John Ripnick more than doubled his career tournament earnings and won his first World Series of Poker bracelet after topping a 720-entry field in the $666 no-limit hold’em online event.
For his victory, the New Jersey native secured a payday of $114,898, which boosted bumped his career earnings to $205,222.
Coming into 2021, Ripnick only had a couple of live tournament cashes. Two seventh-place finishes in 2016 in Maryland Live! daily tournaments for a combined $897 were the only scores on his resume. This year, however, things changed and he cashed seven times on the live felt and began racking up scores in online tournaments as well.
Just 13 days prior to his bracelet victory, Ripnick set a very temporary career-best score after a third place in the $525 no-limit hold’em monster stack in the 2021 WSOP.com Fall Online Super Circuit for $19,873.
Ripnick defeated Matthew Gillingham heads-up to finish off a dominant final table performance but also dealt with three other bracelet winners at the final table. Michael Lech already owned eight WSOP Circuit rings when he won an online bracelet last summer, William Romaine also won a bracelet online in the summer of 2020 and two-time bracelet winner Tommy Le was in contention for his third.
Le, who recently won the $10,000 pot-limit Omaha eight-handed championship for the second time in his career, finished third for $50,256, while Lech, who was seeking his second online bracelet, busted in fourth for $36,056. Romaine left with $10,866 for an eighth-place finish, while Gillingham, the lone Canadian at the final table, took home $71,000 for second.
According to the official WSOP live updates, Ripnick came into the final table with a chip stack and cruised to a victory, scoring a few knockouts along the way.
Eventually, he ended up heads-up with Gillingham and like most of the final table, he held the chip advantage. He moved all in with K9 and was looked up by Gillingham’s A10.
The board ran out Q9625, which gave Ripnick the best hand with a pair of nines and eliminated Gillingham in second.
Final Table Results: