2020 WSOP Online – Natural8: Connor Drinan bulldozes to victory at the $10K WSOP Super MILLION$; final wrap highlights

The 2020 World Series of Poker Online [ international ] is a wrap! The bracelet series ran from July 19 to September 6 at online platform Natural8 on the GG Network. The last gold bracelet was captured by American pro Connor Drinan who bulldozed through the final table of the $ 10K WSOP Super MILLION$. Read up on his smashing performance below.

That concludes the 2020 WSOP Online bracelet series. Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic resulting in the series to be moved online, it was successful as ever. For the first time in history it was taken to the players via two online platforms – to accommodate the USA players and Natural8-GG Network for the international community. This allowed for poker enthusiasts worldwide to win large cash prizes and bracelets right at the comfort of their own space. After a combined total 85 bracelet events, the 51st WSOP paid out a massive $ 174,660,286. The bulk of it was collected at the international segment for a total of $ 147,789,550 across 54 events. Closing thoughts from the WSOP, GGPoker, and Daniel Negreanu:

Obviously the events of 2020 have been unprecedented, and hosting the WSOP Online series at GGPoker wasn’t in our plans at the start of the year,” said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the World Series of Poker. “But going online has been a wonderful experience, with tens of thousands of new players all over the world able to experience some of WSOP magic that they might have been otherwise unable to – we’re delighted that the series has been such a resounding success!”

“For 50 years, the WSOP has been the gold standard in the industry,” said Steve Preiss, Head of Poker Operations at GGPoker. “By introducing features like SnapCam and day 2 staking, GGPoker’s entire team worked tirelessly to bring our players a fun, unique experience just like they’d expect at the live WSOP.”

“I’m personally very proud to be part of the effort that brought such a special WSOP series to the entire world,” said GGPoker ambassador, Daniel Negreanu. “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and we even got to break a lot of poker records along the way!”

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2020 WSOP Online closing highlights

Record breaking Main Event

stoyan madanzhiev poker
2020 WSOP Main Event and Player of the Series winner Stoyan Madanzhiev. Credit:

When the series schedule was announced, the WSOP#77: $ 5,000 No Limit Hold’em Main Event advertised an ambitious $ 25 million guarantee, the largest ever in online poker history. Over the course of 23 starting flights, 5,802 entered to surpass the guarantee and in its place a record breaking $ 27,559.500 prize pool. Bulgaria’s Stoyan Madanzhiev “Nirvana76” shipped it for $ 3,904,685, becoming the single largest tournament earner of the series.

WSOP 2020 Online Player of the Series

In addition to Stoyan Madanzhiev’s Main Event triumph, he was crowned WSOP 2020 Online Player of the Series and was awarded the Pure Golden Mouse Trophy. Madanzhiev had four cashes at the series for a total of 10,790.66 points accrued. Players ranked 2nd to 5th: Chris Rudolph, Daniel Dvoress, Brunno Botteon, and Alek Stasiat “astazz” each won a Pure Gold Card.

WSOP 2020 Online Asia Player of the Series

luis assuncao garla poker
Luis Assuncao Garla. Credit: PocketFives

At the WSOP 2020 Online Asia Player of the Series, it was Brazil’s Luis Eduardo Assuncao Garla “Xapilskinha” who topped the race to win the Pure Golden Dragon Trophy. Garla championed the WSOP #55: HK$ 8,000 No Limit Hold’em Asia Championship and cashed at five other events.

Seven figure payouts

Several events produced incredibly large prize pools resulting in fat payouts for the top finishers. At the close, nine players earned over a million dollars in a single event with Main Event champion Stoyan Madanzhiev “Nirvana76” as the wealthiest.

Stoyan Madanzhiev “Nirvana76” – Bulgaria – $ 3,904,685
Wenling Gao “HappyDX” – China – $ 2,748,605
Tyler Rueger “BeatMeater” – USA – $ 1,928,886
Christian Rudolph – Germany – $ 1,800,290
Connor Drinan – USA – $ 1,423,048
Thomas Ward “readytoship” – New Zealand – $ 1,353,634
Chris Hunichen – USA – $ 1,332,097
Fedor Holz – Germany – $ 1,077,025
Daniyar Aubakirov “AlmaAAta” – Kazakhstan – $ 1,041,413

Multi Bracelet Winners

Holz smile

Winning on the live felt brings plenty of thrill especially with friends and fans cheering on at the rails. While this year’s venue change may have compromised that, it certainly didn’t diminish players’ abilities to perform just as well on the virtual felt. Adding a WSOP Online bracelet to their collection were six highly revered pros listed below:

Juha Helppi won a 2nd bracelet at the WSOP #35: $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship.
Yuri Dzivielevski won a 2nd bracelet at the WSOP #42: $400 PLOSSUS [ $1M GTD ].
Kristen Bicknell won a 3rd bracelet at the WSOP #44: $2,500 No Limit Hold’em 6 Handed.
David Peters won a 2nd bracelet at the WSOP #54: $10,000 Heads Up NLH Championship.
Anson Yan Shing Tsang won a 2nd bracelet at the WSOP #68: $500 Deepstack NLH [ Asia ].
Fedor Holz won a 2nd bracelet at the WSOP #79: $25,000 Heads Up NLHE.
Michael Gathy won a 4th bracelet at the WSOP #85: $500 The Closer [ LAST CHANCE ].

Alek Stasiak “astazz” wins two bracelets at the series

Having one of the most incredible runs at the series was Canadian player Alek Stasiak “astazz” who won not one but two bracelets. His maiden victory was at WSOP #33: $1,111 Every 1 for Covid Relief [Caesars Cares] for $ 343,203.53. Stasiak didn’t actually buy in directly to this event, instead, he navigated his way via a $10 qualifier that earned him a spot to a $100 satellite into the event. If that was not impressive enough, one week later, Stasiak took down the WSOP #52: $1,000 No Limit Hold’em for $ 273,504.86. He was the only player to have captured two titles this series.

Asia players highlighted


Every year the Asian contingent at the WSOP increases tremendously and with this year’s change of venue, it allowed for many more to participate. Among those that impressed were deep finishers and newly minted players:

  • Wenling Gao “HappyDX” – Main Event runner-up for $ 2,748,605.39 – Gao won her seat via a $ 500 Qualifier
  • Paul Teoh – WSOP #47: $1K Short Deck NLH Championship [ Asia ] champion, 5th at WSOP #37: $1,050 Bounty Pot Limit Omaha, and 7th at WSOP #40: $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha
  • Kartik Ved “Mandovi” – WSOP #64: $840 Turbo Bounty NLH champion
  • Anson Yan Shing Tsang – WSOP #68: $500 Deepstack NLH [ Asia ] champioin
  • Huahuan Feng “F7588” – WSOP #71: BIG 50 [ $1M GTD ] champion
  • Aaron Wijaya “fishnchip” – WSOP #38: $600 Monster Stack NLHE 6 Handed champion
  • Sung Joo Hyun “ArtePokerTV” – WSOP #46: $500 Deepstack No Limit Hold’em [ Asia ]  champion
  • Suraj Mishra “M26GreenWood” – 2nd at WSOP #63: $500 Mini Main Event and 6th at WSOP #83: $10K WSOP Super MILLION$ [ $5M GTD ]
  • Chi Chung Ho – 5th at WSOP #45: $840 Bounty No Limit Hold’em and 6th at WSOP #51: $400 Pot Limit Omaha
  • Kosei Ichinose – 4th at WSOP #72: $1,500 Limit Hold’em Championship 

Eight players inducted into Natural8’s Team Bling

Teoh Ming Juen poker
Teoh Ming Juen. Credit: Pocketfives / Kings Casino

Eight WSOP 2020 Online champions earned a Natural8 sponsorship. In conjunction with the brand’s Winner’s Circle promotion, the winners were also inducted into Team Bling.

Marcelo Jakovjlevic Pudla “Marolo” – WSOP #32: The Opener $100
Shoma Ishikawa “pp_syon” – WSOP #34: $525 Super Turbo Bounty NLH 6 Handed
Hun Wei Lee – WSOP #37: $1,050 Bounty Pot Limit Omaha
Teoh Ming Juen “Paul Teoh” – WSOP #47: $1K Short Deck NLH Championship
Daniel Dvoress – WSOP #48: $1,500 MILLIONAIRE MAKER
Luis Assuncao Garla “Xapilskinha” – WSOP #55: HK$ 8,000 NLH Asia Championship
Anson Yan Shing Tsang “Tara@0z” – WSOP #68: $500 Deepstack NLH [ Asia ] Thi Truong “HoneyandTHI” – WSOP #74: $ 1,500 Pot Limit Omaha

Team Bling was created specifically for WSOP Online 2020 and is the sister team to Natural8’s “Team Hot” Ambassadors comprising of notable professional poker players: Danny Tang, Kitty Kuo, Pete Chen, Michael Soyza, Phachara Wongwichit, Kosei Ichinose, Thai Ha, Henri Buehler, Niklas Ehrenholz, Bryan Paris, and Tsunugari Toma.

Breakdown of Prize Pools

45 tournaments had a prize pool of at least $1,000,000
5 tournaments had a prize pool of at least $5,000,000
2 tournaments had a prize pool of at least $10,000,000

Biggest field: WSOP #71: BIG 50 [ $1M GTD ] set a new record for the biggest WSOP field in history of 44,576 entries for a $ 2,050,496 prize pool. China’s Huahuan Feng “F7588” shipped it for a payout of $ 211,281.63.

Largest Single Day turnout: 9,835 entries at WSOP #57: $150 GGMasters WSOP Edition [ Freezeout ] won by Russia’s Anatoly Suvorov “Pohitrusha” for $ 183,525.90.

Largest Single Day prize pool: $10,000,000 at WSOP #70: $25K NLH POKER PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP won by Germany’s Christian Rudolph for $ 1,800,290.


WSOP #83: $10K WSOP Super MILLION$ – Connor Drinan – $ 1,423,048.71

connor drinan poker
Connor Drinan. Credit: Paul Phua poker

The two-day WSOP #83: $10K WSOP Super MILLION$ [ $5M GTD ] brought in an impressive 899 field for a cumbersome $ 8,720,300 prize pool. The money flowed starting at 134th place. Last night, American pro Connor Drinan bulldozed through the final table, railing the last six players in his path to lock up his first WSOP gold bracelet. Along with the shiny merch, Drinan won a massive $ 1,423,048.71, his largest score at the series, and a $ 15,000 WSOP Europe Package.

WSOP #83 – $10K WSOP Super MILLION$

This win had been in the works for the American pro who had been cashing at the series since 2010. In total, he had 36 live WSOP cashes, reaching the final table multiple times. At this series, Drinan cashed 14 times with two final table appearances before finally shipping it. He pocketed his second ever seven figure payout following the $ 3,225,000 he won at the 2015 $ 5,000 No Limit Hold’em Super High Roller Bowl for finishing in 3rd place. Drinan is nearing $ 13 million in tournament earnings.

Buy in: $ 10,000
Entries: 899
Prize pool: $ 8,720,300
ITM: 134 places
Running time: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Kicking off the final table, Drinan and France’s Sylvain Loosli “couchpotato” were clearly the most decorated of the pack, each one boasting of multi million winnnings. India’s Suraj Mishra “M26GreenWood” was chip leader and was running hot. Mishra looked to improve on his 2nd place finish at the WSOP #63: $500 Mini Main Event.

WSOP 83 10K WSOP Super MILLION final table
WSOP #83 – $10K WSOP Super MILLION$ final table

First hand of the race saw all of Kenneth Smaron “rebuyguy” chips claimed by Christopher Kruk with top pair dusted by a straight. The French pro Loosli bumped up his stack by railing Arsenii Malinov “BlindPew” in 8th place. From here, it was all Drinan.

After a number of double ups with the chip lead going from Kruk to Mishra, Drinan stole the top spot by finishing off Kruk in 7th place. Kruk was all in with AsJc that failed against Drinan’s AcAh. Half an hour later, Mishra was all in ahead with 10d10s to Drinan’s 9h9c, however, when the flop dropped a nine, Drinan improved and held to bust Mishra in 6th place. Five minutes after, it was Loosli on Drinan’s chopping block, followed by Chris Oliver in 4th place.

At three handed, Drinan had well over 60 percent of the chips in play and added more upon eliminating Viktor Ustimov “juStic3” in 3rd place with Ace-Queen outdrawing pocket sevens. Facing Daniyar Aubakirov “AlmaAAta” at heads up, Drinan was cushioned with a healthy lead. In his attempt to try to end Aubakirov early, it resulted in a failed bluff, paying out a total of three double ups. On the hand below, Drinan pushed on the river, Aubakirov tanked for over two minutes then called for all his chips holding bottom pair.

WSOP 83 10K WSOP Super MILLION a hero call with bottom pair by runner up finisher
WSOP #83 – $10K WSOP Super MILLION$ – a hero call with bottom pair by runner-up finisher Aubakirov

After the third double up paid, Drinan scored himself a big pot on a bluff that brought them back to where they started heads up. From there, Drinan went on to win it on a lucky river catch. Aubakirov AsJc, Drinan Ac9s, the board AhKh4s8s9c. Despite falling in 2nd place, Aubakirov still came out a millionaire with a handsome payout of $ 1,041,413.

Remaining payouts

1st Connor Drinan – USA – $ 1,423,048.71 + $ 15,000 WSOP Europe Package
2nd Daniyar Aubakirov “AlmaAAta” – Kazakhstan – $ 1,041,413.97
3rd Viktor Ustimov “juStic3” – Russia – $ 755,753.51
4th Chris Oliver – USA – $ 548,450.18
5th Sylvain Loosli “couchpotato” – France – $ 398,010.18
6th Suraj Mishra “M26GreenWood” – India – $ 288,835.52
7th Christopher Kruk – Canada – $ 209,608.97
8th Arsenii Malinov “BlindPew” – Russia – $ 152,112.55
9th Kenneth Smaron “rebuyguy” – USA – $ 110,388.53

That concludes our coverage of the 2020 World Series of Poker Online bracelet series on Natural8.

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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