The 2021 World Series of Poker Online $1,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em ‘Millionaire Maker’ event guaranteed that the eventual champion would walk away with at least $1,000,000. The event attracted a massive field of 5,437 total entries by the time registration closed, blowing away the $5 million prize pool guarantee to see a total of $7,747,725 up for grabs. As a result, Brazil’s Eduardo Pires walked away with a whopping $1,384,013 after defeating Lukas Hafner heads-up to secure the title and his first WSOP gold bracelet.
This was by far the largest score of Pires’ career. Prior to this win, he had not yet recorded a six-figure cash, let alone a seven-figure payday like the one he earned as the champion of this event.
The final day of this event began with 953 players, with just 653 of them ultimately making the money. By the time the final table was set, Pires was in second place on the leaderboard behind fellow Brazilian Tauan Naves. Oskar Prehm (9th – $90,708) was the first to fall, with his A-4 failing to outrun the pocket fives of Naves. Tomas Jozonis (8th – $127,521) followed soon after when his A2 ran into the AK of Victor Begara.
2017 PokerStars Championship Barcelona main event runner-up finisher Lachezar Petkov’s run in this tournament came to an end when his A-9 clashed with the A-J suited of Naves. Petkov flopped a nine to take the lead, but Naves picked up the nut flush draw. The turn brought a jack to return Naves to the lead, and the river changed nothing. Petkov took home $179,275 as the seventh-place finisher.
Pires had worked his way into the lead heading during six-handed play. He scored his first knockout of the final table when he shoved K9 from the button into a pair of short stacks in the blinds. Victor Begara called from the small blind with AK and remained ahead through the turn, but the 9 on the river gave Pires a winning pair of nines. Begara was awarded $252,031 for his sixth-place showing.
Paul Fisher lost a huge pot with pocket kings against the 43 of Lukas Hafner, with the chips going in on a 642 flop. Hafner improved to a straight on the 5 and Fisher was left on fumes. Hafner’s A-K held up against Fisher’s A-7 not long after and Fisher was eliminated in fifth place ($354,317). Hafner scored the next knockout as well, with his A-5 outrunning the A9 of Xiongbin Zhang in a preflop showdown. A five on the flop gave Hafner a lead he never relinquished and Zhang hit the virtual rail in fourth place ($498,115).
Naves called off his last 6.5 big blinds with K5 from the big blind. Pires had picked up 99 in the small blind. Pires flopped a set and faded Naves’ outs for a gutshot straight to secure the pot. Naves was awarded $700,270 for his deep run in this event.
With that, Pires took the lead into heads-up play with Hafner. He quickly extended that advantage to more than 2:1 by picking off a Hafner bluff with J10 on a 105292. Hafner had picked up an open-ended straight draw on the turn with J8 but missed on the river.
In the final hand, Pires limped in from the button with 85 and Hafner checked with 73. The flop came down 762 and Hafner checked his top pair. Pires bet 3,500,000 with his open-ended straight draw and Hafner check-raised to 11,600,000. Pires called and the 4 on the turn gave him the nut straight. Hafner bet 19,691,000 and Pires flat called. The 8 on the river prompted Hafner to check. Pires moved all-in and Hafner called off his last 11 or so big blinds with his pair of sevens. Pires’ straight earned him the pot and the title, while Hafner cashed for $984,469 as the runner-up finisher.
Here is a look at the payouts awarded at the final table:
Photo credits: Rational Intellectual Holdings Ltd.