The Mini Main Event of the WPT World Online Championships is over and a final table deal saw Renan Carlos Bruschi take home the title and $504,582.
Nine players logged into Partypoker on Wednesday for the latest WPT finale. Livius-Rodrig Bartha led the way, but all hell broke loose as the chips started to fly.
With everyone guaranteed at least $45,600 and more than $750,000 up top, the pace was fast from the start.
Rail Watches Major Drama Unfold in Mini Main Finale
As it’s been throughout the series, all the action from the $1,050 Mini Main Event was streamed live online. Under the watchful eye of pros such as James Dempsey, the finalists put on a show for those on the rail.
Germany’s Tobias Koerper was the first to fall. Despite being the short stack, Koerper lasted for the best part of 30 minutes before losing his chips. In the end, A♣ T♣ would be his undoing.
The action folded to Koerper in the cutoff. With only three players to get through and the blinds representing a significant portion of his stack, he made a move. Arturs Balodis was next to act on the button and called the 5.5 BB shove with pocket sixes.
Everyone else folded and watched as the flop ran out T♥ 9♥ A♥. Koerper leapt into the lead with two pair, but Balodis had one heart in his hand. He didn’t need it though, as the 6♦ on the turn gave him a set before the 3♥ put the result beyond doubt.
With that, Koerper was out in ninth and Balodis started a run that would see him take home the tournament’s biggest prize.
Eliminations Elicit Deal Discussions
Ravil Tlimisov, Romans Voitovs, and Janis Loze were next out the door before Freek Scholten’s exit took the field down to four. At this point, the stacks were such that everyone wanted to run the numbers.
Even with a WPT World Online Championships title on the line, money remained a major focus at the final table. With more than $525,000 separating first and fourth place, there was a deal to be done.
The talks went well for all concerned. Chip leader Balodis locked up $535,268, while start-of-the-day kingpin Bartha banked $472,866.
Bruschi secured $454,582, while short stack Nichita Verbitchii got $339,606. That left $50,000 and a WPT title to play for.
Bruschi Bulldozes Final Four
Any civility shown during the negotiations was soon forgotten when the action resumed. With the small matter of a WPT World Online Championships title on the line, Bruschi seized his opportunity.
The defining hand of the tournament came down to a kicker. Bruschi flopped a pair with A♦ K♣ on a 5♦ A♣ 4♠ board. Fortunately for him, Bartha also flopped a pair with A♠ Q♣.
A series of bets followed and, with the board showing 5♦ A♣ 4♠ T♠ 9♦, Bruschi got his stack in on the river. Bartha called and quickly saw the bad news.
That hand catapulted Bruschi into the lead and left Bartha with six big blinds. The latter was out a few hands later before former chip leader Balodis followed suit.
By the time the tournament reached heads-up play, Bruschi had almost twice the chips Verbitchii had. It was one-way traffic from the start, but it took a fortunate river card for Bruschi to win the title (see video below).
In the final hand, Verbitchii turned a straight with 8♣ 6♣. However, with pocket eights, Bruschi was more than willing to go all the way on a 7♦ 4♥ 8♦ 5♣ board.
With a 4♣ on the river and a crafty check-raise from Bruschi, the match was over. Verbitchii called with a straight, but lost his stack to a full house. With that, Bruschi took the title and an extra $50,000.
WPT World Online Championships Mini Main Event Result
- Renan Carlos Bruschi – $504,582*
- Nichita Verbitchii – $339,606*
- Arturs Balodis – $535,268*
- Liviu-Rodrig Bartha – $472,866*
- Freek Scholten – $153,700
- Janis Loze – $104,450
- Romans Voitovs – $73,550
- Ravil Tlimisov – $55,425
- Tobias Koerper – $45,600
*Denotes a deal.