The 2021 World Series of Poker Online $1,111 buy-in Caesars Cares Charity Event drew a field of 1,584 entries, building a prize pool of $1,759,824 while also raising $175,824 for the titular charity that supports those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Brazilian poker pro Joao Simao emerged victorious, capturing his first WSOP gold bracelet and the top prize of $206,075 for the win. This was Simao’s fourth-largest recorded tournament score, bringing his career earnings to more than $3.4 million.
Simao also has accumulated additional millions in online events that don’t report full real-name results. He was once the top-ranked online tournament player in the world according to PocketFives.
The final day of this event began with 20 players remaining and Simao in the lead. A number of big names were among the casualties as the field was narrowed down to a final table, including high-stakes tournament player Claas Segebrecht (18th – $7,839), two-time bracelet winner Elio Fox (15th – $8,973), and Spanish tournament pro Sergio Aido (13th – $10,270).
Roman Hrabec held the chip lead when the nine-handed final table began, with Simao in second place and Hungarian online tournament star Andras Nemeth hot on his heels. Peter Raimondi (9th – $20,607) was the first to fall when his K-Q couldn’t outrun the A-J of Tom Shaham. Just a few minutes later Le Fang was eliminated when his A-10 clashed with the A-J of Simao. Fang took home $27,480 for his eighth-place showing.
Nemeth earned his first knockout of the final table when his A8 beat out the K10 of Jinlong Hu (7th – $36,646). He sat in the lead entering six-handed play, but lost a big pot when his trip kings were outkicked by the trips of bracelet winner Espen Sandvik. Nemeth fell to the bottom of the leaderboard, while Sandvik soared into the top spot. Nemeth got the last of his chips in ahead with QQ facing the 66 of Simao, but the 75437 runout gave Simao a straight to send Nemeth to the rail in sixth place ($48,868).
Ilya Yakunin’s run in this event came to an end when his pocket tens lost to the pocket deuces of Sandvik. The chips wen in preflop, and Sandvik turned a deuce to make a winning full house. Yakunin earned $65,166 as the fifth-place finisher. Shortly after that hand took place, Roman Hrabec got all-in with AJ and was at risk against the AQ of Simao. Neither player improved and Hrabec was knocked out in fourth place (86,900).
Tom Shaham lost a flip to see his tournament end in third place ($115,884). His QJ was unable to beat the pocket nines of Sandvik, who took 27.9 million into heads-up play with Simao, who had 11.7 million to start.
There were a number of lead changes, but Simao picked off a bluff in one of the final hands of the event to take a commanding lead before the ultimate deal. Sandvik got the last of his stack in with Q10 and found himself dominated, with Simao holding AQ. The board ran out 10437J and Sandvik was eliminated in second place ($154,533). The 2019 WSOP Europe €2,500 mixed game event winner now has more than $282,312 in career tournament earnings to his name.
Here is a look at the payouts awarded at the final table: