One of the great British ska bands from the late 1970s/early 80s was the group Madness, who’s main claim to fame (other than a little ditty called “Our House”) was an instrumental called “One Step Beyond.” On Friday night, Ryan ‘Im.Sorry’ Torgerson took that adage to its full fruition, going “one step beyond” his previous best finish in a WSOP tournament in capturing the championship of the $600 No Limit Hold’em Monster Stack at the 2020 online WSOP.
First Million Dollar Prize Pool of the Series
To say that the players were ready to go on Friday afternoon in New Jersey and Nevada would be a significant understatement. By the time late registration ended, 1505 unique players had dropped their entry fee at the virtual cage. As this event featured a re-entry component, there were 569 people who thought they’d do better with a second bullet than the first. In the end, it would build the first million-dollar prize pool of the 2020 online WSOP.
Compared to 2019, the $1,119,960 prize pool was significant achievement. In 2019, the first online event on the World Series of Poker schedule, a $400 No Limit event (Event #7), cracked the million-dollar mark ($1,017,002). Of the nine online events in 2019, five of them would eclipse that million-dollar plateau. This is the first time in 2020 that an event has passed over a $1 million prize pool.
329 players would capture their piece of the million-dollar prize pool, with several poker notables picking up a cash and a WSOP line on their Hendon Mob resume. 2020 online WSOP bracelet winner Joon ‘jykpoker’ Kim picked up some more cash with his 157th place finish, joined by a couple of other bracelet winners in Ron ‘MacDaddy15’ McMillen in 65th place and Robert ‘bustinballs’ Kuhn in 19th place. By the time they hit the final table, Eric ‘bill_luga’ Blair was in the chip lead with Nick ‘DuckFlush’ Pupillo and veteran pro Sam ‘texasmolly’ Grizzle in hot pursuit.
Torgerson Bides Time, Strikes at Opportune Moment
Torgerson was at the bottom of the standings at the start of the final table, but he would bide his time until an opportune moment to strike. Meanwhile, the lead would shift hands rapidly, with Blair holding the top slot for a bit until Grizzle would emerge from a wild hand that knocked Blair out of the lead in a stunning suck/resuck.
The money would go in pre-flop, with Torgerson putting Grizzle at risk holding A-Q to Grizzle’s pocket Kings (Blair, for his part, got out of the way after “only” expending 1.2 million chips). A Q-9-9 flop gave Torgerson some hope that was delivered when another lady came on the turn to give him a full house. The river is a cruel mistress, however, as it spiked with a King to give Grizzle a bigger boat (how about we call this the “Orca?”) and take over the chip lead with more than 22 million chips. Torgerson, meanwhile, sunk to only about 5.9 million in chips to become the short stack.
It would have been easy for Torgerson to just give up at that point, but his fortitude shone over the next few hands. Torgerson would grind his way back into the mix, taking the chip lead from Grizzle in knocking out ‘letsgetit888’ in fifth place to sit on 32.851 million chips. He would get revenge against Grizzle when play reached three handed, rivering a set of tens against Grizzle’s flopped pair of Queens to send the veteran out of the tournament in third place and set Torgerson up against Brandon ‘Omni27’ Ienn with a roughly 24 million chip lead.
The heads-up battle lasted all of five minutes. Torgerson would move all in (blinds were at 500K/1 million with a 100K ante) and Ienn called off his stack. Ienn’s A-7 off suit was impressive for heads up, but Torgerson had Ienn outpipped with an A-8 for action. Once the ten high board rolled out, the kickers came into play and Torgerson topped his performance from Event #9 the only way he could – by winning Event #10 and taking down the 2020 online WSOP bracelet.
1. Ryan ‘Im.Sorry’ Torgerson, $172,361
2. Brandon ‘Omni27’ Ienn, $106,508
3. Sam ‘texasmolly’ Grizzle, $77,725
4. Eric ‘bill_luga’ Blair, $57,229
5. ‘letsgetit888,’ $42,558
6. Brent ‘grebnrets’ Roberts, $31,918
7. ‘Fatstax,’ $24,079
8. Nick ‘DuckFlush’ Pupillo, $18,367
9. Tom ‘4Logan’ Dean, $14,234