The tournament attracted 1,195 runners who rebought 520 times to create a 1,715-entry field and $771,750 prize pool.

For much of the tournament, all eyes were on Phil “Lumestackin” Hellmuth as he made a run at bracelet No. 16, but he eventually fell by the wayside two spots shy of the final table. Down the stretch, it was Ohio’s Jonathan “Art.Vandelay” Dokler who sped to the finish line to capture the title for $130,425.75 and his first gold bracelet.

Prior to the victory, Dokler had $105,159 in live tournament earnings, nearly all of which came when he won the Borgata Winter Poker Open $5,100 High Roller back in January for $100,829. Two months later, he won the Online Super Circuit Series Event #9: $150,000 GTD NLH Monster Stack 2x Re-entry for $77,910 and his first WSOPC gold ring.

After Darren Elias bubbled the tournament in 249th place – the result of losing a flip with ace-king to the pocket fives of Shawn “SayGoodNight” Daniels – the in-the-money finishes came quick and included Taylor “gambol_time” Howard (26th – $3,935.92), Mike “mouth123” Matusow (44th – $2,623.95), Clayton “clayfletch” Fletcher (64th – $1,620.67), David “davedadonk” Gutfreund (76th – $1,466.32), Alex “RIP_Neiko” Rocha (95th – $1,157.62), Jesse “MrJesseJames” Sylvia (137th – $1,003.27), Katie “Katelin” Lindsay (149th – $1,003.27), Melisa “NJ_Melisa” Singh (173rd – $926.10), and poker lawyer Maurice “Mac” VerStandig (196th – $771.75).

As mentioned earlier, Hellmuth was the center of attention for a good part of the tournament, including when he took the chip lead with just two tables left. Unfortunately, a bad run of cards combined with some lost flips in crucial spots led to his demise in 11th place.

In his final hand, Hellmuth three-bet jammed his last 21 big blinds preflop holding pocket queens against Daniels, who had opened with ace-king. Daniels called and promptly flopped a king to take a commanding lead. Hellmuth failed to get lucky and just like that the fireworks fizzled.

At the final table, Dokler began to amass chips with approximately six players remaining and contended with WPT commentator Tony “Panoramic” Dunst, who was the last bracelet winner in the field. Dokler ended up notching four eliminations at the final table, including the last two.

First, he won a big flip with ace-king against Dunst’s pocket nines when a king spiked on the river. That allowed him to take a 19.1 million to 6.5 million chip lead into heads-up play against Justin “MadTitan” Turner, who largely nursed a short stack at the final table to ladder up.

In what would be the final hand of the tournament, Turner was flipping with ten-six against Dokler’s pocket fours. The former flopped top pair, but the latter turned a straight to seal the deal and become the first bracelet winner of the 2020 WSOP.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *