Brad Zusman went from just cashing the Summer Saver in 2020 to winning it all in 2021. ( photo)

Brad Zusman picked up one of his three cashes in the 2020 World Series of Poker Online the $500 No Limit Hold’em Summer Saver event, earning $1,067 for 177th place. Zusman’s first WSOP cash of the 2021 online series came in the same event, only this time it was for a first place prize of $79,683 and a WSOP gold bracelet.

Friday’s event brought in 632 unique entrants and had 285 rebuys to build a prize pool of $412,650. Zusman had a roller coaster ride at the final table as he started with the second biggest stack at the table and fell down to below ten big blinds before eventually clawing his way back to the top.

Nine-handed play lasted for 15 minutes before the final table had its first casualty of the night. Josh King min-raised to 160,000 from the cutoff and Jason Gooch re-raised to 480,000 on the button. Zusman folded in the small blind before David Nodes moved all-in for 1,311,374 chips out of the big blind with QcQh. King folded and Gooch quickly called with the KdKh. The board ran out 8d6s3c6d2h, bringing no help to Nodes who was knocked out in ninth place.

About seven minutes passed before two quick eliminations occurred. Jeremy Menard was down to just 4.5 big blinds when he committed the majority of his stack with a raise to 400,000 in early position with KsTd. King called on the button with AsQh and the two remaining players saw a flop of 9c7c4h. Menard moved all-in for his remaining 51,476 and King made the call. The 8d came on the turn and the 3s fell on the river to keep King’s ace-high in the lead and to eliminate Menard in eighth place.

Two hands later, ‘KerriP’ went all-in with their remaining 855,024 chips from under the gun with 5s5h. Mark Ioli was next to act and made the call with AhKc, prompting folds from the rest of the table. ‘KerriP’ dodged trouble on the flop of Js4d2c, but the Ac on the turn left ‘KerriP’ in need of a three or five on the river. The 6s completed the board and locked in a seventh place finish for ‘KerriP’.

Six-handed play lasted for over 25 minutes before another elimination occurred. Orson Young min-raised to 240,000 and Gooch made the call in the big blind. The flop came Qd9s2s and Gooch checked the action over to Young, who put in a continuation bet of 160,000. Gooch raised to 545,000 and Young called. The Kc fell on the turn and Gooch bet enough to put Young all-in. Young called off his remaining 1,142,272 chips with QsTh and found himself behind Gooch’s 9h2h two pair. Young was knocked out in sixth place when the 6c came on the river.

Just under ten minutes passed before Gooch moved all-in for 2,920,773 chips in the cutoff with KsJd. Action folded to Ioli in the big blind who quickly called with AcKd. The flop of AsAd9d added no drama to the hand and the 7c on the turn sealed the win for Ioli. A meaningless 8s on the river completed the board and eliminated Gooch in fifth place.

The four players left at the final table continued to play for another eight minutes until Jeff Miller moved all-in for 3,007,504 from the small blind with Kc6c. Ioli once again woke up with a big hand in the big blind with 9c9d and he made the call. The flop came AhQh6h to give Miller a pair, but Ioli’s pocket nines were still best. The 2d on the turn and the Jc on the river brought no help for Miller, ending his night in fourth place.

Less than five minutes passed before three-handed play came to an end. Ioli min-raised to 400,000 on the button and King moved all-in for 2,950,927 chips in the small blind with QdTd. Zusman folded in the big blind and Ioli quickly called with AcKh. A flop of Jh4d2d brought in a flush draw for King, but the 7c on the turn and the 3c on the river sealed a third place finish for King.

It took 90 minutes to get to heads-up play, and with both players sitting with stacks of over 40 big blinds, the stage seemed to be set for a long heads up battle. But the decisive hand came only 15 minutes after heads-up action started, including a five minute break. Ioli raised to 480,000 and Zusman re-raised up to 1,245,000. Ioli moved all-in for 7,944,932 chips holding QhQs and Zusman made the call with AhJh. Zusman jumped into the lead on a flop of As5d3h that left Ioli in need of a queen. The 3d came on the turn and the 2c fell on the river to lock up the tournament victory for Zusman.

Event #31 Final Table Payouts

  1. Brad ‘1badcajun’ Zusman – $79,683
  2. Mark ‘victb’ Ioli -$49,270
  3. Josh ‘YoelRomero’ King – $34,704
  4. Jeff ‘bortzork’ Miller – $24,759
  5. Jason ‘TheBigGift’ Gooch – $17,909
  6. Orson ‘borgatcha’ Young – $13,122
  7. ‘KerriP’ – $9,780
  8. Jeremy ‘g00sebumps’ Menard – $7,386
  9. David ‘dave419’ Nodes – $5,653