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New Jersey player wins WSOP Online championship, $146K

Drew O’Connell won the main event of the U.S. portion of the World Series of Poker Online early Sunday.

O’Connell prevailed in a field of 821 entries (537 players and 284 re-entries) in the $1,000 buy-in No-limit Hold’em Championship on WSOP.com. Playing under the screen name “dudeguydrew,” the New Jersey resident won $146,893 and his first WSOP bracelet. (The WSOP awards trophy bracelets for tournament victories.)

Jason Rivkin (JayRiv) took second for $90,811, and Felix Vandeput (madenspauwke) was third for $63,545. Alex Foxen, an elite tournament player with more than $18 million in career earnings, according to the Hendon Mob Poker Database, fell short of his first bracelet, taking fourth for $45,147.

Holding a massive chip lead, O’Connell called and won with ace-queen against Rivkin’s all-in before the flop with ace-three.

O’Connell had $129,873 in WSOP tournament earnings coming into the event, all of them earned online during the past two years.

The U.S. portion of the WSOP Online was set to conclude early Monday with the $500 No-limit Hold’em Grand Finale.

First-time bracelet winners dominated the WSOP Online, but several players picked up their second (or third) piece of hardware.

David Peters, who has more than $34 million in career earnings, grabbed his third bracelet by winning the $7,777 No-limit Hold’em Lucky 7’s High Roller for $283,940. Chris Moorman, who has more than $6 million in career earnings, took home his second bracelet by winning the $800 No-limit Hold’em 8-Max Turbo Deepstack for $102,406.

Allen Chang, Ryan Leng, Bryan Piccioli and Bradley Ruben also won their second bracelets during the series.

The WSOP Online was created last year after the flagship WSOP at the Rio was postponed, then canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The online series returned to the calendar this year with the flagship WSOP delayed until the fall.

Because of America’s online poker laws, the world cannot play together. The U.S. version of the WSOP Online was limited to players physically located in Nevada and New Jersey.

An international version is underway and runs through Sept. 12 on GGPoker. After WSOP.com recently launched in Pennsylvania, a second U.S. version of the WSOP Online will be held for players physically located in that state Aug. 8 to 15.

The live WSOP will be held Sept. 30 to Nov. 23 at the Rio with 88 bracelet events.

Contact Jim Barnes at jbarnes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0277. Follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter.