The World Series of Poker Circuit brought its 2019/20 season to a conclusion with the first-ever online running of the WSOP Global Casino Championship. As in previous years, the event was a $1,000,000 guaranteed event, which players could qualify into for free by winning a WSOP Circuit main event, ending the season in top 50 of the season-long leaderboard, or finishing as the player of the series, or ‘Casino Champion’, at a circuit stop. Players who won a ring during the season or finished inside the top 100 in the previous year’s WSOP Player of the Year race standings could also play the event, but would be required to buy-in for $10,000. Seven players exercised that option this year, joining the 123 automatic entries to create a total field of 130 vying for a prize pool of $1,070,000.
In the end the last player standing was Andrew ‘RandyLerch’ Kelsall. The three-time WSOPC ring winner emerged victorious from this tough field with his first WSOP gold bracelet and the top prize of $275,632. Kelsall won his way into the event as a season leaderboard qualifier, having finished in fourth place with 30 cashes made throughout the season.
While many of the details about this event were much the same as in recent years, the big change for 2020 was that the tournament was held online on WSOP.com. The decision to move this season-ending event online was made in late May due to concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At the time Executive Director of the WSOP Ty Stewart said, “We look forward to returning to Harrah’s Cherokee in 2021 but until then, the show must go on… online.”
This one day event began with 130 players, which resulted in the top 20 finishers making the money. Adam Owen was eliminated on the bubble, getting all-in with a gutshot royal flush draw against the bottom set of Matt Stout. Owen failed to improve and was sent to the virtual rail in 21st place, ensuring the remaining players a payday of at least $16,264.
Plenty of big names cashed in this event, only to fall short of the final table. Among them were five-time ring winner Matt Stout (17th – $16,264), two-time World Poker Tour main event winner and two-time ring winner Brian Altman (16th – $17,869), four-time bracelet winner Mike Matusow (10th – $22,898), and six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu (9th – $26,643). ‘DNegs’ got the last of his stack in preflop with KK from the small blind, only to have Eric Ethans wake up with AK in the big blind. Negreanu was unable to come from behind and was eliminated on the bubble of the official eight-handed final table.
WSOP Season Finale $1,000 six-max ring winner Shawn Daniels took the chip lead into the final eight, with bracelet winner Michael Wang sitting on the next-largest stack. WSOP Season Finale main event winner Frank Marasco was the first to hit the rail, earning $31,672 for his eighth-place showing. Eric Ethans’ run in this event came to an end when he got all-in with 77 on a 862, only to run into the 86 of Michael Trivett (7th – $31,672). Trivett’s two pair improved to a full house on the 8 to leave Ethans drawing dead. He took home $31,672 as the seventh-place finisher.
Former poker reporter Sam Cosby got his last four big blinds in with A5 from the hijack, only to run into the AA of Brad Albrinck. The pocket aces held up and Cosby was eliminated in sixth place ($49,541).
Kelsall earned his first knockout at the final table when he picked up AK in the small blind after Shan Daniels had moved all-in as the first to act. Kelsall made the call and found himself in great shape against the A5 of Daniels. Neither player improved and Kelsall’s ace-king high was enough to earn the pot. Daniels cashed for $64,735 as the fifth-place finisher.
Bracelet winner Michael Wang shoved from the button with A8 and was called by small blind Michael Trivett, the 2019 WSOP Circuit Planet Hollywood main event winner, who held A9. The superior kicker played for Trivett after all five community cards were dealt, sending Wang packing with $87,098 for his latest deep run.
The next key clash saw Kelsall shove with 44 after it folded to him in the small blind. Brad Albrinck called all-in from the big blind with AJ and the board ran out QJ4910. Kelsall flopped a set and held from there. Albrinck earned $120,161 as the third-place finisher.
With that Kelsall took roughly a 5:2 lead into heads-up play against Trivett. Kelsall was able to extend his lead a bit more by the time the final hand arose. The two got all-in after a flop of A74. trivett revealed 74 for bottom two pair, while Kelsall showed 53 for a double gutshot straight draw and a possible backdoor flush draw. The 2 on the turn gave Kelsall the five-high straight to take the lead, leaving Trivett in need of a seven or a four on the river in order to keep his hopes of winning the bracelet alive. The 8 on the end locked up the pot and the title for Kelsall. Trivett was awarded $170,344 as the runner-up, the second-largest score of his career behind the WSOPC Planet Hollywood main event win for $215,943 that earned him his seat in this tournament.
Here is a look at the payouts awarded at the final table:
|5||Shawn R. Daniels||$64,735|