Christian Rudolph Takes Down First-Ever $25K WSOP Online Poker Players Championship

The WSOP Online Series on GGPoker is nearing its conclusion, and the poker site saved the biggest events for last. Those include the $25,000 Poker Players Championship, a No-Limit Hold’em tournament won by Christian Rudolph for $1.8 million.

WSOP online Christian Rudolph

Christian Rudolph is now $1.8 million richer thanks to a lucky Saturday. (Image: WSOP.com)

The high-stakes online tournament replaces the annual $50,000 PPC in Las Vegas, which was postponed along with the entire 2020 World Series of Poker. There’s a major difference between the regular PPC, an eight-game mixed event, and the online version, which is exclusively an NLH tournament.

But massive amounts of cash were still at stake in GGPoker’s WSOP Online PPC. Rudolph advanced to Saturday’s final table, along with eight other players. He started in third position (28 big blinds) while Jason Koon, one of the top high rollers ever, led heading into the finale with 39 big blinds. Koon, however, couldn’t increase his distance from the pack and had a rough Day 2.

Koon was eliminated in a disappointing seventh place, but still earned $285,808 for yet another impressive run. Three other Americans reached the final table. Aram Zobian busted in fifth place, good for $529,005. Shankar Pillai hit the felt in third place for $979,138. And Chris Hunichen, North Carolina’s all-time live tournament money list leader (barely ahead of 2004 Main Event champ Greg Raymer), took the runner-up spot and received a $1,332,097 payday.

Rudolph Beats Stacked WSOP Online PPC Field

The $25,000 WSOP Online Poker Players Championship had 407 entries, with 55 paid spots. Many big-name pros cashed in the $10 million guaranteed tournament, including Scott Seiver (15th place for $104,078), Stephen Chidwick (19th place for $85,446), Chris Ferguson (21st place for $85,446), David Peters (32nd place for $70,150), and Sorel Mizzi (40th place for $70,150).

But none of those talented individuals could outlast Rudolph, a German pro who earned his first WSOP bracelet. He previously had 23 cashes in bracelet events for just over $1 million. You can add another $1,800,290 to that figure, along with his first major poker tournament title.

Heads-up play between Rudolph and Hunichen only lasted about 20 minutes. Rudolph began with the chip lead and quickly extended it, draining Hunichen’s stack to crumbs before getting lucky on the final hand with Q-10 against K-Q. The 10 spiked on the flop, giving Rudolph the winning hand and the WSOP Online Poker Players Championship title.

The WSOP Online Bracelet Series continues on Sunday with Day 2 of the Main Event. GGPoker raked in more than $27 million in buy-ins for that historic tournament, setting an online poker record. Main Event play continues through Sep. 6.

Jon Sofen
Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.

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