After two successful years, WSOP.com expands its online bracelet offerings
June 2, 2017 (Las Vegas, NV) - Online poker was an integral piece in the original poker boom when Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event. 12 years after Moneymaker’s historic win, the online variant took hold as a bracelet event at the WSOP.
For the third consecutive year, the WSOP will be offering online bracelet events on WSOP.com. This year is the first year that there will multiple bracelets awarded online. Known as the "Summer Grind Tour 2017," there are three different price points to this year’s slate of events on the virtual felt.
The first online event of the summer kicks off on Saturday afternoon at 3:33 p.m. with “The Little Grind,” a $333 No-Limit Hold’em one-day event. “The Big Grind,” a $3,333 No-Limit Hold’em event kicks off on July 1 at 3:33 p.m. and the original $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em starts at 2 p.m. on July 7.
In the fist two years of action, the tournament would play down to its final six players and have those finalists return to play down to a winner at the Rio. This year, however, all of the events will be played to completion online.
Before the virtual cards get in the air on Saturday, here’s a look back at the online bracelet events from its first two years of action.
Anthony ‘casedismised’ Spinella Displays Dominance in Inaugural Online Bracelet
The first two installments of the online bracelet events watched Day 1 play down to its final six players. Those final six came back another day and played down to a winner live in the Amazon Room in the Thunderdome.
In 2015, Anthony ‘casedismised’ Spinella came out on top of the final six to win the first-ever online bracelet event. He bested a field of 905 players to win $197,743.
The live final table was stacked, leaving Spinella with a tough road to his first bracelet. Spinella came into the final day second in chips and had to deal with fellow top pro Craig ‘imgrinding’ Varnell at the top of the heap.
Varnell and Spinella weren’t the only pros at the table, however. Hunter ‘GringoLoco72' Cichy and David ‘Tuttybear’ Tuthill were also still alive on the tournament’s final day. The final six was rounded out with Ryan ‘Stonerboner’ Franklin and Andrew ‘SLOPHOUSE’ Rose.
From the outset of the final table, Spinella quickly established his dominance. On the ninth hand of the final table, he eliminated Franklin in sixth place with pocket aces against ace-king and set Tuthill to the rail shortly after with top pair against Tuthill’s flush draw.
Spinella took the chip lead away from Varnell after just a few over an orbit of play at the final table and he never looked back.
Cichy eliminated Rose in fourth place, but that was the only knockout that didn’t belong to Spinella. Spinella eliminated Varnell in third place and had better than a three-to-one chip advantage going into heads-up play against Cichy.
It only took 20 hands of heads-up play for Spinella to earn all of the chips in play and send Cichy home with a runner-up finish and give Spinella the first WSOP bracelet to be awarded in an online event.
Final Table Results:
1st: Anthony Spinella - $197,743
2nd: Hunter Cichy - $116,066
3rd: Craig Varnell - $73,079
4th: Andrew Rose - $55,884
5th: David Tuthill - $47,286
6th: Ryan Franklin - $33,530
Spinella won the first-ever online event, but there was still an element of live poker to the tournament. This year the entire event will be played online. The winner of Saturday’s event will be the first player to win a WSOP bracelet in an event played entirely on the web.
Clayton ‘SLARKDUCK’ Maguire Wins Bracelet in Largest Regulated Online American Poker Tournament
The first online bracelet event in 2015 was, not surprisingly, the largest regulated online poker tournament in U.S. online poker history. The following year, however, the event saw a huge increase in players from 905 to 1,247.
The 2016 online bracelet event broke its own record from the year before with the attendance increase and this time Clayton ‘SLARDUCK’ Maguire came out on top, earning $210,279.
When the final six players came back to play live, Maguire was joined by Simeon ‘FeelGoodInc’ Naydenov, Marc-Oliver ‘mariovideo’ Carpentier-Perrault, Park-Yu ‘Sparrow’ Cheung, Spencer ‘TheGoat21’ Taylor and Richard ‘jklolz’ Tuhrim.
Maguire came into the final day with the chip lead, but Naydenov was right on his heels. Those two had a hefty lead over the rest of the field. Carpenter-Perrault was comfortably in third place and the other three players were all between nine and 13 big blinds.
Within the first 24 hands of play, the three short stacks were all eliminated from play. Cheung was eliminated in sixth by Maguire, Tuhrim was eliminated in fifth by Maguire and Taylor was sent to the rail in fourth place by Naydenov.
Just over 20 hands later, Carpentier-Perrault was eliminated by Maguire in third place and it was down to the two start-of-day chip leaders. In 2015, the heads-up match between Spinella and Cichy was only about 20 hands, but 2016 saw long, grueling heads-up match between Maguire and Naydenov.
Naydenov was looking for his second bracelet after becoming the first Bulgarian bracelet winner, winning the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout in 2013.
After nearly 140 hands and five levels of heads-up play, the see-saw battle finally came to an end and Maguire came out on top. Naydenov was eliminated in second and Maguire claimed his first bracelet.
Final Table Results:
1st: Clayton Maguire - $210,279
2nd: Simeon Naydenov - $150,569
3rd: Marc-Olivier Carpentier-Perrault - $110,172
4th: Spencer Taylor - $82,926
5th: Richard Tuhrim - $59,233
6th: Park-Yu Cheung- $46,201
With this year’s expanded online schedule and variety of buy-in levels, 2017 is sure to be another successful year for the WSOP online arena.