WSOPC – Natural8: Aleksey “ImLuckPads” Savenkov, Sihao “Mr_3rdBullet” Zhang, & Pulkit Goyal win circuit rings; Mini Main Event down to final 9 led by CallMeBatya

Another smashing week at Natural8 with the World Series of Poker Winter Online Circuit Series exceeding guarantees and awarding three more rings. The latest champions were Aleksey “ImLuckPads” Savenkov, Sihao “Mr_3rdBullet” Zhang, and Pulkit Goyal. At the WSOP #6: US$ 170 Mini Main Event, Day 2 wrapped up with the final 9 players led by Russia’s “CallMeBatya”.

With these new winners, that means five of the 18 WSOP circuit rings have now been claimed, one each for the countries of Uruguay, USA, Russia, India, and Luxembourg. The series kicked off on December 13 and will run until January 10. A massive 100 Million Dollars is guaranteed in combined ring events and side events. To date, US$ 12,373,915.20 in ring events and US$ 31,842,088.60 in side events have been paid out. More rings and cash to be won. Key events to mark down are the Christmas PLOSSUS, New Year COLOSSUS, and the star attraction, the US$ 1,700 Main Event US$ 10 Million guaranteed.

For players signed up on Natural8, exciting incentives are lined up if you champion any of the ring events. Players can win from US$ 5,000 to US$ 50,000 in WSOPC LiveX Live Event Sponsorship. For new players, make sure to sign up on Natural8 to also avail of the new player incentives. We’ve got all the info below including recaps on the events tabled.

Join Natural8 – $100 in Free tickets with your 1st Deposit 

Aside from winning events, the WSOPC Player of the Series race is also underway where a whopping US$ 100,000 will be awarded amongst the top 100 of the leaderboard at the end of the series. The player with the highest points accrued will receive US$ 10,000. Currently leading is Pascal Hartmann with 8,815.06 points.

WSOPC #1: BIG $50 – ALEKSEY “ImLuckPads” SAVENKOV – US$ 168,810.38

aleksey savenkov
Aleksey Savenkov. Credit: partypoker LIVE

The series kicked off with the most affordable event on the menu, the BIG $50, and as expected, it dragged everyone out of the woodwork for a final tally of 31,291 entrants. This bumped up the US$ 1M guarantee to a heavier US$ 1,439,386 prize pool of which 1,600 players (5%) earned a share. Day 2 closed with only 9 remaining out of the 3,345 qualifiers. The event resumed this past Saturday, concluding with Russia’s Aleksey “ImLuckPads” Savenkov locking up his first WSOP circuit ring and a career high US$ 168,810.38 payout.

WSOPC #1 – BIG $50

Savenkov has a fairly young bio on The Hendon Mob with live cashes dating back only three years. In 2018, he earned his first five digit payout of US$ 18,507 for his 19th place finish at the EPT Sochi Main Event. This was his largest cash until he shipped the BIG $50. His win fattened up his WSOP total career winnings from US$ 21,802 to US$ 190,612.38.

Event Details:

Buy in: US$ 50
Guarantee: US$ 1,000,000
Entries: 31,291
Day 2 Qualifiers: 3,345
Prize pool: US$ 1,439,386
Payout Distribution: 5%
ITM: 1600 places

WSOPC 1 BIG 50 final table
WSOPC #1 – BIG $50 final table

Final 9 recap

The final table got underway with Russia’s Aleksey “ImLuckPads” Savenkov backed by a sizable chip advantage and China’s QY707 in second position. Both players stayed high up throughout and eventually faced off for the title. Before getting there, they each had their share of knock outs. Within the first hour of play, QY707 claimed his first of three victims in fellow countryman PhD_Don whom he booted in 9th place. Minutes after, ImLuckPads railed btn_clicking! (8th), then Otto “D00MSWITCHER” Lemke helped out by denying incloudzly (7th).

At six remaining, QY707 went on a hot run, scooping up several big pots that finished off FreddieKadur (6th) to take the lead. He proceeded to accumulate over half the chips in play after clearing out Adam Bonk (5th) and while it seemed he was on a straight path to victory, QY707’s game went cold opening the door for ImLuckPads and D00MSWITCHER. ImLuckPads eliminated fellow countryman party_maker1 (4th) for his second of four busts, and D00MSWITCHER won three chunky pots off QY707. D00MSWITCHER took the lead for the first time after doubling up off QY707 on a board 5cAd10d2dKc while holding Ah2h two pair over 4s4d with the shoves seen on the turn. However, like QY707, D00MSWITCHER had difficulty at the top, losing multiple pots to both opponents to drop down in rank and fall in 3rd place with 9c9s unable to crack ImLuckPads’s JcJs. This brought about heads up with ImLuckPads backed by a sizable lead that QY707 couldn’t overcome. On the 119th hand of the final table, the last hand was tabled. ImLuckPads dominated with 10s10h over 8c8d.

Final table payouts

1st Aleksey Savenkov “ImLuckPads” – Russia – US$ 168,810.38
2nd QY707 – China – US$ 120,745.42
3rd Otto Lemke “D00MSWITCHER” – Germany – US$ 86,369.16
4th party_maker1 – Russia – US$ 61,779.91
5th Adam Bonk – Poland – US$ 44,191.19
6th FreddieKadur – Israel – US$ 31,609.98
7th incloudzly – China – US$ 22,610.54
8th btn_clicking! – Cyprus – US$ 16,173.28
9th PhD_Don – China – US$ 11,568.79

WSOPC #4: $800 Monster Stack No Limit Hold’em – SIHAO “Mr_3rdBullet” ZHANG – US$ 140,472.30

sihao zhang pkoer
Sihao Zhang. Credit: PokerFirma

The first Asia time friendly event was the US$ 800 Monster Stack No Limit Hold’em pulling in 1,395 entries for another guarantee smashing prize pool of US$ 1,060,200. After a lengthy ten and a half hours or so of play, Luxembourg’s Sihao Zhang stayed true to his nickname “Mr_3rdBullet”, making his third bullet the lucky charm. He shipped the title, the WSOP circuit ring, and the US$ 140,472.30 first prize. This was Zhang’s first ever known tournament victory and largest tournament score.

WSOPC 4 800 Monster Stack No Limit Hold’em
WSOPC #4 – $800 Monster Stack No Limit Hold’em

Buy in: US$ 800
Guarantee: US$ 1,000,000
Entries: 1,395
Prize pool: US$ 1,060,200
ITM: 233 places
Running time: 10 hours and 38 minutes

Six hours in, player “hangren” delivered a painful blow to “shreeOHM” on bubble time when QdJc both paired up to crack AsAh. With money guaranteed, the first to dip in the jar was two time WPT Asia Online Series winner Loris51 in 233rd place rapidly followed by a succession of bust outs. Among the top 100 in the money were Vincent “Peleus34” Li, Arthur “meiiYunqi” Conan, bracelet / ring holders Brian Green, Ravid “jerbi9999” Garbi, and Christian Jeppsson. Two and a half hours later, it was down to the final two tables with 16 remaining led by Brazil’s Maicon “21_Pirlo” Gasperin. 21_Pirlo held rank until Mr_3rdBullet eliminated three players which included Guillame Nolet in 10th place.

WSOPC 4 800 Monster Stack No Limit Hold’em final table
WSOPC #4 – $800 Monster Stack No Limit Hold’em final table

The final table ran for nearly one hour with chip leader Mr_3rdBullet commanding the action throughout. He railed six players on his path to victory starting with Korea’s Seungmook “7high” Jung (9th) with As8s spiking the eight to bad beat AcQc. After Promoking eliminated Edeskie (8th), and 21_Pirlo ousted Kevin Pu (7th), Mr_3rdBullet emptied out the rest, ballooning to over half the chips in play when he denied Pur3WiT’s JcJd with Ac7c Ace on the flop. Wei Zhao also met a hard fall with 4c4h counterfeited by Mr_3rdBullet’s Ad2c on a board 5c8c5s3c8s. After sending 21_Pirlo out in 3rd place, Mr_3rdBullet entered the heads up round backed by a 5:1 chip advantage against Andrew Xu. While Xu impressively trimmed the gap to 2:1, Mr_3rdBullet had luck on his side when his Ac8h improved to trips eights to overtake QdQh and capture his first ever WSOP circuit ring. This was the first ring for Luxembourg this series.

Final table payouts

1st Sihao “Mr_3rdBullet” Zhang – Luxembourg – US$ 140,472.30
2nd Andrew Xu – China – US$ 105,338.73
3rd Maicon “21_Pirlo” Gasperin – Brazil – US$ 78,992.94
4th Wei Zhao – China – US$ 59,236.37
5th Pur3WIT – Andorra – US$ 44,420.95
6th Promoking – UK – US$ 33,311.07
7th Kevin Pu – China – US$ 24,979.79
8th David “Edeskie” Cowling – Canada – US$ 18,732.15
9th Seungmook “7high” Jung – Korea – US$ 14,074.14

WSOPC #5: $600 Pot Limit Omaha – PULKIT GOYAL – US$ 82,052.44

pulkit goyal poker
Pulkit Goyal. Credit:

India also earned its first win this series when Pulkit Goyal overcame a deficit at heads up to defeat South Africa’s Rage Monkey1. Goyal ran away with the WSOP circuit ring and the US$ 82,052.44 first prize. This was Goyal’s largest known career win.

WSOPC 5 Pot Limit Omaha
WSOPC #5 – $600 Pot Limit Omaha

Buy in: US$ 600
Guarantee: US$ 500,000
Entries: 1,041
Prize pool: US$ 593,370
Payout Distribution 15%
ITM: 179 places
Running time: 9 hours and 49 minutes

After three hours and 20 minutes of late registration, 1,041 took interest in the first PLO event of the series for a guarantee smashing prize pool of US$ 593,370. A generous 15 percent got paid, among them were well known pros and WSOP decorated players such as Dario Sammartino, Toby Lewis, Simon Lofberg, Yuri Dzivielevski, Ryan Riess, and Davidi Kitai to mention a few.

Two time bracelet champion Fedor Holz went far until a costly double up to player “dagidagii” sent his stack in the danger zone and out in 38th place to then chip leader Andreas Christoforou. Uruguay’s Fabrizio “UknowWhoIam” Gonzalez also went deep, exiting in 26th place. At 18 remaining across three tables, Christoforou began to nosedive while Rage Monkey1, Pulkit Goyal, and 1bloodflood soared. Christoforou met his end in 14th place to Goyal. With 12 remaining, 1bloodflood eliminated pokanuktus (12th) and CDARWIN2 (11th), Rage Monkey1 ousted D@rk_M@tter1 next to form the final table.

WSOPC 5 Pot Limit Omaha 1
WSOPC #5 – $600 Pot Limit Omaha

The battle for the ring took nearly two hours. Leading up to the final showdown between Goyal and Rage Monkey1, both players caused the downfall of others. Goyal booted out three players – Eduardo Pires (9th), SlonoSarSki (6th), and 1bloodflood (4th) – and Rage Monkey1 took out two – boryan4ik (5th) and Rossz (3rd). Rage Monkey1 entered heads up with more chips and chatted “if I can get 77K and the ring, then I’ll deal”. After looking at the ICM numbers, Rage Monkey1 declined and play resumed. Rage Monkey1 pulled away to a 4:1 advantage but couldn’t close it especially with the average stack still at a high 52 BB. Twenty minutes in, the tides switched. Goyal grinded to the chip lead and built a 2:1 advantage. From there, both players tugged at leadership until Goyal began to widen the gap to a 3:1 advantage. Goyal soon closed it out with Jd10s7d8s pair over Kc2d9hAd on a board 3dQhJs4c6s.

Final table payouts

1st Pulkit Goyal – India – US$ 82,052.44
2nd Rage Monkey1 – South Africa – US$ 61,530.16
3rd Karl “Rossz” Schedlberger – Austria – US$ 46,141.06
4th 1bloodflood – Russia -US$ 34,600.93
5th Nikolay “boryan4ik” Prokhorskiy – Russia – US$ 25,947.03
6th SlonoSarSki – Israel – US$ 19,457.56
7th SK72 – Germany – US$ 14,591.10
8th SunOfABeach – Austria – US$ 10,941.76
9th Eduardo Pires – Brazil – US$ 8,205.18

Paused: WSOPC #6: $170 Mini Main Event

Drawing another monster field was the $170 Mini Main Event with 17,478 signing up across 39 starting days. Like all the completed events, this too crushed its US$ 2M guarantee for a bulkier US$ 2,733,559.20 prize pool. Only 10 percent of the field got paid with the largest cuts yet to be claimed. Last night, 2,703 players saddled up for Day 2 which wrapped up at the final 9 players led by Russia’s “CallMeBatya”. Running second was Greek pro Ioannis Konstas.

Event Details

Buy in: US$ 170
Guarantee: US$ 2,000,000
Cumulative Entries: 17,478
Cumulative Day 2 qualifiers: 2,703
Prize pool: US$ 2,733,559.20
Payout Distribution: 10%
ITM: 1,800 places

WSOPC 6 170 Mini Main Event final table
WSOPC #6 – $170 Mini Main Event final table

CallMeBatya – Russia – 85,148,946 – 60.8 BB
Ioannis Konstas – Greece – 82,062,907 – 58.6 BB
Vaatefingre – Norway – 69,152,123 – 49.4 BB
asky86 – China – 40,947,043 – 29.2 BB
Alessandro Siena – Italy – 40,409,729 – 28.9 BB
eisbdh12 – Hong Kong – 38,752,681 – 27.7 BB
L-love – Brazil – 29,694,294- 21.2 BB
zopino – Israel – 23,698,991 – 16.9 BB
Robert “robdag83” Glasspool – 23,093,499 – 16.5 BB

Brief recap of the busts from two tables down to one, Malaysia’s DrHyun railed Argentina’s Marcio “Nodenuevo” Zacconi (16th), Alessandro Siena KdKc booted followmeee AsKh (15th), eisbdh12’s 9d9s denied DrHyun’s Ad10d overcards (14th), asky86 eliminated Darkwshadow (13th), zopino’s pockets sixes dominated Chilllin’s pocket fives, and Ioannis Konstas’s KdKh held against 0LiN0WiN’s Ad9h. Ten handed lasted nearly 20 minutes. CallMeBatya scored a large double up against zopino to take the lead. CallMeBatya went on to win a few more pots before Konstas eliminated Franco “pelaguacha” Spitale (10th) to close the day with the final 9 formed.

WSOPC 6 170 Mini Main Event
WSOPC #6 – $170 Mini Main Event

The final 9 players return on December 27 at 230am HKT, each one already guaranteed a fantastic return of US$ 27,726.57 for their lowly US$ 170 buy in. However, what they will be focused on is the largest six figure US$ 277,276.53 first prize and the WSOP circuit ring.

Final table payouts

1st US$ 277,276.53
2nd US$ 207,920.19
3rd US$ 155,918.31
4th US$ 116,922.14
5th US$ 87,679.23
6th US$ 65,750.11
7th US$ 49,305.64
8th US$ 36,973.93
9th US$ 27,726.57

Notable players in the top 100: Lucas Greenwood (27th), Yiannis “GreekFreaker” Liperis (33rd), Joshua “thefreshest” McCully (80th), and Dominykas “MickeyMouse” Mikolaitis.


Open: WSOPC #10: $400 Christmas PLOSSUS

Starting days for the US$ 400 Christmas PLOSSUS event have begun. At the time of writing 412 have entered with 42 advancing to Day 2. Among the top 15 were Natural8 Team Hot Pro Kosei Ichinose, two time bracelet winner Juha Helppi, and bracelet and ring holder Chris Klodnicki. Leading the pack was Hungary’s B Sebestyen.

Starting Days: Begins December 21
Day 2: December 28 @0230 HKT
Final 9: January 3 @230 HKT
Buy in: US$ 400
Guarantee: US$ 1,225,000
Cumulative entries: 412

Top 15 in chips
wsopc top15

WSOPC #15: $400 New Year COLOSSUS

Starting Days: Begins December 28
Final Day: January 4 @0230 HKT
Buy in: US$ 400
Guarantee: US$ 2,021,000

WSOP#18: $1,700 Main Event

Starting Days: Begins January 4
Final Day: January 11 @0230 HKT
Buy in: US$ 1,700
Guarantee: US$ 10,000,000


WSOPC #7: No Limit Hold’em 6-Handed Championship

Date: December 23 @0200 HKT
Buy in: US$ 1,500
Guarantee: US$ 1,000,000

WSOPC #8: $600 Marathon No Limit Hold’em

Date: December 26 @2000 HKT
Buy in: US$ 600
Guarantee: US$ 500,000

WSOPC #9: $315 BOUNTY GIANT No Limit Hold’em

Date: December 28 @0200 HKT
Buy in: US$ 315
Guarantee: US$ 1,000,000

Exclusive Natural8 Promo: WSOPC LiveX – Live Event Sponsorship

Play in the WSOP Winter Online Circuit on Natural8 for a chance to win BONUS WSOPC live event sponsorships worth up to $50,000.

Main Event = $50,000 LiveX Crew Sponsorship

Win the WSOPC Main Event to win $50,000 and become a member of the LiveX Crew. Sponsorship package includes:

•12-month LiveX Crew Sponsorship
•$15,000 Las Vegas Package ($10,000 to cover your buy-ins and $5,000 for expenses)
•$35,000 for live event sponsorships over 12 months

Buy-ins of $1,000 and above = $10,000 LiveX Sponsorship

Win a WSOPC Ring from any event with a buy-in of $1,000 and above, and you’ll get a LiveX Crew package that includes:

•6-month LiveX Crew Sponsorship
•$10,000 Las Vegas Package ($7,500 to cover your buy-ins and $2,500 for expenses)
•Buy-ins from $999 and below = $5,000 LiveX Sponsorship

Win a WSOPC Ring from any event with a buy-in of $999 and below, and you’ll get a LiveX Crew package that includes:

•6-month LiveX Crew Sponsorship
$5,000 Las Vegas Package ($2,500 to cover your buy-ins and $2,500 for expenses)

Join Natural8 – $100 in Free tickets with your 1st Deposit 

Stay tuned to Somuchpoker as we bring you recaps of the 2021 WSOP Winter Circuit Online Series as it unfolds.

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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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