A total of 395 entries were made in the 2020 $3,500 buy-in World Poker Tour Online Poker Open Main Event which ran from December 27–29 on the partypoker US Network. The strong turnout saw the $1,000,000 guarantee surpassed by more than a quarter of a million dollars, with $1,264,000 in total prize money ultimately paid out among the top 64 finishers in the first-ever WPT Main Tour online event held exclusively in New Jersey. In the end, the largest share of that money was awarded to eventual champion Soheb Porbandarwala, who took home $239,820 and his first WPT title for the win.
Porbandarwala has over $1 million in prior recorded tournament scores, with five World Series of Poker Circuit rings to his name. The Stamford, Connecticut native began the final day of this tournament as the chip leader among the eight remaining players, with his 88.55 million representing 148 big blinds when play resumed with 300,000-600,000 and a 75,000 ante.
Daniel Buzgon was at his fourth WPT final table, but came in with the shortest stack of any of the final eight. He got the last of his stack in on a J66 holding QJ. His opponent Alex Farin held AQ, which was behind at the time, but the A on the turn changed everything. The 6 on the river locked up the pot for Farin and eliminated Buzgon in eighth place ($28,727).
Porbandarwala added to his lead by securing the next two eliminations, sending Tim Kuder (7th – $41,217) and Alex Farin (6th – $56,830) to the rail to take more than a 2:1 lead on the next largest stack at the table. Obli Prabu was the next player to fall. Pocket kings were unable to hold up against the A-J of Matt Iles and Prabu was sent home with $75,564 as the fifth-place finisher.
Balakrishna Patur is the chip leader at the delayed WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table that was set in the spring but has not yet played out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He got all-in with pocket fours and was at risk when Porbandarwala called with pocket jacks. Patur spiked a four on the turn, though, to make a set and double into the chip lead. Porbandarwala regained the top spot not long after, though, and extended his lead by knockout out ‘anomalous’ in fourth place ($95,948).
The lead was traded yet again when Patur’s KQ outran the A3 of Matt Iles to send the later to the virtual rail in third place ($127,398). With that, Patur took 207 million into heads-up play against Porbandarwala’s 184 million in chips.
The final two players battled it out for over two hours. By the time the final hand was dealt, Porbandarwala had built roughly a 6:1 chip lead. Patur shoved from the button for for 45.1 million with K6 and Porbandarwala called holding AQ. The board ran out J44107 and Porbandarwala’s ace-high was good to secure the pot and the title. Patur earned $164,868 as the runner-up finisher.
Here is a look at the payouts awarded at the final table:
While this is the first WPT Main Tour online event to be held in the US, the tour did hold several international-facing main tour events earlier this year. The first was the $3,200 buy-in WPT Championship held in May, which drew 2,130 entries to create a $6,390,000 prize pool. Christian Jeppsson took home $923,786 as the champion. The WPT then hosted the massive WPT World Online Championships from July through late September, with five main tour main events included on the schedule, including a $10,300 buy-in that featured a $10,000,000 guarantee. Phillip Mighall emerged victorious in that event, topping a field of 1,011 entries to earn $1,550,298.
Winner photo credit: Borgata Poker Blog.