In what was a jam-packed day of online poker, Alek "astazz" Stasiak topped a field of 2,323 entries to earn his first World Series of Poker title along with $343,203.53 in a little over nine hours of play. Event #33: $1,111 Every 1 for Covid Relief (Caesar's Cares) was delayed by a week due to technical issues last Sunday, but for Stasiak, it was well worth the wait.
Stasiak makes his home in Quebec, Canada, earning the majority of his live cashes at the Playground Poker Club, dating back to 2013. This one, however, had a little extra spice on it. Not only will the Canadian have a new piece of jewelry to sport to his friends, but this is by far and away his largest career tournament cash, his only one above six figures.
Stasiak came into the heads-up battle with Martin "colinchow" Ilobera as a slight underdog but quickly turned the table with a massive double up in the first hand. Stasiak turned a straight but played it slow and allowed Ilobera to bluff off his stack on the river. Stasiak went into the break with over 90% of the chips in play.
Ilobera wasn't about to roll over though, as he also doubled up in the first hand back from the break. However, it was too steep of a hill to climb for the Argentinian who found himself flipping with pocket deuces. Stasiak called with ace-six and spiked an ace on the flop to take control. There was no help for Ilobera on the turn or river which handed the title to Stasiak.
Final Table Results
|1st||Alek "astazz" Stasiak||Canada||$343,203.53|
|2nd||Martin "colinchow" Ilobera||Argentina||$246,765.50|
|3rd||Harry "Vulvasore" Lodge||United Kingdom||$177,426.43|
|4th||Abhinav "OBellaCiao" Iyer||India||$127,571.28|
|5th||David "BatSoup789" Montoya||Mexico||$91,724.90|
|6th||Evan "NEONPILS99" Parkes||Canada||$65,951.16|
|7th||Andreas "Addichip" Phouli||United Kingdom||$47,419.46|
|8th||Stewart "Stew_233" Kilpatrick||United Kingdom||$34,095.28|
|9th||Norihiro "orzorz" Otani||Japan||$24,514.89|
Action from the Day
The tournament resumed at 3 pm EST on level five, where they left off one week ago. Late registration was opened up for another two hours and players made sure to make full use of it. The day began with around 1,400 entries but that number quickly grew over the course of the next eight levels. When all was said and done, a total of 2,323 entries were recorded, creating a prizepool of over $2.5 million.
It was a sprint to the money bubble over the course of the next two hours, as many big names continued to drop without getting their hands on some money. The likes of Fedor Holz, Jake Schindler, Chris Hunichen, Michael Soyza, Mike Watson, Steve O'Dwyer, Kristen Bicknell, Felipe Ramos, and Darren Elias all bowed out shortly after the registration period.
The action became progressively slower as the number of players to the money decreased. As hand-for-hand play was underway, it was 'COL_Moutarde' who was eliminated on the bubble but still managed to squeeze out some money as multiple players were eliminated in the same hand. That left the door open for all of the short stacks to fling in their chips, knowing they had a min-cash locked up.
Some notables to hit the rail afterward include Bertrand Grospellier, Elio Fox, Daniel Strelitz, Roberto Romanello, Henri Buehler, Anson Tsang, Dario Sammartino, and Chance Kornuth. Some deep runs belonged to Conor Beresford, Mikita Badziakouski and Simon Higgins, who all showed promising developments along the way but unfortunately fell short.
One name that would have had many eyes glued to their screens was Adrian Mateos, who at one point found himself sitting in second place with less than 50 players left. Mateos, who already has three WSOP titles to his name, along with a long list of accomplishments outside the elusive series, was hoping to add to his resume. Unfortunately for the Spaniard, things took a hard turn for the worse and he bowed out in 19th place.
Heading into the final table of nine players, Ilobera and Harry "Vulvasore" Lodge were the only players with over 10 million chips. It didn't take long for the first elimination to take place as Norihiro "orzorz" Otani lost a flip to the eventual winner Stasiak. A couple of Brits were next to hit the rail as Stewart "Stew_233" Kilpatrick and Andreas "Addichip" Phouli were both on the losing end of hands.
With Lodge in the lead, he continued his momentum by eliminating Evan "NEONPILS99" Parkes in sixth place. Lodge won another flip with pocket eights against the ace-king of Parkes, vaulting him over 24 million chips. Lodge added another victim to his collection when he took down David "BatSoup789" Montoya as well. Montoya flopped two pair with jack-eight but Lodge turned a set of nines to bring the field down to just four players.
That was where the run-good ended for Lodge when a poor runout counterfeited his full house. Four aces on the board meant Ilobera would earn a healthy pot with a bigger kicker and Lodge became a bystander from here. Stasiak found a favorable runout to eliminate Abhinav "OBellaCiao" Iyer in fourth place and he also eliminated Lodge in a blind vs blind situation. That set the stage for the heads-up battle between Stasiak and Ilobera which Stasiak quickly took control of.
That wraps up the PokerNews coverage for this event but there will be plenty of action to follow in the weeks to come with bracelet events taking place five days a week.