Michael Gathy Wins Fourth World Series of Poker Bracelet

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Belgian poker pro Michael Gathy has won the final event on the schedule for the 2020 World Series of Poker Online. Gathy overcame a field of 4,012 total entries to emerge victorious in the $500 buy-in no-limit hold’em ‘Closer’ event, earning $272,504 and his fourth WSOP gold bracelet as the champion. He became just the 51st player in poker history to have won four or more bracelets.

Gathy first won at the series in 2012, taking down a $1,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event for $440,829. The following year he won another $1,000 buy-in tournament, this time featuring a turbo structure. He took home $278,613 for that victory. His most recent run to the winner’s circle prior to taking down this event came when he won the $5,000 buy-in six-max no-limit hold’em event in 2016 for a career-best $560,843. He now has more than $2.1 million in career earnings at the WSOP.

The strong turnout for this event created a final prize pool of $1,905,700, which was paid out among the top 476 finishers. Yuan Yuan Li held the chip lead when the final table was set, with Gathy in second chip position and two-time bracelet winner Shankar Pillai not far behind. Li extended her lead by cracking the pocket aces of Toni Ojala, flopping a set with pocket fives to send Ojala to the rail with $25,485 as the eighth-place finisher.

Paul Hockin was the next to fall. He got all-in preflop with AClub SuitJSpade Suit and received a call from Li, who held KHeart SuitQHeart Suit. Li flopped a queen and held from there to eliminate Hockin in seventh place ($35,751).

Craig Mason’s run in this event came to an end when he got the last of his very short stack into the middle holding QSpade Suit7Club Suit out of the small blind. Erik Von Buxhoeveden called from he big blind with ASpade Suit8Club Suit and made aces and eights by the river to knock Mason out in sixth place ($50,154).

Luis Gustavo Kamei shoved with AClub SuitDiamond Suit from the small blind and received a call from Gathy’s 10Club Suit6Spade Suit in the big blind, The board came down 7Heart Suit6Diamond Suit2Spade Suit5Diamond SuitQSpade Suit and Gathy’s pair of sixes was enough to send Kamei packing with $70,359 in earnings as the fifth-place finsiher.

Two pocket pairs calshed in the next big showdown. Von Buxhoeveden picked up pocket sixes and got all-in, only to find himself facing the pocket tens of Gathy. The superior pair remained the best hand after the five community cards were dealt and Von Buxhoeveden was eliminated in fourth place ($98,704).

Shankar Pillai was only two spots away from winning his third WSOP bracelet, but was the clear short stack when three-handed play began. He was unable to mount a big comeback, as he ultimately made the bottom end of a straight against the top end held by Yuan Yuan Li. Pillai took home $138,467 for his latest deep run this series. He has made 15 in-the-money finishes during the WSOPO, cashing for more than $1.2 million along the way. His largest score saw him earn $979,138 for a third-place showing in the $25,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em event.

Gathy took roughly a 3:2 chip lead into heads-up play against Li. The final showdown lasted only a matter of minutes. The last deal of the event saw Li pick up QSpade Suit7Spade Suit on the button and get all-in. Gathy came along with ASpade Suit3Club Suit and the board ran out KDiamond Suit5Club Suit4Diamond Suit10Heart Suit4Spade Suit. Gathy’s ace high secured him the pot and the title, while Li was awarded $194,248 as the runner-up.

Here is a look at the payotus awarded at the final table:

PlaceWinnerCountryPrize (in USD)
1Michael “Hneves” GathyBelgium$272,504
2Yuan Yuan “SunnySummer” LiChina$194,248
3Shankar PillaiUnited States$138,467
4Erik “KoiOfTheHill” Von BuxhoevedenGermany$98,704
5Luis Gustavo “DJLITTLESOUL” KameiBrazil$70,359
6Craig “mrfeeny” MasonUnited States$50,154
7Paul “Wizardofodds” HockinNew Zealand$35,751
8Toni “FinBuddha” OjalaFinland$25,485
9Vitor “SPEWberg” AdironBrazil$18,166