Phillip Mighall has won the 2020 World Poker Tour World Online Championships $10,300 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event. The British player defeated a field of 1,011 total entries in the tournament to earn his first WPT title and the top prize of $1,550,298.
The event featured a $10,000,000 guarantee, which was surpassed when the strong turnout resulted in a final prize pool of $10,110,000. The top 136 finishers made the money in this event, with plenty of big names cashing including Jason Koon (131st – $23,253), Jake Schindler (130th – $23,253), Mike Watson (120th – $25,275), Steve O’Dwyer (118th – $25,275), Isaac haxton (93rd – $27,297), Timothy Adams (81st – $29,319), four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Shaun Deec (65th – $33,363), two-time bracelet winner Chance Kornuth (60th – $35,385), WPT champion Dan Smith (54th – $37,407), three-time bracelet winner Upeshka De Silva (17th – $58,638), three-time bracelet winner Davidi Kitai (14th – $78,858), and high-stakes regular Artur Martirosian (10th – $103,122).
When the final table of nine was set, it was Argentina’s Damian Salas who held the chip lead. The 2017 WSOP main event seventh-place finisher entered the day with 74 big blinds, which was five more than Mighall had as the second-largest stack.
The first player to hit the virtual rail was Laszlo Molnar. He got all-in with AJ up against the JJ of Victor Simionato. The pocket jacks held up and Molnar was eliminated in ninth place ($127,386). Shortly after that, Akseli Paalanen was at risk with AK against another big pocket pair for Simionato: QQ. Niether player improved by the river and Paalanen settled for $153,672 as the eighth-place finisher.
Bert Stevens, known in online poker circles as ‘GirafGanger’, shoved his last 15 or so big blinds with Q10 from the small blind. Blaz Zerjav called with A5 out of the big blind and his ace-high remained the best hand after the five community cards were dealt.. Stevens earned $194,112 for his seventh-place showing.
2016 European Poker Tour Dublin main event winner Dzmitry Urbanovich’s run in this event came to an end when his AK was outflopped by the AQ of Teun Mulder. The two got all-in preflop and the board came down Q985J to see Urbanovich eliminated in sixth place ($$277,014).
Victor Simionato surged into the lead during the early action at the final table, but fell back into the middle of the pack during short-handed play. In his final hand he raised to 2,500,000 with QJ out of the big blind facing a limp from Zerjav in the small blind with A3. The flop came down 952 and Zerjav checked to Simionato, who bet 2,900,000. Zerjav called with his gutshot and backdoor flush possibilities. The K turn saw Zerjav check again. Simionato bet 6,900,000 and Zerjav called. The 4 on the river gave Zerjav a straight. He checked and Simionato bet 19,300,000 to leave himself with less than a big blind behind. Zerjav called with his straight and took down the massive pot. Simionato was knocked out in the following hand, earning $391,257 as the fifth-place finisher.
Despite winning that pot, Zerjav was the next to be eliminated. He got the last of his stack in the middle with 66 only to run into the KK of Mighall. Zerjav was unable to come from behind and hit the rail in fourth place ($552,006).
Damian Salas’ final hand in this event was a rollercoaster ride. He got all-in preflop in a classic race situation, with KQ up against the 33 of Mighall. The AK7 flop gave Salas a pair of kings to surge into the lead, and the Q turn furthered his advantage in the hand. Mighall had less than a five percent chance of taking down the pot heading into the river, but the 3 appeared to give him a winning set of threes on the end. Salas earned $814,663 for his third-place showing. This was the second-largest score of his career, behind the $1.4 million he earned as the seventh-place finisher in the 2017 WSOP main event.
With that, Mighall took roughly a 5:3 chip lead into heads-up play against Teun Mulder. The two exchanged the lead early on in their back-and-forth battle, but it was Mighall who sat on top when the final hand of the tournament was dealt. Mulder raised to 3,500,000 from the button with AA and Mighall three-bet to 12,800,000 from the big blind with 107.Mulder just called and the flop came down AJ9. Mighall bet 12,800,000 with a gutshot straight draw and Mulder called with his top set. The 8 on the turn completed Mighall’s straight and he moved all-in. Mulder called and was shown the bad news. He needed a board pair on the river to keep his hopes alive, but the 2 was of no help. Mulder was awarded $1,396,968 as the runner-up finisher, a figure that was higher than the initial standard payouts called for thanks to a deal struck between the final two players.
Here is a look at the payouts awarded at the final table:
Mighall photo credit: WPT.