Bert Stevens made history multiple times when he bagged the 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Online Main Event on GGPoker. Better known in the Twitch community as girafganger7, the Belgian online poker streamer won $2,783,433 in front of tens of thousands of fans on his live-streaming channel.
The $5,000 buy-in bracelet tournament attracted a record-setting field of 6,023 entries. After a month-long play, the online poker entrants generated a historic $28,609,252 in guaranteed prize pool, beating the previous record by more than a million dollars.
Before landing the historic win, the Belgian Twitch streamer had only $9,672 in live in-person earnings and $69,849 in total WSOP tournament cashes, according to The Hendon Mob. Despite this, his recent WSOP bracelet victory sets new standards for both online poker tournaments and Twitch-streamed poker content.
GGPoker Shatters the WSOP Online Poker Prize Pool Record
GGPoker hosted the record-breaking WSOP Online series throughout September. The $25 million guaranteed $5k buy-in Main Event was poised to shatter prior records.
A 6,023-strong field of online poker entries generated a staggering $28.6 million prize pool, over $1 million more than the previous record. This surpassed the $27,559,500 pooled into the guaranteed prize pot during Stoyan Madanzhiev’s WSOP Online Main Event win, which had stood as the largest online poker tournament ever since 2020.
Though Madanzhiev’s victory was later overshadowed by live in-person WSOP results, it demonstrated the potential for online poker to reach new heights. It’s an online poker benchmark that Stevens has now significantly raised.
Bert Stevens Shows Sheer Prowess at the Final Table
After a month-long tournament, Bert Stevens has cemented his place in the online poker scene by outlasting a record-setting field of over 6,000 entrants to clinch the 2023 $5,000 buy-in WSOP Main Event bracelet. His win on GGPoker bagged him over $2.78 million in prize money.
While girafganger7’s win was massive by online poker standards, it did not eclipse the $3.9 million by Stoyan Madanzhiev. The Bulgarian’s first-place prize money was comparatively larger than Stevens’ due to a more top-heavy payout structure in 2020.
We have seen quite a few big moments on popular Twitch poker channels, but girafganger7’s victory in the GGPoker WSOP Online Main Event is certainly one of the most memorable. From beginning to end, Stevens played with his trademark aggressive play style while streaming to thousands of viewers on Twitch.
After building an early chip lead, he methodically ground down his opponents, at one point holding around two-thirds of the chips in play. Facing stiff competition from pros like Dutch player Erik Bakker and China’s Yagen Li, Stevens proved his skills were up to the challenge.
Prior to the final table, Stevens’ online poker career-best live cash was $655,000 from a 2021 Super MILLION$ finish. Just days before, Bert made a final table of a WCOOP event and lost a heads-up battle to take down a score of $58k.
Stevens could hardly dream of what was to come during the final table of the 2023 WSOP Online Poker Main Event. Many pros, including Scott Seiver, said his post-flop play and reads were absolutely on point throughout the final table.
Heads-Up Play Against Li
The entire final table was live-streamed, with girafganger7 entering the decisive action as a chip leader. He only briefly relinquished the chip lead to Dutch poker pro Erik Bakker.
When heads-up play began, Stevens held a commanding 4-1 chip advantage against Li. It took just a few hands for the Belgian to double through his opponent and finish the tournament, earning $2,783,432 for first place.
Li collected $2,059,058 as the runner-up. The online-only WSOP event was markedly different from the hybrid approach that WPT adopted for its $500 buy-in tournament, which kicked off online in May with the final table held in person at the Fronton Mexico.
Stevens’ World-Class Year Continues
The victory in the WSOP Online Main Event was just the latest high point of an incredible year for Bert Stevens. In addition to breaking prize records, the Belgian pro has cemented his place among the global poker elite in 2023.
In February, Stevens kicked off his campaign with a win in the $25,000 buy-in Poker Masters event at the APM Monaco for over $800,000. This set the tone for a string of deep runs in the game’s highest roller tournaments.
At the 20th anniversary WSOP in Las Vegas this summer, Stevens cashed four times, including a fifth-place finish in the $100,000 Super High Roller for $600,000.
His dominance has extended online as well. Prior to the Main Event, Stevens took down a $25,000 GGMillion$ Event on GGPoker for $760,000. He’s also accrued over $1.5 million in online MTT earnings across various sites this year alone. With his latest victory, girafganger7’s total in-person and online earnings for 2023 now stand at a staggering $6 million.
Stevens credits streaming with helping his game by keeping his mind relaxed during high-pressure moments. With over 100,000 followers on Twitch, he’s shown the power of connecting directly with fans online.
Tens of Millions in Total Prizes Were Awarded
Beyond the GGPoker’s Main Event, the 2023 WSOP Online series has awarded 33 gold bracelets across the board this year.
New Zealand’s David Yan outlasted 1,140 entries in the $10,300 buy-in GGMillion$ High Roller to win $1,538,400. His victory captured his first WSOP bracelet and continued his breakout in 2023, having already earned over $5 million in live tournaments.
Yan defeated Sweden’s Simon Mattson heads-up, who settled for $1,186,287 in second place. He is the latest player to have a breakthrough performance on GGPoker’s high-roller circuit.
Final Thoughts: Looking into the Future
Bert Stevens’ victory in the 2023 WSOP Online Main Event is a historic moment for the poker world. With no signs of slowing down, girafganger7 will look to ride this momentum into 2024 and cement his place among poker’s true elites.