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Michael Mercaldo becomes the winner of 2021 WSOP Online

Ranjeet Kumar

The Online World Series of Poker has been a feast for players seeking their first bracelets. One of the players who won the first series title and WSOP gold bracelet was Michael “Stiltwalk” Mercaldo of New Jersey. The Event #7: $777 No-Limit Hold’em Lucky 7’s attracted 888 participants and a prize pool of $621,600. It took almost 11 hours of play for Michael Mercaldo to win the top prize of $123,574. As well as the first bracelet of his virtual poker career. It was the biggest win of Michael Mercaldo’s profession.

Fifteen-time WSOP bracelet poker winner Phil Hellmuth, Shannon Shorr, Mike Matusow, Yen Han Pete Chen, and Phil Galfond were among those competing, but none made it to the money round. 

Mercaldo won the WSOP player of the year NLH Lucky 7’s  by beating James Anderson, the 2019 WSOP Little One for One Drop champion, in heads-up play. As per Hendon Mob, Mercado has more than $148K in live tournament earnings, with $98K coming from WSOP-related cash.

WSOP Final Table Action

Krista “Pollux” Gifford and Paul “presicion” Zappulla were the only female players on the WSOP final table. Gifford was the first player to get eliminated from the final table after her K-9 suited failed to outdraw the K-Q of Anderson. Then Paul “presicion” Zappulla got defeated with K-8 to the K-J of Jake “nattydaddy24” Hernandez. 

Jake “nattydaddy24” Hernandez, who was short, had expected that the hand would serve as a platform for recovery. But it turned out to be a false dawn. Seven minutes later, Hernandez was the next player to get eliminated in sixth place after running J-J into bracelet winner James “biggs2424” Anderson’s K-K. Two bracelet winner Ryan “Protential” Laplante followed him out the door in fifth place after his all-in with Q-J against Justin “MadTitan” Turner’s opening bet with 9-9. Soon after that, Angel “ChromeKing” Lopez was busted in fourth place by Justin “MadTitan” Turner with 6-6 when he was called by Turner with Q-8.  

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With three players left on the final table, Justin “MadTitan” Turner moved all-in pre-flop with K-J in an effort to regain control of the table. However, he was instantly called by Michael “stiltwalk” Mercaldo with A-A and Q-5-2-Q-K on the board. Michael aces held defeating Justin in third place.

Finally, heads-up play began between WSOP 2019 Little one for One Drop poker champion Anderson and Mercaldo for the title. With the same amount of chips, it was a tug of war for the lead. The heads-up play took less than 30 minutes to finish, with Mercaldo preventing Anderson from his second WSOP bracelet. At the time of heads-up play, Anderson with 9♥7♥ moved all-in on the turn for two pairs with J♣9♣7♠A♣ on the board. Mercaldo with 8♠10♠ check-called for a flopped straight. The K♦ on the river street ended Anderson’s game, getting Michael his first-ever WSOP bracelet. 

WSOP Final Table results Event #7 $777 NLHE:

1. Michael “stiltwalk” Mercaldo $ 123,574

2. James “biggs2424” Anderson $76,395

3. Justin “MadTitan” Turner $53,458

4. Angel “ChromeKing” Lopez $37,980

5. Ryan “Protential” Laplante Jake $27,350

6. Jake “nattydaddy24” Hernandez $20,016

7. Paul “precision” Zappulla $14,856

8. Krista “Pollux” Gifford $11,189

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