Alan Goehring was one of the hottest tournament players in the world during the early years of the poker boom. He won two World Poker Tour main events, taking down the first-ever WPT Championship in season 1 to become the first player to cash for more than a million dollars on that tour. He then went on to win the WPT L.A. Poker Classic main event in 2006 for nearly $2.4 million. Goehring took roughly a decade off from playing poker to focus on trading futures markets, but began appearing at live tournaments again in recent years. The return to the game has paid off in a big way for Goehring, who emerged victorious in the eighth event of the 2020 World Series of Poker Online to earn his first WSOP gold bracelet and the top prize of $119,399.
The 55-year-old, playing under the screen name ‘GladiusIII’, outlasted a field of 1,479 entries in the $500 buy-in no-limit hold’em freezeout event to secure that first piece of WSOP hardware. With such a large turnout, the top 207 finishers in this event made the money, with a min-cash being worth $732.
Plenty of big names made deep runs in this event, including Phil ‘lumestackin’ Hellmuth (109th – $932), Kevin ‘ImaLuckSac’ MacPhee (93rd – $1,704), Anthony ‘nowb3atthat’ Spinella (75th – $1,331), Daniel ’centrfieldr’Lupo (62nd – $1,730), Andrew ‘GrandpaEd’ Neeme ($1,997), Ryan ‘Adopt_aDogg0’ Leng (45th – $2,396), Ben ‘WhyIsGamora’ Yu (29th – $2,861), and Jeff ‘NedrudRelyt’ Madsen (14th – $5,458).
When the final table of nine was set, WSOP bracelet winner and Card Player contributor Randy ‘StayAlive’ Ohel held the chip lead. Ohel was fresh off earning a double elimination, picking up pocket tens in the big blind and calling the all-ins of fellow bracelet winner Steve ‘gborooo’ Gross and Matthew ‘MartyCohen’ Weiss. Ohel made a set to scoop the sizable pot and secure the double knockout. Both Gross and Weiss earned $6,922 as the 11th and 10th-place finishers, respectively.
Louie ‘xILoUieIx’ Torres was the first player eliminated at the final table. He lost a race with A-K up against the pocket nines of Ross ‘BlueTang’ Gottlieb to finish in ninth place ($8,918). WSOP bracelet winner Scott ‘miamicane’ Davies was the next to fall. He got all-in with A-Q up against the pocket fours of Robert bustinballs’ Kuhn. Davies failed to improve and was sent to the virtual rail in eighth place ($11,580).
Kuhn scored yet another knockout when he shoved from the small blind holding K10 and Timothy ‘aceviper’ Stearns called from the big blind with KQ. Stearns was ahead preflop and paired up on a Q98 flop. The 5 on the turn gave Kuhn a flush draw to go along with his gutshot straight draw that he’d flopped. The J on the river filled Kuhn’s straight to send Stearns packing in seventh place ($15,308).
Goehring earned his first knockout of the final table with pocket eights. He limped in from the small blind and Drew ‘dudeguydrew’ O’Connell shoved all-in from the big blind with A-8 offsuit. Goehring called for nearly the entirety of his stack and held to bust O’Connell in sixth place ($20,366).
Kuhn, who recently won his first bracelet in event #3 of this series, held the chip lead heading into five-handed action. He lost a big pot with pocket threes against the pocket queens of Gottlieb to relinquish the top spot on the leaderboard.
Brendan ‘clembutt’ Torrejon saw his run in this event come to an end when he moved all-in with AQ from the cutoff. Ohel re-raised all-in over the top with AK from the button and the other players got out of the way. Ohel flopped a king and never looked back. Torrejon earned $27,620 as the fifth-place finisher.
Goehring and Gottlieb clashed in one of the biggest pots of the tournament during four-handed action. Goehring picked up 22 on the button and raised to 560,000. Gottlieb three-bet to 1,850,000 from the big blind with the 98 and Goehring called. The flop came down 532 and Gottlieb bet 2,200,000. Goehring moved all-in for 5,152,020 and Gottlieb called with his flush draw. The J on the turn filled his flush to give him the lead, but Goehring had outs to improve to a full house on the river. The 3 was one of those outs, and Goehring’s deuces full earned him the massive double up to secure roughly half of the chips in play.
Kuhn’s quest for his second bracelet of the series fell short in fourth place ($37,803) when his QJ failed to improve against the JJ of Gottlieb. That left Ohel as the short stack heading into three-handed play. In his final hand he shoved all-in on a KJ3 flop holding K8 after his two opponents checked. Goehring made the call with K10 to put Ohel at risk. The A turn and Q river kept Goehring in the lead and Ohel was eliminated in third place ($52,512).
With that Goehring took roughly a 3:2 lead into heads-up play with Gottlieb. In the final hand of the event, Gottlieb picked up K9 and raised to 680,000 from the button, Goehring called with the A3 and the flop came down QJ10. Gottlieb bet 860,000 with his flopped king-high straight and Goehring raised to 1,720,000 with his nut flush draw and gutshot straight draw to Broadway. Gottlieb shoved for just shy of 8 million and Goehring called. The turn was the 6 to give Goehring his flush, which left Gottlieb drawing dead. The J on the river was a formality and Gottlieb was knocked out in second place ($73,942).
Here is a look at the payouts awarded at the final table:
|1||Alan ‘GladiusIII’ Goehring||$119,399|
|2||Ross ‘BlueTang’ Gottlieb||$73,942|
|3||Randy ‘StayAlive’ Ohel||$52,511|
|4||Robert ‘bustinballs’ Kuhn||$37,803|
|5||Brendan ‘clembutt’ Torrejon||$27,620|
|6||Drew ‘dudeguydrew’ O’Connell||$20,365|
|7||Timothy ‘aceviper’ Stearns||$15,307|
|8||Scott ‘miamicane’ Davies||$11,580|
|9||Louie ‘xILoUieIx’ Torres||$8,918|