Italy’s Nicolo Molinelli is the latest player to emerge victorious during the 2020 World Series of Poker Online. He outlasted a field of 1,925 total entries to take down the 81st event of the series, a $1,050 buy-in no-limit hold’em bounty six-max event. For the win he took home his first WSOP gold bracelet and $243,415 in total earnings, with $144,199 coming from the prize pool and the rest being earned through bounties collected along the way to the top spot.
This tournament was one of four on the schedule designated as a ’People’s CHoice Event’. The format for this particular event was decided with a spin of a prize wheel that feature a number of possible buy-ins, formats, etc. The top 278 finishers made the money in this event, earning at least $1,184.
Despite playing six-handed throughout the event, the final nine players combined onto one table following the elimination of Jie Wu in tenth place. Molinelli held the chip lead at the time, with World Poker Tour Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open main event winner Pavel Plesuv sitting on the next-largest stack. The two chip leaders clashed early on in a big pot that ultimately saw Plesuv fold on the river to fall towards the bottom of the chip counts. Michelle Shah was the first to hit the rail when her 88 couldn’t hold up against the AQ of Molinelli, who made a pair of aces on the flop and held from there. Shah earned $24,920 in total payouts as the ninth-place finisher. Plesuv followed her to the sidelines when his 55 lost a race against the AK of Lucas Hafner. The overcards became trip kings to win the pot, while Plesuv settled for $31,078.
Pocket pairs continued to fare poorly in all-in situations, as Itai Drory’s 88 lost an all-in against the Q10 of Molinelli. The chip leader spiked a queen on the turn to take down the pot and eliminate Drory in seventh place ($31,303). The trend continued as Aleksandr Grishchuk’s JJ lost out to the AQ of Finnish poker pro Sami Kelopuro, who flopped top two pair to win the hand. Grishchuk was awarded $30,898 for his sixth-place showing.
Despite winning that flip, Kelopuro was the next to hit the rail. He got the last of his stack in with KK against the AQ of Kyle Menard. The board came down 1086QA and Menard made an ace-high flush to send Kelopuro home with $47,821 in earnings.
Longyun Li’s run in this event came to an end when he shoved K6 from the small blind and ran into the A10 of Menard. Two aces on the flop and a blank on the turn left Li drawing dead. He was awarded $66,875 as the fourth-place finisher.
Lukas Hafner shoved from the small blind with the K4 and Molinelli called from the big blind with AA. Hafner picked up a gutshot straight draw on the flop and flush draw on the turn, but a brick on the river meant he ultimately finished in third place ($98,899).
With that Molinelli chipped up to 25.4 million to take the lead into heads-up play against Menard, who sat with 22.8 million in chip. The Italian was able to extend his lead to more than a 3:1 advantage by the time the final hand was dealt. Menard raised to 900,000 from the button with AQ and Molinelli called from the big blind with K8. The flop came down K102 and Molinelli checked. Menard bet 600,000 and Milinelli check-raised to 1,885,000. Menard called. The turn brought the 7 and Molinelli bet 2,217,500. Menard called and the 9 completed the board. Molinelli checked, prompting a shove from Menard. Molinelli called with his top pair to catch Menard’s bluff, securing the pot and the title as a result. Menard was awarded $128,417 in prize money and bounties.
Here is a look at the payouts awarded at the final table:
|Place||Name||Total Earnings(Bounty + Prize Pool)|
Molinelli photo credit: PokerStars.