Sam Soverel Wins World Series of Poker Bracelet in Live/Online Hybrid Tournament

Sam Soverel

Sam Soverel spent Monday night playing in one of the live high-stakes cash games to which he is accustomed. At the same time, he was taking to the virtual felt under the name “ApesSonIMHO,” again competing against some of poker’s elite on

Two days later, it ended in a second World Series of Poker bracelet for the Florida native. Soverel prevailed over a field of 408 total entries and defeated Hungary’s Gergely Kulcsar heads-up at the live final table of Online Event #13: $5,300 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller Championship to capture the $393,516 top prize and another piece of coveted gold jewelry.

The win was a long-time coming for Soverel. He earned his first bracelet in a $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event in 2016. In the seven years since Soverel has had near-miss followed by near-miss. He had made eight final tables, finishing in the top five spots five different times. Four of them came in events with a buy-in of $50,000 or greater. Soverel was establishing himself as one of the best high-rollers in the poker world, but further WSOP glory eluded him until today.

2023 WSOP Online Event #13: $5,300 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller Championship Final Table Results

1Sam "ApesSonIMHO" SoverelUnited States$393,516
2Gergely "wildace_hun" KulcsarHungary$284,784
3Yuval "Larrybird84" BronshteinIsrael$207,264
4Aleksejs "APonakov" PonakovsLatvia$150,144
5Lingkun "CN_23" LuUnited States$109,344
6Ethan "Rampunts" YauUnited States$80,784

Soverel was in his element today when the six-handed final table began at noon local time. He isn’t an online player and admits he hadn’t played online in nearly three years before this tournament. He likes the live aspect of poker, of looking at his opponents in person.

“I much prefer live. I hadn’t played online since late-2020,” the new WSOP champion said following his win. “Honestly, I don’t really trust the online environment. Live’s fun. It’s more social. It’s way better to me.”

Soverel’s win today pushes his career earnings past $22,000,000 and moves him up to 31st in the all-time ranking. Despite his unquestioned success against the game elites, Soverel admits there isn’t one thing that sets him apart in these tournaments. “I just play a lot of them,” he said.

Final Table Action

Soverel came into the final table with a chip-leading stack of 2,875,000 and was facing a star-studded lineup that included two-time bracelet winners Yuval Bronshtein and Aleksejs Ponakovs, as well as popular vlogger and high-stakes cash game player Ethan “Rampage” Yau.

But it was Kulcsar, who began the final table with just 525,000, good for 11 big blinds, who made an early move up the leaderboard. He doubled up with aces against the tens of Lingkun Lu, then picked up jacks and eliminated Yau in sixth place.

Ethan Yau
Ethan Yau

Kulcsar cracked kings with a turned straight to send Lu out in fifth place as he moved up to second on the leaderboard behind Soverel. Ponakovs soon followed to the payout desk, calling off his last 555,000 with pocket threes against the tens of Soverel.

Kulcsar busted his third opponent at the final table when he moved all in from the small blind and Bronshtein called for his last 1,280,000 with king-six. Kulcsar flopped a set of sevens and dodged Bronshtein’s straight draw to send Bronshtein out in third and set up a heads-up duel against Soverel.

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Kulcsar led 5,690,000 to 4,510,000 at the start of heads-up, but it was Soverel who struck the first, and ultimately decisive, blow. Kulcsar flopped top pair with ace-king and bet 710,000 on the turn. Soverel, who turned threes and deuces, called before improving to a full house on the river. Kulcsar bet another 1,950,000 and Soverel now moved all in for 3,825,000. Kulcsar spent a few minutes in the tank before mucking as Soverel opened a wide lead.

It wouldn’t take much longer before he got the rest of Kulcsar’s chips. On the final hand, Kulcsar shoved for 1,680,000 with ten-nine of diamonds and Soverel called with ace-eight. Kulcsar picked up straight and flush draws on the turn, but bricked the river as Soverel finally had his long-awaited second bracelet.

Gergely Kulcsar
Gergely Kulcsar

For Kulcsar, it was a bittersweet ending to a spectacular performance at the final table. He had 11 WSOP cashes dating back to 2018, but today was his first appearance under the bright lights of a final table. The $284,784 he earned for his runner-up finish is over triple his previous best cash. Kulcsar has had more success on the virtual felt, with more than $4,000,000 in career earnings.

That concludes PokerNews’ coverage of Online Event #13: $5,300 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller Championed. Stay tuned for more coverage of the Main Event and other bracelet events as the 2023 WSOP soon draws to a close.

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  • Sam Soverel wins his second World Series of Poker bracelet in live/online hybrid tournament.

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