld” Tsang||Hong Kong||$25,641||$59,547||$85,188|
|6||Henrique “Judite” Zanetti||Brazil||$2,500||$24,002||$26,502|
|8||Geraldo “UmReiNoRiver” Cesar||Brazil||$13,734||$15,230||$28,964|
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“krxlkrxl53” Bags Best in Day 1a of Main Event
The first qualifier for the Main Event has also wrapped up amidst the opening events of the series. “krxlkrxl53” (2,107,591) ended proceedings as chip leader and was the only player to finsish with a stack greater than two million.
It should come as no surprise to those who follow the online streets closely that Thomas Muehloecker and Sami Kelopuro were able to make Day 2 at the first time of asking. The duo bagged and tagged stacks good enough to make it into the top ten.
In total, 30 of the 258 players survived the first stage. Michael Jozoff (206,070) was also another notable name to advance, while the likes of Rodrigo Selouan, Alex Kulev and Artur Martirosian found themselves on the wrong side of the rail.
They’ll be able to have another throw of the dice in Day 1b of the Main Event, which is scheduled for August 27 at 7:30 p.m. (BST).
2023 WSOP Online Main Event Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
Calum has been a part of the PokerNews team since September 2021 after working in the UK energy sector. He played his first hand of poker in 2017 and immediately fell in love with the game. Calum’s proudest poker achievement is winning the only tournament he has ever played in Las Vegas, the prestigious $60 Flamingo evening event.