You could be forgiven if you didn’t know it, but the 2020 online WSOP Main Event is ready to start “Day 2” this afternoon. To cover their $25 million guarantee, however, they have had to run 22 “Day Ones,” even running one on the VERY SAME DAY as the start of “Day 2.” In other related news, the “Poker Players’ Championship” was determined on Saturday night, with Christian Rudolph outlasting Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen for the championship.
Looks Like Guarantee Will Be Met
For the 2020 online WSOP Main Event, they will need a smattering of players on Sunday, but it looks like they are going to best the $25 million guarantee. To this point in the tournament, 4944 entries have been registered for the “Main Event.” That is only 56 entries from cracking the 5000 entries that would be necessary to keep GGPoker from dipping into their pockets to cover the guarantee.
There is a long list of players who have been able to work their way through to “Day 2,” although it isn’t known how many bullets they had to fire. Each player was allowed three entries into the tournament at $5000 a shot; if a player fired all three times, they would be in for $15K and probably have to drive deeper than a min-cash to get their money back. And, believe it or not, there were players who took up all three bullets and will have nothing to show for it.
Daniel Negreanu is on top of that list, failing to turn any of his bullets into a ticket to the “Day 2” festivities. He was joined by Christopher Kruk and others such as Philipp Gruissem, Andy Black and Shawn Buchanan either have exhausted their ammunition and are done or they have one more shot on Sunday. But one pro will be sitting on top of the world when “Day 2” starts on Sunday.
Kahle Burns appears to have racked up the biggest stack of the multiple “Day Ones” on the roster. On “Day 1L,” Burns was able to put together a stack of 1,387,282 chips. This puts him ahead of the roughly 1000 players who remain in the event, but they’ve got some travails ahead of them. Sunday’s action will play down to 40 players, so it is going to be a long night’s play for those involved.
Christian Rudolph Takes Online PPC Title
After resting for a week to get ready for the fight, Christian Rudolph returned on Saturday to defeat Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen to capture the $25,000 online version of the WSOP’s “Poker Players’ Championship.” The reason we have “Poker Players’ Championship” is that the only reason that the tournament could earn that title was the buy-in; the only game played was No Limit Texas Hold’em, instead of the traditional mixed game format that the PPC has.
The tournament failed to reach its guaranteed $10 million prize pool, with 407 entries coming to the felt. That would result in GGPoker (or, in this case, probably the WSOP) paying out the additional $2.3 million to make up the overlay. Those that were at the final table didn’t care, however, as they were guaranteed six figure paydays and the eventual champion more than $1.8 million.
Shankar Pillai started out the day with the chip lead, but Hunichen quickly caught him when he doubled up through Jason Koon to take over the lead. ‘Big Huni’ was content to watch the action as Rudolph emerged as a contender. He was responsible for taking down Brunno Botteon, Aram Zobian and Aleksejs Ponakovs in sixth through fourth places, respectively. Once Hunichen eliminated Pillai in third place, the heads-up match was set with Rudolph holding a slight lead of 1.8 million chips (21.2 million to 19.4 million).
It could have taken some time for the duo to decide a champion, but it only took 20 minutes in the end. Rudolph quickly jumped out to a bigger lead, however, catching a Broadway straight on the river to beat Hunichen’s flopped two pair. He continued to stretch out the lead, getting Hunichen down to only eight big blinds before the end came. On the final hand, Hunichen shoved all in with a K-Q and Rudolph looked him up with a lesser Q-10. A ten on the flop pushed Rudolph to the lead, but Hunichen had two overs and a gut shot draw at a straight. Neither of those came home as the board finished off with a trey and a seven to crown Rudolph the champion.
1. Christian Rudolph, $1,800,290
2. Chris Hunichen, $1,332,097
3. Shankar Pillai, $979,138
4. Aleksejs Ponakovs, $719,700
5. Aram Zobian, $529,005
6. Brunno Botteon, $388,837
7. Jason Koon, $285,808
8. Paulius Plausinaitis, $210,079
9. Aliaksei Boika, $154,416