Nahrain “2Rivers” Tamero Wins 2020 WSOP Online $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship

  • Tamero won $310,832 for his first career WSOP bracelet
  • "2Rivers" overcame a 2.5-to-1 heads-up chip disadvantage to beat Norman Michalek
  • U.S. phase of the 2020 WSOP Online is done; the action now moves to GGPoker
Poker player with pocket aces as hole cards
Nahrain Tamero, playing under the WSOP.com screenname “2Rivers,” won the 2020 WSOP Online $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship.

First WSOP bracelet for the champ

Nahrain “2Rivers” Tamero won the 2020 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Online Series Event #31: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship early Saturday morning, earning his first career gold bracelet and $310,832. The tournament was the final event of the U.S. leg of the 2020 WSOP Online, held on WSOP.com in New Jersey and Nevada.

the event attracted 1,455 players and 671 re-entries, building a prize pool of $2,019,700

The $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship, effectively the “Main Event” of the WSOP.com-based Series, allowed late entries for about four hours and up to two re-entries per player. Players had to opt to re-enter the tournament within 30 seconds of being eliminated. In all, the event attracted 1,455 players and 671 re-entries, building a prize pool of $2,019,700.

The top four finishers earned six-figure paydays. After Tamero, the other players earning at least $100,000 were Norman “abnormality” Michalek, Andrew “WATCHGUY42” Lichtenberger, and Brian “foxxx” Kirchhoff.

Ian “APokerJoker2” Steinman, who finished in 314th place, ended the WSOP.com portion of the 2020 WSOP Online atop the leaderboard, earning $18,000 for the honor.

Overcame huge heads-up deficit

The World Series of Poker publishes the real names of players who made the money, which is a good thing, because those providing live updates for WSOP.com and the WSOP broadcast team of David Tuchman and Maria Ho didn’t know Tamero’s name while the action was taking place.

Tamero began final table play in third place with 6.167 million chips. Kirchhoff was the leader with 9.729 million and Lichtenberger was in second with 7.844 million. In eliminating the ninth and fifth place finishers, however, Tamero grew his chip stack to 15.391 million in less than an hour. In the meantime, Michalek was doing even more damage to the rest of the table, building up his stack to 30.524 million by the time the two men met heads-up on the virtual felt.

Despite the significant chip disadvantage – he had about 12 million by the time heads-up rolled around – Tamero sniffed out two bluffs to gain the lead. And it was another picked-off bluff that won it for him.

On the final hand, Tamero raised to 1 million pre-flop and Michalek called to bring on a river of 8d-6d-Kc. Michalek checked, Tamero bet another 1 million chips, and then Michalek check-raised him to 2.5 million. With the Qd on the turn, Michalek bet 2.75 million and Tamero called. The Ts fell on the river, prompting Michalek to move all-in for 5.677 million chips. Tamero called immediately to reveal Kd-8s for a flopped two-pair. Michalek had nothing – it was a pure bluff with only 5s-4d.

WSOP continues on GGPoker

Though the 2020 WSOP Online has run its course on WSOP.com, it continues on GGPoker. Open for players outside of the United States, the 54-event GGPoker portion of the schedule began July 19 and goes through September 6. The $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event is half the cost of the traditional WSOP Main Event, but GGPoker and WSOP are guaranteeing a $25m prize pool. The Main Event will have several Day 1 flights starting August 16, with Day 2 kicking off on August 30.

a greater-than-expected volume of traffic caused slowdowns and registration problems

Though things have gone smoothly since, the first weekend of the 2020 WSOP Online on GGPoker was marred by technical issues. On Sunday, July 19, a greater-than-expected volume of traffic caused slowdowns and registration problems from about 2pm to 5pm UTC. GGPoker needed to take down the servers for a bit to fix the problem.

The poker site extended late registration to make up for the outage, but in doing so, created a different technical issue, resulting in widespread disconnections.

If that wasn’t bad enough, late Sunday night into Monday morning, GGPoker got hit by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, resulting in players not being able to login. DDoS attacks are normally stopped before they cause problems, but by upgrading the servers before the WSOP Online began, GGPoker inadvertently removed some of its protections.