Drew O’Connell Battles Back to Win WSOP Online Championship, $147K

drew o connell wsop 2021
Drew O’Connell won the 2021 WSOP Online $1,000 Championship event on Saturday (Borgata photo)

When the final table of the 2021 World Series of Poker Online $1,000 Championship began late Saturday night, Drew O’Connell probably had dreams of spinning up his short stack and turning it into a WSOP bracelet. Over the 95 minutes that followed, O’Connell lived out that dream and earned nearly $147,000 for it.

Kyle Phillips raised to 125,000 from UTG+1 with [ac][qd] before Millard Hale shoved his 372,438 stack into the middle in the small blind with [as][kd]. Phillips called and then moved ahead on the [qs][jd][7d] flop. The [jh] turn changed nothing and the [6h] river made Hale’s ninth place finish official.

Despite picking up the first elimination, Phillips wasn’t able to stay around much longer. Just 17 minutes later, Phillips shoved for 1,234,307 with [9c][9s] before Jason Rivkin re-shoved for 1,933,619 with [jc][jh]. The rest of the table folded and Phillips could only watch the [4h][4s][2h][9c][ac] runout to end his run in eighth.

After starting the final table with the second smallest stack, O’Connell’s race to the bracelet began in earnest a few moments later when he doubled through Michael Trivett. On the next hand, Rivkin raised to 214,500 from UTG with [ad][kd] and Trivett called off his last 68,098 from the button with [qd][2d]. Dan Gallegos moved all in for 1,573,824 in the big blind with [tc][ts] and Rivkin called to put both players at risk. The [jc][9d][5d] flop kept Gallegos in front but gave Rivkin the nut flush draw. The [ks] gave Rivkin top pair and left Trivett drawing to a single out while Gallegos was down to three outs. The [5c] river missed both players and Trivett was eliminated in seventh place with Gallegos going out in sixth.

Action folded to Alex Foxen on the button and he raised to 200,000. Kfir Nahum called from the big blind. After the [kd][qd][jc] flop, Nahum check-called Foxen’s 125,000 bet. The turn was the [qs] and Nahum moved all in for 840,007 and Foxen called. Nahum showed [qh][9d] for trip queens but Foxen tabled [kc][qc] for a full house and Nahum was drawing dead as the [3s] river completed the board to eliminate Nahum in fifth.

With Rivkin leading, the other three players all sat with a very similar stack. Just a minute after busting Nahum, Foxen saw his tournament come to an end in a clash with one of the other players chasing Rivkin. Foxen called from the small blind and O’Connell checked his option. The flop came [9d][7h][4d] and Foxen bet 189,521 only to have O’Connell raise to 643,042. Foxen tanked briefly before moving all in for 3,323,789 and O’Connell called. Foxen tabled [ah][9s] for top pair but O’Connell showed [9h][7d] for top two pair. Neither the [2c] turn or the [4s] river were of any help for Foxen and he was eliminated in fourth place. That pot moved O’Connell into the chip lead for the first time.

Three-handed play went on for 42 minutes before reaching heads-up. Rivkin called from the button with [ac][td] and Felix Van De Put moved all in from the small blind for 2,767,618 with [as][2h]. Rivkin called and then watched the [qs][7h][3h][6c][kd] runout provide no relief for Van De Put to eliminate him in third.

When heads up play began, O’Connell held 8,999,534 and Rivkin was behind with 7,520,466. Rivkin battled back to retake the lead briefly before losing a critical pot with [ks][6s] against O’Connell’s [as][js] on a [jd][6d][4h][3s] board. The money went in on the turn and the [jh] river wasn’t able to improve Rivkin’s hand.

Down to just 10 big blinds, Rivkin drew a line in the sand on the very next hand and was shown the exit. Rivkin moved all in for 2,480,832 with [as][3h] and O’Connell called with [ac][qh]. Rivkin found no relief on the [9d][8h][2h][6s][2d] runout and was eliminated in second place to give O’Connell the victory.

The win came just 48 hours after O’Connell made the final table of Event #30 ($600 Six Max NLHE Championship) before busting in sixth place.

The event drew 537 unique entries who added 284 rebuys for 821 total entries and a $738,900 prize pool. The 2020 WSOP.com Championship event had 2,126 entries and a $2,019,700 prize pool.

Martin Zamani (126th – $1,477.80), Yueqi Zhu (92nd – $1,551.69), Ryan Leng (81st – $1,773.36), Ryan Depaulo (43rd – $2,881.71), Landon Tice (28th – $3,398.94), and Manig Loeser (23rd – $4,137.84) all managed to make it into the money on Saturday. Defending champion Nahrain Tamers finished 325th and did not cash.

Event #30 Final Table Payouts

  1. Drew ‘dudeguydrew’ O’Connell – $146,893
  2. Jason ‘jayriv’ Rivkin – $90,811
  3. Felix ‘madenspauwke’ Van De Put – $63,545
  4. Alex ‘OrcinusOrca’ Foxen – $45,147
  5. Kfir ‘Nahumus’ Nahum – $32,512
  6. Dan ‘omg_its_dan’ Gallegos – $23,793
  7. Michael ‘annie_r_u_ok’ Trivett – $17,660
  8. Kyle ‘Kpcp22’ Phillips – $13,300
  9. Millard ‘meekmill’ Hale – $10,197

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