Canadians Represent Well in WSOP 2020 Online

Just like that, the World Series of Poker for the summer of 2020 is over.

It started with 31 tournaments in two American states, primarily aimed at players in the US market. And the second section, filled with 54 events on GGNetwork sites like GGPoker and Natural8, ran from mid-July through the first weekend in September.

The World Series of Poker awarded 85 gold bracelets in the WSOP 2020 Online, the alternative to the typical Las Vegas summer series at the Rio. The coronavirus pandemic prohibited a series there for the first time since the WSOP’s inception, so it went online. And while there were some glitches along the way, the 2020 WSOP seems to have been a success.

Canadian Stand-Out Performances

Up until the last week of the WSOP 2020, these were the highlights of Canadian players in the series:

No more Canadians won in the last week, but several of them ran deep in the Main Event and in the overall WSOP leaderboard competitions.

Madanzhiev Wins Main Event for Bulgaria

As a reminder, the 2020 WSOP Main Event was a $5K buy-in with three entries allowed per player. And there were 23 starting flights to take shots at those entries.

GGPoker and the WSOP put a $25 million guarantee on the tournament, another first for the Main Event. But the players flocked to the tournament and ultimately put the numbers over the top.

  • Total entries: 5,802
  • Total prize pool: US$27,559,500

A number of Canadians made it into the money, the top ones being:

  • 28th place: Ricky Tang ($55,880)
  • 53rd place: Evan Parkes ($39,214)
  • 61st place: David Thorne ($30,776)
  • 75th place: Sam Greenwood ($30,776)
  • 81st place: Kliment Tarmakov ($27,675)
  • 92nd place: Aram Zobian ($27,675)
  • 93rd place: Gianluca Cedolia ($27,675)
  • 100th place: Aidan Tam ($27,675)
  • 121st place: Isaac Haxton ($24,886)
  • 128th place: Mike Leah ($24,886)
  • 144th place: Jonathan Kozel ($24,886)
  • 145th place: Marc-Andre Ladouceur ($24,886)
  • 158th place: Patrick Blye ($24,886)
  • 163rd place: Simon La ($22,378)
  • 183rd place: Jamie Drisdelle ($22,378)
  • 188th place: Mathew Johnson ($22,378)
  • 190th place: Yuan Yuan Li ($22,378)
  • 192nd place: Tim Rutherford ($22,378)

In addition, more than 50 more Canadians cashed in the group of 728 players who made at least $11,834 for their efforts. The list included players like Victor Ramdin, Ari Engel, and Vanessa Kade.

When the final day of the tournament played out on Saturday, September 5, the 38 starters whittled down to just nine at the final table. The action was fairly fast. Along the way, Stoyan Madanzhiev and Wenling Gao mostly dominated final table play, and they ended up competing heads-up for the title. The Bulgarian man won out over the Chinese woman for the top prize.

  • 1st place: Stoyan Madanzhiev (Bulgaria) $3,904,686
  • 2nd place: Wenling Gao (China) $2,748,605
  • 3rd place: Tyler Rueger (US) $1,928,887
  • 4th place: Thomas Ward (New Zealand) $1,353,634
  • 5th place: Satoshi Isomae (Japan) $949,937
  • 6th place: Joao Santos (Brazil) $666,637
  • 7th place: Stefan Shillhabel (Germany) $467,825
  • 8th place: Tyler Cornell (US) $328,305
  • 9th place: Samuel Taylor (US) $230,395

WSOP 2020 Leaderboard Finishes

The leaderboard for the 54 events on GGPoker is not necessarily complete or accurate. This has been an ongoing issue throughout the series, as the flags don’t necessarily represent the proper home countries of the players.

For example, the leaderboard shows Connor Drinan in second place on the leaderboard representing Canada. However, Drinan is famously an American player, who may have been playing in the series from a Canadian location but is normally represented by an American flag.

The same can be said for Shankar Pillai in eighth place. There is a Canadian flag next to his name on the leaderboard, but he is an American player.

Regardless, here is the final leaderboard standings with actual Canadian players highlighted:

  • 1st place: Stoyan “Nirvana76” Madanzhiev (Serbian flag, Bulgarian player) = 10,790.66 points
  • 2nd place: Connor Drinan (Canadian flag, American player) = 9,519.35 points
  • 3rd place: Chris Rudolph (Austrian flag, German player) = 7,566.31 points
  • 4th place: Daniel Dvoress (Canada) = 6,513.57 points
  • 5th place: Brunno Botteon de Albuquerque (Brazil) = 6,345.54 points
  • 6th place: Enrico “GTOExploiter” Camosci (Tunisian flag, Italian player) 6,313.36 points
  • 7th place: Alek “astazz” Stasiak (Canada) = 6,174.4 points
  • 8th place: Shankar Pillai (Canadian flag, American player) = 5,759.74 points
  • 9th place: Ivan “zufo16” Zufic (Croatia) = 5,719.69 points
  • 10th place: Ravid “jerbi9999” Garbi (Israel) 5,674.97 points

GGPoker calculated the points as f*sqrt (prize pool/k). F is calculated as 2 for a first-place finish, 1.5 for a final table, 1 for an in-the-money finish, and 0.5 for the bubble. Then the K is the actual finishing place.

Final WSOP Numbers and Stats: GGPoker

These numbers came from the official WSOP-GGPoker press release upon the conclusion of the series. It seems that these numbers pertain only to the 54 events on the GGNetwork.

Some of the totals are impressive:

  • Total prize money paid in 54 events: $147,789,550
  • Total number of entries: 239,754
  • Number of nationalities: 166
  • Number of tournaments with a prize pool of $1M or more: 45
  • Number of tournaments with a prize pool of $5M or more: 5
  • Number of tournaments with a prize pool of $10M or more: 2
  • Number of tournaments with more than 10K entries: 5
  • Number of players who cashed more than 10 times: 281
  • Number of players who won at least $100K: 203

The only winner of multiple events in this 2020 series was Alek Stasiak of Canada, who won Events 33 and 52.

There were three female winners in this series as well: Kristen Bicknell in Event 44, Thi Truong in Event 74, and Melika Razavi in Event 82.

As for records, the WSOP on GGPoker set three:

  • Largest online poker tournament: Event 77 (Main Event) with $27,559,500 prize pool
  • Largest online poker tournament prize: Event 77 (Main Event) winner for $3,904,685
  • Most entries for a WSOP tournament: Event 71 (Big 50) with 44,576

Final WSOP Numbers and Stats: in US

For the record, the WSOP ran 31 bracelet events in the US in July, and those numbers were significant as well. The World Series of Poker did not provide final numbers, but Poker Industry Pro did.

For a series that ran in only two states – Nevada and New Jersey – with relatively low buy-ins, the overall numbers for the series were solid:

  • Total prize money paid in 31 events: $26,871,265
  • Total number of entries: 44,179
  • Total rake collected: $2,325,746
  • Largest prize pool: Event 31 (Championship) with $2,019,700 prize pool
  • Number of events with a prize pool of $1M or more: 6
  • Total first-place prizes paid: $4,718,447
  • Total places paid: 6,582 (excluding knockouts/bounties)
  • Largest number of entries in one event: Event 19 with 2,545 entries

It doesn’t make much sense to combine the numbers for both sections of the WSOP 2020 Online, as the markets were so very different. Everything from the buy-ins, tournament variations, player pools, to the access in various locations around the globe combine to create entirely different series.


Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. From her days in the WPT offices to covering summers of WSOP tournament action, she also followed gambling legislation to Washington D.C. and women-only poker to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, she lived in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for many years before moving back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Now, Jen travels less, writing about poker and online gambling from her home with her two dogs watching her every move. In her spare time, she follows politics, works on her never-finished novels, and learns Italian in the hopes of retiring to Italy someday.

If you want to know more, you can follow Jen on Twitter @WriterJen


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