EVENT #62: $1,000 buy-in WSOP.com Online Championship (No-Limit Hold’em)
PRIZE POOL: $859,750
FIRST PLACE PRIZE: $197,743
PLACES PAID: 100
DATES: July 2 & 4, 2015
Anthony Spinella Wins Debut of WSOP.com No-Limit Hold’em Tourney
Longtime Online Poker Pro Scoops $197,743 and First Career WSOP Gold Bracelet
Inaugural Online-Offline Event Draws 905 Entries
MEET THE LATEST WSOP GOLD BRACELET CHAMPION
Name: Anthony Spinella
Current Residence: Playa del Carmen
Originally From: Long Island, NY
Marital Status: Single
Number of WSOP Cashes: 21
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 2
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories: 1
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 6th (2011)
Total WSOP Earnings: $434,485
[Note: All statistics above include the results of this tournament]
It was just a matter of time before the still relatively new phenomenon of online poker and traditional brick and mortar live play merged into one. That’s now happened as the 2015 World Series of Poker became the perfect debut stage for a new kind of competition that was long overdue, especially given the crossover between online poker and live casino events.
Indeed, the first ever “WSOP.com Online No-Limit Hold’em” event was played statewide across Nevada (in addition to some qualifiers globally on Winamax, 888 and PlayNow) and concluded with the final table being played out on the ESPN main stage at the Rio in Las Vegas.
The online-offline tourney drew 905 entries, which created not only the largest prize pool in history of any event of this kind, but also the biggest first-place payout. Out of the $859,750 prize pool, the latest champion collected $197,743 for first place.
How appropriate then that an online grinder would become the inaugural winner. Anthony Spinella, from New York City won the first online-offline title at the WSOP. He played under the screen name “casedismissed.” His WSOP earnings now total nearly $500,000, accumulated in 21 cashes at the series. Before that, he’d won $4.6 million playing online poker, the majority of which took place during 2008-2009 before the onslaught and after effects of so-called Black Friday.
The tournament played out in two days, with an off situated in between to ensure any Northern Nevada finalists could get to Las Vegas. The initial 905 participants played down to a final table of six players who gathered at the Rio on July 4th to play for poker’s premier prize.
The finale played down in remarkably quick time, taking less than three hours to complete. Spinella utterly dominated the final stages of the tournament, a seemingly unstoppable force on his quest for a gold bracelet.
“It feels good to win this,” Spinella said of the gold bracelet victory. “I’ve been playing for a long time now and always want to win one, so this really feels great.”
Oddly enough, Spinella almost didn’t play. He had no plans to participate. However, a friend entered and then phoned Spinella about an hour into the tournament. He noted the tournament was going well, there was still time to register, and the field “appeared soft.” Spinella perked up, deposited money in an online account (he was here in Las Vegas), and began playing online poker at WSOP.com. By day’s end, he was one of the six players at the final table. A few days later, he was a WSOP gold bracelet winner.
Hunter Cichy, from Coon Rapids, MN finished as the runner up. His journey may not have included a WSOP victory, but the $116,066 made it well worth the trip.
Also of note was Mike Gorodinsky’s 26th-place finish. The St. Louis-based poker pro added to his 2015 glory with yet another deep run, and is now extends his lead in this year’s Global Poker Index WSOP Player of the Year race. This marked Gorodinsky’s seventh cash of the summer, which includes four final table appearances, including a gold bracelet victory in the prestigious Poker Players Championship.
The WSOP.com tournament was the largest American regulated tournament in history. It’s destined to become an integral part of future series schedules and could become the model for a new poker boom once new markets inevitably open up.
Following Spinella’s finish in the top spot, the descending order of results was as follows:
Second Place: Hunter Cichy, from Coon Rapids, MN finished in 2nd place. He earned $116,743. This was his fourth time to cash this summer.
Third Place: Craig Varnell, from Ft. Collins, CO finished in 3rd place. He collected $73,079. This was his sixth time to cash at the 2015 series. Varnell has demonstrated a remarkable talent for outmaneuvering large fields. He not only went deep in this tourney, he also cashed in the Colossus and Millionaire Maker events.
Fourth Place: Andrew Rose, from Las Vegas, NV finished in 4th place, which paid $55,884. This marked his second time to cash at the series, after an in-the-money finish in the 2011 WSOP Main Event Championship.
Fifth Place: David Tuthill, from St. Petersburg, FL finished in 5th place, which paid $47,286. He’s now posted four cashes and two final tables this summer, with this being his best showing.
Sixth Place: Ryan Franklin, from Jacksonville, FL finished in 6th place, which paid $33,530. This was his fourth career cash at the series and first since making a deep run in the 2009 Main Event Championship.
EVENT DIRECT LINKS:
For this event’s results, visit:
For Anthony Spinella’s official player profile page, visit:
For the Live Reporting Log for this event, please visit:
For photos from this event, please visit:
(Note: Will appear 48 hours after event concludes)