WSOP History Made From New Jersey
WSOP history was made when Matt Mendez, a 28-year-old stay-at-home dad in New Jersey (NJ) won event #47 at the WSOP. Mendez (known as mendey online) outlasted 657 online players, where 107 participants were playing from NJ. With 566 re-buys (Mendez was one of the re-buys) totaled a field of 1,223 entries. The $565 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed event that was held on June 22-23 2018. This event started at 3:30 pm in Las Vegas. Which meant 6:30 pm on the east coast where Mendez lived. The prize pool was $635,960, where the last 99 players earned a share, with $135,077 and a bracelet going to the winner.
Coming to the final table Marton Czuczor (known as GS.GURU online) lead in chips, with Anthony Zinno (known as heheh online) second in chips, Alex Smith (known as 3shotwonder online) third in chips, Matthew Mendez fourth in chips, Ao Chen (known as Maimai1990 online) fifth in chip and finally Ankush Mandavia (known as rickrosstheb online). Chen was the first to go losing to Smith, then Mendez watched as Czuczor took down Mandavia (5th), then Smith (4th) and then Zinno (3rd) before going heads-up. With a 3.5 to 1 deficit and all the momentum on Czuczor side, it was going to take a miracle for Mendez to come back and win. With a couple of early double ups, Mendez prayers were answered. It was 15 hours after the start of the tournament, is when we could finally crown a champion. Mendez became the first player in history to win a WSOP bracelet event in Las Vegas while at home some 2,500 miles east of Nevada.
A Win For Mendez and Online Poker
For Mendez, winning the Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed event, he will take home $135,077 and his first bracelet. This win was a big one for Mendez and Online Poker. On May 1, 2018, poker sites in Delaware, NJ, and NV combined their player pools and shared liquidity. It was the first time in history that a multistate poker agreement gave players in another state the opportunity to participate in the WSOP online bracelet event. With this win, they are hoping that it will help other states to legalize online poker. Mendez was not planning on going to Las Vegas this year. He just didn’t want to be away from his family for an extended amount of time. For winning event 47, he brought his family to Las Vegas and the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino to collect his winnings and bracelet.
There are currently only 4 states where it is legal to play poker online for money. It will be legal to start playing in PA July 2019, WV has passed the required legislation and is expected to follow PA soon after.
This tournament was scheduled for only one day, that made it very difficult for many players. Having only 5 minute breaks every hour where it was barely enough time to use the bathroom and get some caffeine drink. This year there are 89 bracelet events, 9 events are online.
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