Good thing they were comfortable at home
Christian Rudolph came back from the middle of the final table pack on Wednesday to win the World Poker Tour (WPT) Online Series Main Event on partypoker. After striking a heads-up deal, Rudolph walked away with $487,442.75, about $40,000 less than he would have won without an agreement with runner-up Fabiano Kovalski.
It was an endurance challenge at the final table, as four-handed play took two hours and the three-handed contest between Rudolph, Kovalski, and Daniel Dvoress lasted twice that.
Dvoress entered the final table as the chip leader and the only player with more than 100 big blinds. Going into Wednesday’s action, Dvoress’s 40,666,540 chips was appreciably more than the 33,838,245 that his closest competitor, Luciano Hollanda, had. For comparison, Rudolph went into the nine-handed final table with 23,177,230 chips.
The biggest hand of the marathon three-handed segment happened when Dvoress, the chip leader at the time, had pocket Deuces and Rudolph had pocket Jacks, both fantastic hands with just three players remaining. With blinds at 1.25 million/2.5 million, Rudolph raised from the button, Dvoress shoved, and Rudolph made the call. Neither player improved, meaning Rudolph took down the pot to take a monster chip lead of well over 100 million.
Dvoress doubled-up right after that to stay alive for a while, but eventually bowed out in third place.
Heads-up was surprisingly competitive
After Kovalski eliminated Dvoress with A-Q over A-T, Rudolph entered heads-up play, with about a 150 million to 62 million chip lead and the big blind still at 2.5 million.
The two men immediately continued playing, but discussed a deal in the chat box. Rudolph agreed to lock up $457,442, while Kovalski got $401,793 and they left $30,000 for which to play.
It looked like Rudolph was going to make quick work of Kovalski, as he extended his chip lead and Kovalski just couldn’t get anything going. Kovalski doubled-up with Kings versus Jacks, but still couldn’t gain any traction for a while, so it still looked like Rudolph would only need a few minutes to win the title. But Kovalski kept plugging away, eventually catching a massive double-up with A-9 when Rudolph tried to muscle him pre-flop with just T-8 suited. At that point, Kovalski had nearly a 2-to-1 chip lead.
Rudolph certainly got more aggressive heads-up than he had been in the hours before that, probably because there was only $30,000 left to play for (lol only). That aggression served him well once he fell back to second place, as he was able to climb back to nearly even.
The turning point came on a strange hand when neither player had anything. Kovalski, holding the chip lead, really had nothing, just King-high. When it got down to the river, however, Kovalski clearly didn’t believe what Rudolph was selling him and shoved all-in on a gigantic bluff. Rudolph, though, called with just fourth pair to take the pot and grab an overwhelming lead.
The proceedings went on for a few more minutes, Kovalski doubling up at one point, but the deficit was just too much. After some raising pre-flop, the two saw a flop of T-Q-4 with two diamonds. Rudolph bet with A-Q, Kovlaski went all-in with 9-8 of diamonds, and Rudolph called. Kovalski couldn’t find his flush and Rudolph had his first World Poker Tour title.
2021 World Poker Tour Online Series Main Event – Final Table Results
- Christian Rudolph – $487,442.75
- Fabiano Kovalski – $401,792.69
- Daniel Dvoress – $249,324.38
- Marc Lange – $163,003.40
- Luciano Hollanda – $111,782.88
- Yuri Dzivielevski – $86,398.93
- Sebastian Henao – $68,180.78
- Rainer Kempe – $54,088.76
- Stoyan Obreshkov – $42,711.11