2021 WSOP Online bracelet winners #5 – #8: Jeremiah Williams, Tyler Denson, Michael Mercaldo, Carlos Welch; Taiwan’s Pete Chen joins the action

The 2021 World Series of Poker Online [USA leg], ongoing at platform, minted another four new winners. Seizing gold bracelets were American players Jeremiah “freestylerr” Williams, Tyler “ShipTheShip” Denson, Michael “Stiltwalk” Mercaldo, and Carlos “CarlosWelch” Welch, all of them were first time WSOP champions. 

With eight players now having turned their dreams into reality, that leaves 25  bracelets still up for grabs. In order to have a chance, players must be geo located in Nevada and New Jersey to access the online site. Among the small number of international players looking to clasp the coveted gold is Taiwanese pro Yen Han Pete “PeteChen” Chen. Chen has already cashed in three events. His deepest run was 57th place at the NLH Crazy Eights event. Another player hot on the hunt is triple bracelet winner Ben “WhyIsGamora” Yu who took 16th at WSOP #5 and 3rd at WSOP #6. We’ve got those stories, recaps, and select WSOP updated stats down below. 

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2021 WSOP Online bracelet events by the numbers

WSOP #1 – #8 prize pool: US$ 4,637,670
Cumulative entries: 6,908
Biggest winner: Tyler “ShipTheShip” Denson – US$ 175,700
Biggest field: WSOP #1 – NLH The Big 500 Kick Off – 1,277 entries
Biggest pot: WSOP #6: NLH Deepstack $2K buy in – US$ 769,600
First time bracelet winners: 8
Most final tables: Joon “jykpoker” Kim – 9th at WSOP #3 and 2nd at WSOP #8
Deepest run by non USA player: Manig “Ohio77” Loeser (Germany) – WSOP #2 champion
Deepest run by Asia Pacific: Guo Liang “Ct1888” Chen (China) – WSOP #3: 3rd place

*Information based from, The Hendon Mob, PokerNews live reporting, and PokerNews Twitch. 

WSOP #5: NLH 8-Max – JEREMIAH “freestylerr” WILLIAMS – US$ 139,600

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Photo Credit – Solve4Why/YouTube

After 26 minutes of heads up play, Jeremiah “freestylerr” Williams defeated Chung “Vegasbroke” You to lock up the fifth 2021 WSOP Online bracelet and the US$ 139,600 first prize at the No Limit Hold’em 8-Max event. Impressively, this was Williams’ only second ever WSOP cash and 10th recorded tournament career payout. It easily topped his prior high score of US$ 38,400 earned in December 2020 at the Wynn High Rollers $10K No Limit Hold’em. 

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Photo Credit – PokerNews/Twitch

Among the numerous players Williams knocked out was WSOP bracelet winner/ English pro Chris “Robotbob47” Moorman in 34th place. At the final table, he outlasted three WSOP multi ring winners Matt “RubberFist” Stout (6x winner), Gary “phil_ivey” Kosakowski (2x winner), and Kevin “vamonospest” Lutz (3x winner). Although Vegasbroke had the advantage at the start of heads up, within minutes, Williams took the helm with 2d2h turned full house on a board 9c6dJd2sJh, beating Vegasbroke’s 10hQs missed draw. He then maintained his lead and eventually sealed the win with a straight over two pair. (Hand pictured above)

The WSOP #5: No Limit Hold’em 8-Max event had a US$ 1,000 price tag, which was higher than the first four bracelet events. This drew 707 entries (459 uniques, 248 re-entries) for a prize pool of US$ 648,700. Among the 90 players in the money were 13 WSOP bracelet winners that included Ben “WhyIsGamora” Yu (16th), Anthony “heheh” Zinno (41st), James Moore (45th), Phil “Lumestackin” Hellmuth (67th), Jason “heybuddyyyyy” Dewitt (68th), and Jeff “NedrudRelyt” Madsen (90th). Flying under Asian flags, China’s Guo Liang “Ct188” Chen cashed again, finishing in 43rd place while Taiwan’s Yen Han “PeteChen” Chen finished 64th. 

Date: July 5, 2021
Buy in: US$ 1,000
Entries: 707 (459 uniques, 248 re-entries)
Prize pool: US$ 648,700
ITM: 90 places

Final table payouts

1st Jeremiah “freestylerr” Williams – USA – US$ 139,600
2nd Chung “Vegasbroke” You – USA – US$ 86,472
3rd Joshua “zeal1906” Ray – USA – US$ 59,551
4th Matt “RubberFist” Stout – USA – US$ 41,711
5th Gary “phil_ivey” Kosakowski – USA – US$ 29,710
6th Francis “Pickitup” Sharp – USA – US$ 21,537
7th Adam “Shakusky” Richardson – USA – US$ 15,893
8th Kevin “vamonospest” Lutz – USA – US$ 11.936 

WSOP #6: NLH Deepstack – TYLER “ShipTheShip” DENSON – US$ 175,700

To enter the sixth 2021 WSOP Online bracelet event, players had to dig deeper in the wallet for the US$ 2,000 buy in. A notable 416 entered for a prize pool of US$ 769,600. 17 bracelet winners cashed with Steven “Girlcanplay2” Kelly going the furthest, departing in 2nd place. Kelly was denied a second bracelet by Florida native Tyler “ShipTheShip” Denson who not only seized his first ever WSOP gold but also pocketed a career high US$ 175,700. Prior to this win, Denson had 25 tournament winnings tracked amounting to US$ 119.2K. 

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Photo Credit – PokerNews/Twitch

Briefly recapping Denson’s final stretch to victory, at ten remaining, he zoomed to the top after shipping a three way that crippled 2018 WSOP Main Event 3rd placer Michael “helionic” Dyer and crack busted “Rocroe’s” pocket Aces with pocket Tens turned full house. That momentum carried into the final table where Denson railed five more players, including ring winners Kenneth “ACE710” Neri (8th), David “ImDeboGodz” Dibernardi (7th) and Demetrios “GOGGINS” Petrou (4th), plus triple bracelet winner Ben “WhyIsGamora” Yu in 3rd place, before facing Kelly for the title. Up 2:1, Denson’s lead only widened, and at 5:1 the final hand came with 10cJc two pair outdrawing Kelly’s KdQd. (Hand pictured above)

Notable players in the money: Jeff “NedrudRelyt” Madsen (37th), Calvin “projector52” Anderson (42nd), Anthony “heheh” Zinno (46th), Yen Han Pete “PeteChen” Chen (63rd), Daniel Smith (65th), and Manig “Ohio77” Loeser (66th). 

Date: July 6, 2021
Buy in: US$ 2,000
Entries: 416
Prize pool: US$ 769,600
ITM: 72 places

Final table payouts

1st Tyler “ShipTheShip” Denson – USA – US$ 175,700
2nd Steven “Girlcanplay2” Kelly – USA – US$ 108,822
3rd Ben “WhyIsGamora” Yu – USA – US$ 73,958
4th Demetrios “GOGGINS” Petrou – USA – US$ 51,409
5th Albert “bigal16” Riccobono – USA – US$ 36,479
6th Jeffrey “PlusEv905” Schwartz – USA – US$ 26,320
7th David “ImDeboGodz” Dibernardi – USA – US$ 19,393
8th Kenneth “ACE710” Neri – USA – US$ 14,545
9th Michael “helionic” Dyer – USA – US$ 11,159 – 

WSOP #7: NLH Lucky 7’s – MICHAEL “Stiltwalk” MERCALDO – US$ 123,574

Another first time champion emerged while another WSOP decorated player was denied. At the WSOP #7: No Limit Hold’em Lucky 7’s, New Jersey’s Michael “Stiltwalk” Mercaldo defeated 2019 WSOP Little One for One Drop champion James “biggs2424” Anderson at heads up to lift his first ever series title and WSOP gold bracelet. Along with the coveted merchandise, Mercaldo shipped a career high US$ 123,574

Prior to this victory, Mercaldo had 24 WSOP cashes amounting to US$ 98,092. In May 2021, he nearly claimed a WSOP ring at the Caesars Atlantic City Circuit, finishing 2nd at the $100K guaranteed NLH High Roller 6-Max event. 

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Photo Credit – PokerNews/Twitch

Briefly reviewing the event, 888 entrants ponied up the US$ 777 buy in for a prize pool of US$ 621,600. Fifteen-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil “Lumestackin” Hellmuth, Mike “Mouth123” Matusow, Shannon “Aulophobia” Shorr, Phil “HeyGuys” Galfond, and Yen Han Pete “PeteChen” Chen were among those in action, however each one failed to reach the money round. Falling the hardest was Event #6 NLH Deepstack 3rd placer/ triple bracelet winner Ben “WhyIsGamora” Yu, whose KhKs were cracked on the bubble by Mohammad “Tmomoney” Mufti AsKc when an ace came on the turn. 

On the flip side, 15 WSOP bracelet winners cashed, among them were Brandon Cantu (19th), Arkadiy Tsinis (37th), six time winner Daniel “DNegs” Negreanu (66th), Yueqi Zhu (95th), Ralph Perry (121st), and two-time winner Anthony “heheh” Zinno (124th). Reaching the final table were two bracelet winners, Ryan “Protential” Laplante (5th) and James “biggs2424” Anderson (2nd), and ring winner Justin “MadTitan” Turner (3rd). Anderson railed Turner to face Mercaldo for the title. About even in chips, it was a tug of war for the lead. At the 24th minute of heads up play, Mercaldo landed a monster double up on a river bluff shove by Anderson 7s5h on a board Jh8h6sJcJs, Mercaldo called with Qd6c full house. (Hand pictured above). Three minutes later, it was all over. With shoves on a turn board Jc9c7sAc, Anderson showed 7h9h two pair, Mercaldo 8s10s straight, the river was Kd. This was Mercaldo’s first cash of the ongoing series and Anderson’s second cash. 

Date: July 7, 2021
Buy in: US$ 777
Entries: 888
Prize pool: US$ 621,600
ITM: 126 places

Final table payouts

1st Michael “Stiltwalk” Mercaldo – USA – US$ 123,574
2nd James “biggs2424” Anderson – USA – US$ 76,395
3rd Justin “MadTitan” Turner – USA – US$ 53,458
4th Angel “ChromeKing” Lopez – USA – US$ 37,980 
5th Ryan “Protential” Laplante – USA – US$ 27,350
6th Jake “nattydaddy24” Hernandez – USA – US$ 20,016
7th Paul “presicion” Zappulla – USA – US$ 14,856
8th Krista “Pollux” Gifford – USA – US$ 11,189

WSOP #8: NLH Crazy Eights – CARLOS “CarlosWelch” WELCH – US$ 124,369

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Photo Credit – Seminole Hard Rock

The eighth 2021 WSOP Online bracelet event was the No Limit Hold’em Crazy Eights tournament with buy in at US$ 888. The unique feature of this event was that all tables were eight handed maximum. 514 players signed up and 268 re-entered for a total of 782 entries and a prize pool of US$ 652,600. After an hour and 20 minutes of final table play, Carlos “CarlosWelch” Welch locked up his first ever WSOP gold bracelet and a pocketful US$ 124,369. This was Welch’s sixth ever WSOP cash and first ever major career win. His previous high score was US$ 15,000 for 881st place at the 2015 WSOP $10k buy in Main Event Championship. 

To capture the title, Welch overcame a deficit at heads up against bracelet winner Joon “jykpoker” Kim. He doubled up with AhJd dominating Ad7h (hand pictured below) then went on to win it. The final hand was Ah6d besting Ac4d on a board 2d2h8s6h5s. For runner up Kim, it was another outstanding run. Kim was the first player to reach two final tables. Aside from this event, Kim placed 9th at the WSOP #3: NLH Turbo Deepstack. 

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Photo Credit – PokerNews/Twitch

Among the players that reached the money were 8 WSOP bracelet winners. For Asia, Taiwan’s Yen Han Pete “PeteChen” Chen produced a deeper result than his previous finishes, placing 57th for US$ 1,814. On the flip side, notable players that missed the money were 15x winner Phil “Lumenstackin” Hellmuth, six-time winner Daniel “DNegs” Negreanu, five-time winner Michael “thegrinder44” Mizrachi, two-time winner Tony “Panoramic” Dunst, four-time winners Mike “mouth123” Matusow and Jeff “NedrudRelyt” Madsen to mention a few. 

Date: July 8, 2021
Buy in: US$ 888
Entries: 782 (514 uniques, 268 re-entries)
Prize pool: US$ 652,600
ITM: 126 places

Final table payouts

1st Carlos “CarlosWelch” Welch – USA – US$ 124,369 
2nd Joon “jykpoker” Kim – USA – US$ 76,886
3rd Dylan “TheSmith” Smith – US$ 53,802
4th Adam “PESOPESO” Krach – USA – US$ 38,224
5th John “thirteen” Del Rossi – USA – US$ 27,526
6th Dan “fatdan44” Wach – USA – US$ 20,144
7th Isaac “going2ship” Fermin – USA – US$ 14,952
8th Joey “JoeBeagles” Katzen – USA – US$ 11,261

Next bracelet events 

In contrast to the recently completed four bracelet events, the next four will be lighter on the pocket with buy ins from US$ 333 to US$ 500. 

July 9: WSOP #9: No Limit Hold’em 6- Max – US$ 400 buy in
July 10: WSOP #10: No Limit Hold’em – US$ 333 buy in
July 11: WSOP #11: No Limit Hold’em Ultra Deepstack – US$ 400
July 12: WSOP #12: No Limit Hold’em Turbo Deepstack – US$ 500

One event to mark down is the WSOP #33: No Limit Hold’em Grand Finale US$ 1,000,000 guaranteed, taking place on August 1. Buy in is just US$ 500.

2021 WSOP Online champions

WSOP #1: NLH The Big 500 Kick Off – Jose “deposit” Noboa – USA – US$ 105,161
WSOP #2: NLH Monster Stack – Manig “Ohio77” Loeser – Germany – US$ 104,313
WSOP #3: NLH Turbo Deepstack – Donnell “Spreezy52” Dais – USA – US$ 90,801
WSOP #4: NLH Super Turbo – “Steelvikes7” – USA – US$ 73,861
WSOP #5: NLH 8-Max – Jeremiah “freestylerr” Williams – USA – US$ 139,600
WSOP #6: NLH Deepstack – Tyler “ShipTheShip” Denson – USA – US$ 175,700
WSOP #7: NLH Lucky 7’s – Michael “Stiltwalk” Mercaldo – USA – US$ 123,574
WSOP #8: NLH Crazy Eights – Carlos “CarlosWelch” Welch – USA – US$ 124,369

Stick with us at Somuchpoker as we bring you recaps and updates of the ongoing series. All times and dates are listed in Las Vegas, Nevada time. 

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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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