Maksim Sekretarev Leads Final Six in Sochi; Vladimir Bozinovic In Contention for Second Title

Feb 27, 2021

Maksim Sekretarev

The final table of the 2021 World Poker Tour Russia Main Event is set and the flagship tournament of the festival with a buy-in of ₽245,000/$3,328 is down to the final six out of 251 entries. They made it through the minefields of Day 3 to secure a decent slice of the ₽54,247,551/$726,832 prize pool.

Five contenders hail from host country Russia but Serbia’s Vladimir Bozinovic has retained his chance to win a WPT Main Event for the second time. The first victory dates all the way back to 2013 when he topped a field of 254 entries in Baden, Austria. In the last few years, Bozinovic focused on cash games and “started learning MTTs again somewhere late in 2019.” That’s when the ongoing pandemic struck and the chance to put his knowledge to the test had to be postponed.

Bozinovic made the trip to Sochi with fellow countrymen Danilo Velasevic and Vlada Stojanovic, who were responsible for some of the MTT lessons. They also gave the recommendation to head to Sochi and take part in the festival according to Bozinovic.

” I heard all the good stories about this place and decided to give it a shot. The casino is awesome, the organization is perfect, and the food is amazing so far. I like everything about here! The only possible thing that could make this even better trip would be winning another title. To be honest, I dreamt about it last night, and I hope the dreams will become reality,” Bozinovic told the WPT live updates team after the action wrapped up for Day 3.

The Serbian entered the penultimate day as the chip leader and while the momentum wasn’t always on his side, he made it through with 1,190,000 in chips as one of three middling stacks. Maksim Sekretarev leads the pack with 3,340,000, followed by Ravil Khamatgareev with 2,905,000.

Behind Bozinovic, Andrey Volkov (1,035,000) and Sergey Bobrik (980,000) are separated by one big blind only. And even Vanush Mnatsakanyan (545,000) is just one double up away from jumping into third place. After a tumultuous final stage with several double-ups, almost all of the finalists were on the brink of elimination. But they prevailed and it was Maksim Pisarenko who became the final casualty. Pisarenko had already won a Side Event trophy early in the festival but had to settle for 7th place this time.

There was also one further former WPT champion in the mix but the bid of Andrey Kotelnikov for a second title ended in the first level of the day, as bowed out in 30th place. Many other notables cashed but failed to make it to the final day including Dmitry Vitkind, Garik Tamasyan, Aleksandr Merzhvinskiy, and Sergey Konovalov.

Eventual chip leader Sekretarev put his stamp on the early and middle stages by soaring to a commanding lead. However, things didn’t always go his way and he was even at risk in an all-in showdown before turning things around once more. And as the double and triple ups kept coming on the unofficial final table, he wound up with the biggest stack once more.

There are 22 minutes left in level 28 at blinds of 25,000/50,000 with a big blind ante of 50,000 and tomorrow’s final table will be streamed with cards-up coverage and commentary on a delay of half an hour as of 12.30 p.m. local time.

Seat Assignments for the final day:

Seat 1: Sergey Bobrik (Russia) – 980,000 (20 bb)
Seat 2: Vanush Mnatsakanyan (Russia) – 545,000 (11 bb)
Seat 3: Ravil Khamatgareev (Russia) – 2,905,000 (58 bb)
Seat 4: Andrey Volkov (Russia) – 1,035,000 (21 bb)
Seat 5: Vladimir Bozinovic (Serbia) – 1,190,000 (24 bb)
Seat 6: Maksim Sekretarev (Russia) – 3,340,000 (67 bb)

The six finalists have ₽2,477,300/$33,183 locked up for their efforts but all eyes are set on the top prize of ₽11,996,600/$160,694 and becoming the next player to see their name engraved in the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup. For Bozinovic, it would be the second time and soaks in the chance to double his tally.

I am grateful I came this far and to have the opportunity to once again put my name on the trophy. Now I just need to win a few more all-ins,” Bozinovic added.


Below are the payouts for tomorrow’s live-streamed final table:

Place Prize (in Casino Units) Prize (in RUB) Prize (in USD)
1 171,380 11,996,600 $160,694
2 114,260 7,998,200 $107,135
3 83,435 5,840,450 $78,232
4 61,795 4,325,650 $57,942
5 46,425 3,249,750 $43,530
6 35,390 2,477,300 $33,183

Stay tuned for the conclusion of the event as the team will be back on Sunday, February 28, to provide all the key hands from start to finish.

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