WSOP Online Update: New Jersey Players Shine in Early Action, Drew Oconnell Notches Second Bracelet Win

September 15, 2022
WSOP Online Update: New Jersey Players Shine in Early Action, Drew Oconnell Notches Second Bracelet Win

The World Series of Poker Online kicked off at WSOP.com on Saturday for players in US markets after already running for international online poker players for several weeks at GGPoker.

In the US, the series runs through Oct. 18 with 33 bracelets on the line for the Nevada/New Jersey markets. The Pennsylvania and Michigan markets will also see six bracelets awarded in each state.

The first week saw some major scores from players in New Jersey including Drew Oconnell continuing a nice run of recent success. One event also wrapped up in both Michigan and Pennsylvania. Here’s a look at the action so far.

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Event 1: $400 No Limit Hold’em Kick-Off

This event got the bracelet action underway and attracted 474 entries and 281 rebuys for a $271,800 prize pool. After 11 hours of play, Israel’s Ori Hasson grabbed his first bracelet and $58,491 in prize money. He also has $676,427 in live tournament winnings and the online win becomes one of his biggest career scores.

The win came as Hasson was involved in a bit of multi-tasking to play in the tournament.

New York’s Gary Belyalovsky finished runner-up for $36,231. Some other big names made some deep runs as well. Andrew Lichtenberger took fourth for $17,477 with Jeff Madsen in fifth for $12,448.

Daniel Negreanu was also one of the chip leaders late in the action, but ultimately bowed out in 15th for $2,365. Pamela Brunson, daughter of Doyle, finished 13th for $2,365.

Event 2: $500 MonsterStack

Benjamin Garrick scored only his second WSOP cash in winning this event for $64,590. The poker player from Oregon notched the biggest win of his poker career, live or online.

 The tournament attracted 508 entries for a $314,100 prize pool. New Jersey grinder Aditya Sadhu finished runner-up for $39,930.

Event 3: $3,200 High Roller

It was a battle of New Jersey online poker players in this one as players from the Garden State took the top two spots. Drew Oconnell, of Middletown, continued a nice run by taking his second bracelet and $96,087.

The win comes after grabbing his third championship ring in the WSOP.com Online Circuit Series in August for $13,773. He also won a ring online in May as well.

Oconnell’s first bracelet win also came online in 2021. He took down the $1,000 NLHE Championship last year for $146,893.

Another New Jersey grinder excelled in this event as well. Shaun O’Donnell, of Succasunna, took runner-up for $59,371. Longtime poker pros Calvin Anderson and Ryan Laplante finished third for $40,825 and fourth for $28,611, respectively. 

Event 4: $1,000 Pot Limit Omaha Six-Max 

This tournament produced a field of 273, bringing a $245,700 prize pool. Soheb Porbandarwala snagged his first bracelet and $57,125. The player from Connecticut adds to a poker resumé that already includes six WSOP Circuit rings and $1.1 million in live tournament winnings.

Another New Jersey player shined in this one as well, with Andre Nyffeler, of Mahwah, finishing in second for $40,909.

One event complete in Pennsylvania, Michigan with more action this weekend

Players in the Pennsylvania and Michigan markets also had their first bracelet tournaments play out on Sept. 11. Both states saw a $500 MonsterStack play out with Richard Ali winning the title in Pennsylvania for $20,716.

The player from Oakdale scored his first bracelet after 22 WSOP cashes. Casey Hatmaker, of Chambersburg, finished in second place for $14,835.

In Michigan,  Michael Hepworth came out on top for $18,205. This marked only the second WSOP cash for the player from Northville. Christopher Childers, of Grand Blanc, took runner-up for $13,037.

Next up in both states is a $365 NLHE event set for Sept. 18. A $400 Ultra Deepstack PKO follows on Sept. 25.

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Looking ahead

Beyond those Pennsylvania events, plenty of action lies ahead for players in the New Jersey/Nevada market in the coming days as well. That includes three upcoming deepstack events including a $600 championship. Here’s a look at the schedule in the coming week.

  • $500 Turbo Deepstack (Event 5, Sept. 15)
  • $800 Ultra Deepstack (Event 6, Sept.. 17)
  • $365 NLHE (Event 7, Sept. 18)
  • $1,000 NLHE Six-Max (Event 8, Sept. 18)
  • $600 Deepstack Championship (Event 9, Sept. 20)

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