September 8, 2021 3 min read


2021 WSOP Online ME Sees Fewer Entries

Stoyan Madanzhiev, the 2020 WSOP Online Main Event winner, claims that this year, the WSOP Online ME has 30% fewer entries. Last year, the event brought the poker pro a hefty $3.9 million prize for first place.

Stoyan Madanzhiev: Winner of the 2020 WSOP Online ME

It was last year when professional poker player Stoyan Madanzhiev from Bulgaria won the WSOP Online Main Event. The $5,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament had a guaranteed prize pool of $25 million, but, considering the 5,802 entries, the total of the prize pool hit $27.5 million.

As the winner of the event, Madanzhiev took home a hefty $3,904,686 prize. Considering the COVID-19-related restrictions at the time, it was believed that Madanzhiev was the 2020 WSOP Main Event Champion. However, as it turns out, the WSOP decided to run a second Main Event last year. Naturally, Madanzhiev wasn’t particularly happy at that time.

The 2021 WSOP Online ME Has Fewer Participants

The second 2020 Main Event’s final table was played at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. In the end, it was America’s Joseph Hebert against Damian Salas from Argentina. Consequently, the event was won by Salas, who was named champion for the 2020 Main Event.

While what happened last year did not stop Madanzhiev from continuing his professional poker career, he sure was frustrated at that time. In sharing his opinion regarding this year’s WSOP Main Event on Twitter, Madanzhiev outlined that the WSOP Online Main Event this year has some 31% fewer entries when compared to last year.

He added that although the 2020 WSOP Online Main event was “never presented as the actual WSOP Main Event,” there were a few ignorant people. In a recent interview for CardsChat, the poker pro said that he believes that “people were misled last year and many paid their buy-in,” thinking that the WSOP Online Main Event was the WSOP Main Event and that the winner would be the 2020 champion. According to Madanzhiev, this year, more people are aware of that fact, which is one reason why the number of participants has decreased.

According to The Hendon Mob, Madanzhiev has participated in 22 tournaments so far. Besides the 2020 WSOP Online Main Event, he also took first place at the 25 Short Deck Hold’em – Ante Only Six Max tournament in 2019. Unlike the WSOP first place, the win only brought him a $3,508 prize. Last month, Madanzhiev participated in the WSOP $1,000 No Limit Hold’em – Double Stack Online event and ranked 5th. That win brought him a $200,986 prize.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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