The 2020 GGPoker World Series of Poker Online Bracelet Events have crowned another champion and it a third player from Brazil to claim what poker enthusiasts from all over the world dream about at night. After nearly 13 hours on the final day of Event #55: HK$8,000 NLHE Asia Championship, it was Luis "Xapilskinha" Assuncao Garla that topped a field of 3,247 entries after defeating poker coach Alexandros "THE Sheriff" Theologis in heads-up to claim the top prize of HK$3,551,611 ($461,709).
Only 479 players had survived their respective starting days and the top 404 finishers received a portion of the HK$24,677,200 ($3,208,036) prize pool, which more than tripled the initial guarantee. After all was done and dusted, Brazil cemented his status as stronghold for deep runs at the WSOP not just live in Las Vegas but also on the GGnetwork once more as the third victory is also accompanied by three runner-up finishes during the first half of the festival so far.
Final Result Event #55: HK$8,000 NLHE Asia Championship
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (in HK$)||Prize (~ in USD)|
|1||Luis "Xapilskinha" Assuncao Garla||Brazil||3,551,611 HKD||$461,709|
|2||Alexandros "THE Sheriff" Theologis||Greece||2,531,708 HKD||$329,122|
|3||Kunal "Alex_52" Bhatia||India||1,804,691 HKD||$234,610|
|4||Alan "TheCockroach" Schein||United States||1,286,442 HKD||$167,237|
|5||Wenhao "pwhwin" Peng||China||917,020 HKD||$119,213|
|6||Divanshu "d0rk21" Khurana||India||653,684 HKD||$84,979|
|7||Eduards "IlIlIlIliIIl" Kudrjavcevs||Latvia||465,967 HKD||$60,576|
|8||Vladas "Vladiator13" Tamasauskas||Lithuania||332,158 HKD||$43,180|
|9||Ignacio "Curandero" Moron||Spain||236,773 HKD||$30,780|
The best result of Assuncao Garla came a few years ago back in 2014 when he made it all the way to 34th place in the WSOP Main Event for a payday of $230,487. A lot of flags on his live poker resume come from home soil and he has become the 8th Brazilian to enter the winner's circle.
Third-place finisher Kunal "Alex_52" Bhatia came agonizingly close to glory once more as he finished runner-up to Alek "astazz" Stasiak in Event #52: $1,000 No Limit Hold'em just three days ago.
The final table also featured notable names such as Alan "TheCockroach" Schein, Eduards "IlIlIlIliIIl" Kudrjavcevs, and Vladas "Vladiator13" Tamasauskas.
Deep Runs for Sammartino, Teoh
Plenty of poker luminaries made it deep in the field including 2019 WSOP Main Event runner-up Dario Sammartino, who had to tap out as the final table bubble boy after dropping his final ten big blinds to Tamasauskas. It was a disappointing for the Italian icon, who sported the chip lead not long before. While Sammartino's maiden bracelet will remain elusive for him for the time being, he added another big score to an already extensive resumé with nearly $15M in live winnings alone.
Other notables that ran deep included Paul Teoh (12th - HK$168,780) whose incredible run during the GGPoker portion of the WSOP.com schedule already includes a bracelet victory, as well as a fifth- and seventh-place finish. With the deep run, Teoh also collected a slew of points for the WSOP 2020 Online Leaderboard (Asia Time Zones Events), currently led by Roberto Romanello. The winner of this leaderboard will receive a pure gold dragon at the end of the series.
Martin Zamani, Joao Vieira, Rui Ferreira, Alexandre Mantovani, Nick Maimone, Michiel "Easterdamnz" Van Elsacker, and Kristen Bicknell also made big cashes in the event.
Final Table Action
Assuncao Garla started the final table sporting a sizable lead over his nearest challenger Alan "TheCockroach" Schein, a veteran of the game who's a staple in high- and mid-stakes tournaments in the US. Schein ended up being the wild card at the final table, pulling off some unconventional lines successfully to amass more chips.
It took — for online purposes — a long time before the first player departed, and it would be long-time chip leader Ignacio "Curandero" Moron of Spain who was the first to go. Already on fumes, he shipped ace-jack in against Schein's ace-ten but a ten on the turn ended his run.
Lithuanian grinder Vladas "Vladiator13" Tamasauskas was next out the door, losing the flip with ace-king against Assuncao Garla's tens. Eduards "IlIlIlIliIIl" Kudrjavcevs and Divanshu "d0rk21" Khurana departed next to leave the field with five. Assuncao Garla followed up and scored another knockout by ousting Wenhao "pwhwin" Peng with ace-four against ace-six, hitting not one but two fours in the process.
Schein, who boasts over $1.6M in lifetime winnings on his Hendon Mob, failed to add a bracelet to his two WSOP circuit rings as he got eliminated in fourth place. On a king-queen-six board, Schein got it in with king-six only to run into the pocket queens of Theologis. Kunal "Alex_52" Bhatia, who laddered himself up quite nicely, finished third by jamming ace-king into Assuncao Garla's aces to start the heads-up.
The heads-up started with Assuncao Garla sporting a slight lead, but the Brazilian was able to slowly pull away from his greek adversary by winning the majority of the small pots that were contested. Once Theologis was down to 11 big blinds, he made his final stand with the deuces and called off a shove from Assuncao Garla, who had queen-seven of diamonds. The flop brought a queen and the deuces remained hidden to hand Brazil yet another big bracelet win.