The $5,000 buy-in Main Event of WSOP concluded on Saturday, September 5th with the top 4 finishers all taking home more than $1million in prize money. As we all know the World Series of Poker didn’t happen the traditional way this year in Vegas, and the action had to be moved online, however the Main Event still had a total prize pool of $27,559,500.
There were 5,802 buy-ins into the $5,000 entry Main Event. Notable entries included PSG star and Brazilian soccer phenom Neymar Jr. and former heavyweight boxing champion Riddick Bowe.
The final heads-up duo came down to Bulgaria’s Stoyan Madanzhiev againt Wenling Gao of China. On the final hand of the ME, Stoyan Madanzhiev flopped a straight which took down Gao’s pocket aces which is an absolutely brutal way to get knocked out heads-up. Looking down and seeing AA you think you are absolutely money and then your opponent flops a straight and woosh, you’re done.
Wenling Gao won $2.7 million for his 2nd place finish. That’s not bad at all. Stoyan Madanzhiev took home a record of $3.9 million for 1st place – the largest prize in online poker history! America’s Tyler Rueger won $1.9 million for 3rd place and New Zealand’s Thomas Ward brought home $1.35 million for his 4th place finish.
The Legend Phil Hellmuth busted in 750th place right before the money bubble. In total, 728 spots were paid out across the $27,559,500 prize pool.
In the final hand, 2nd place finisher Wenling Gao got all his chips in with AcAd only to see her opponent call with 7d6h. At that moment, he has his opponent completely dominated. But Bulgaria’s Stoyan Madanzhiev miraculously flopped a 7-high straight and held on to win 1st place!
According to ESPN’s Chalk, some participants moved internationally for this event which also allowed them to buy-in multiple times in the early stages, “Players were allowed to buy in three times during the early rounds of the main event and were required to be physically located in a jurisdiction that allowed online poker. Tournament officials said some American participants relocated to Mexico or Canada to take part in the tournament.”