Artisom Prostak Wins WPT Omaha Hi-Lo Turbo, Paul Tedeschi Leads First Championship Event

By Frank Op de Woerd In what was a massive day for online poker, the World Poker Tour Online Championships truly got underway yesterday with flight 1b of the first Championship Event. Three winners got crowned on the WPT PLO Hi-Lo Turbo, but with numerous events closing their starting days, we got a first good…

Joaquim Tirach
Jul 20, 2020

By Frank Op de Woerd

In what was a massive day for online poker, the World Poker Tour Online Championships truly got underway yesterday with flight 1b of the first Championship Event. Three winners got crowned on the WPT PLO Hi-Lo Turbo, but with numerous events closing their starting days, we got a first good look at some of the real contenders to struck early gold.

It was an Omaha Hi/Lo day for the WPT with $33 (Micro), $320 (Mini), and $3,200 buy-in events of the split pot game.

Event #01 – Micro PLO Hi-Lo Championship: $50K Gtd ($33)

A field of 657 gathered for Day 1b of the Micro edition of the first Championship event. After almost seven and a half hours of play, just 67 made their way through to Day 2. Together with the 75 that survived Day 1a, that makes for a field of 142 to start Day 2.

While Andrey Sorokin lead after Day 1a turning his 100,000-stack into 2.1 million, he was surpassed by no fewer than five players on Day 1b. Paul Murphy (3.6 million in chips) is the top stack going into Day 2, followed by Kevin Andrews (3.2 million) and Viktar Novik (3 million). Tuan Do (2.5 million) and Derrick Wall (2.4 million) round out the top 5 going into the penultimate day of the event.

Play resumes at 7 p.m. (BST) tonight with blinds at 8,000 and 16,000. The average stack of 924,000 gives plenty of room to play. Another twenty levels are on the schedule, each a whopping 20 minutes long.

Event #01 – Mini PLO Hi-Lo Championship: $150K Gtd ($320)

What the WPT calls Mini for this event, is a massive buy-in by all means. It’s just that there’s an even more significant buy-in on tap as well, degrading the $320 buy-in to the middle of the pack. After all the action was done for Day 1b of this Hi/Lo event, 24 from a field of 232 had survived.

Dutchman Matthijs van den Broek leads with a massive stack of 3.359 million, well ahead of Day 1a’s leader Vincent Varona who amassed 2.332 million on Saturday.

Fedor Holz (28th), Patrick Leonard (41st), and Benny Glaser (70th) were just some of the many big names that didn’t make it through. Amongst those still in contention are such familiar players like Koen Andri (771,731), Jeff Gross (633,467), and Dzmitry Urbanovich (497,794).

The action gets back underway at 7 p.m. (BST) in the 6-max event. With 36 players getting paid, the Day 2 field of 50 players is just 14 spots from the money. Blinds will be 8,000 and 16,000, with an average stack of 876,000.

Event #01 – Main PLO Hi-Lo Championship: $500K Gtd ($3,200) 

The crème de la crème, the best of the best bought in for the $3,200 edition of the first WPT Championship Event. With 63 signing up on Day 1a and 82 on Day 1b, the total number of entries came to 145.

Leading the pack after twenty levels of play is U.K. based Frenchman Paul Tedeschi with 1.8 million in chips. Guilherme Decourt (943,000), Jonathan Depa (904,000), and Dan Shak (770,000) also used their 100,000 starting stacks to their full potential. Joao Vieira (525,000) and Dario Sammartino (388,000) also played their way through to Day 2.

Paul Tedeschi

Paul Tedeschi

Tedeschi has the overall lead when Day 2 gets underway at 7 p.m. (BST), followed by a battery of players that qualified for Day 2 on Day 1a. Koen Andri (1.3 million), Daniil Shalaev (1.1 million), Ilari Tahkokallio (1 million), and legendary online player Niklas Astedt (976,000) round out the top 5 going into Day 2. From a field of 20 starting players on Day 2, five will go home empty-handed as just 15 make the minimum payout of $11.250. For the eventual winner, just over $135,000 is set aside on Day 3 of this event.

Tune in tonight on our live stream at 7:30 p.m. (BST) to follow the cards-up action with James Dempsey and Henry Kilbane as commentator.

WPT Big Game Micro: $100K Gtd ($55)

With a million in chips to start with, the $100,000 guaranteed Big Game Micro collected 2,157 entries. That means there’s a ton of chips in play, with Alysson Bruno on top. The Brazilian, winner of last year’s Kinds Series of Poker in Brazil, ended the day with an impressive 62 million in chips. The shortest player to survive Day 1 was Fabio Maritan Perreira, who’ll start with 5.3 million; the equivalent of 6.6 big blinds as action will kick off with 400,000 and 800,000 blinds, 87,500 ante.

Paul Clarke was the one to bubble; the Englishman came up short to go out in 281st place. A total of 76 players played their way through to Day 2, all guaranteed $208. With $17,563 for first, there’s a lot to play for on the final day.

WPT Big Game Mini: $300K Gtd ($550)

Luke Martinelli turned a 1 million starting stack into 100,000,000, a feat not matched by anyone. The second-best player to survive the first day is Luc Bindel, with not even half that; 44,666,725. Austrian high roller Julian Stuer completes the top 3 with 42 million in chips.

Twenty-three players remain from a field of 636, making the lofty $300,000 guarantee by $14,700. Zachary Korik (28 million), Georgios Zisimopoulos (14 million), and Patrick Serda (9.9 million) are still in it to win it. Tom Hall (25th, $1,919), Alex Foxen 62nd, $1,384), and Joris Ruys (71st, $1,321) are just some of the big names making it into the money but failing to “qualify” for Day 2. Raul Martinez Gallego bubbled this event in 81st place, letting Manuel Ruivo (80th, $1,258) sneak into the money.

WPT Big Game: $1M Gtd ($5,200)

A one million dollar guaranteed event with a buy-in of $5,200; now there’s something you don’t see every day. Many big names turned out for this premier event on partypoker, with 187 entries total.
Sylvain Loosli (28th), Almedin Imsirovic (27th), and Dan Shak (26th) came close to cashing but busted out just before the itm-phase. Russian player Viacheslav Buldygin, known for some massive scores in 2016 and 2017 on the live circuit before leaving the live arena again, bubbled in 25th place.

Amongst those to cash is a whos-who of high stakes poker. Roberto Romanello (20th, $12,500) Steve O’Dwyer (19th, $12,500) Isaac Haxton (18th, $12,500), Andreas Nemeth (16th, $16,500), Shawn Buchanon (13th, $16,500), and Sergio Aido (11th, $21,000) all cashed but ultimately didn’t make it through to the final day.

Sam Grafton

Sam Grafton

Nonother than Sam Grafton leads the nine survivors with a top stack of 36.5 million. Francois Billard, with 28 million, follows him in 2nd place. Kristen Bicknell (13.7 million) and Jake Schindler (7.6 million) are the shortest stacks to return when Day 2 gets underway.

There’s $219,750 on top, with all nine players guaranteed $25,500. When play resumes, blinds will be 200,000 and 400,000 with a 50,000 ante.

WPT High Roller Opener: $1M Gtd ($10,300)

There’s big, and then there’s bigger. This event falls in the latter category. With a buy-in of $10,300, events like these are a rare sight online. Still, 95 entries were collected.

Austrian high roller Thomas Muehloecker was the first to bust, followed by Wiktor Malinowski and Sam Greenwood. Some bought back in, but ultimately just thirteen players would make their money back with a min-cash being worth $25,000.

Jake Schindler stone bubbled this event, finishing in 14th place. Dutchman Teun Mulder (13th, $25,000), Kristen Bicknell (12th, $25,000), Adrian Mateos (11th, $30,000), and Mikita Badziakouski (10th, $30,000) cashed but fell just short of the final table.

Nine players remain with Artur Martirosyan in the lead. The Russian, who finished runner-up in the $51,000 High Roller in Sochi last March, brings 2.446 million in chips to the table when play resumes at 7 p.m. (BST) tonight. You’ll have a hard time spotting an unfamiliar name in the top nine with Pascal Hartmann (1.834 million) and online legend Jon Van Fleet (1.397 million) rounding out the top three. Sergi Reixach (382,000) and Aliaksandr Hirs (349,000) are at the bottom of the pack.

The winner awaits a payday of $251,250, with all nine guaranteed $35,000. When the action resumes, blinds will be 15,000 and 30,000 with a 3,800 ante.

WPT Opener Micro: $100K Gtd ($11)

A massive field of 3,001 entries was seen contending in Day 1b of the $11 WPT Opener Micro event. Together with the 1,471 that played Day 1a, that makes for a total field of 4,472. With $100,000 guaranteed by the WPT and partypoker, a ton of value is added.

With both starting days in the books, 511 players are still in contention for the $15,285-top prize. The event is just 39 players from the money, with 472 players getting a minimum of $65 for their efforts.

Irishman Diego Bainy De Abreu (almost 3 million in chips) did best on Day 1b. He’s just outshined by Day 1a leader Ikuma Sakurai who’ll start with 3.1 million tonight. Day 2 of this event begins at 7 p.m. (BST) tonight.

WPT Opener Mini: $500K Gtd ($109)

Day 2 of this event starts at 7 p.m. (BST), where 401 players will battle it out for the first-place prize of $78,413. Matheus Camillo from Brazil turned 100,000 chips into 2.9 million on Day 1b, securing himself the top spot when Day 2 starts.

Like the Micro version, this Mini edition is very close to the money, with 376 players earning a minimum of $395. Kadir Kaplan from Germany will be looking for an early double as his 100,522-stack is worth just four big blinds, making him the shortest to start Day 2.

WPT Opener: $1M Gtd ($1,050)

After two starting days, Lithuanian player Matas Cimbolas is ahead of everyone else in the WPT Opener event. Cimbolas, playing from the United Kingdom, amassed over 4 million in chips, way more than the 2.1 million second-place Patrick Leonard collected. Jan-Eric Schwippert (1.8 million) sits in third.

Matas Cimbolas

Matas Cimbolas

The $1,000,000 guaranteed tournament saw a total of 675 entries, with 124 making it through to the second and final day, just four from the money.

The tournament resumes at 7 p.m. (BST) tonight, with blinds of 12,500 and 25,000. Everyone at the table will be paying the 3,200 ante, meaning short stack John Gonzalez’ 102,832 stack is in severe jeopardy.

The top prize is $172,175, with everyone making the final table guaranteed a payday of $13,600.

WPT Omaha Hi-Lo Micro Turbo: $7.5K Gtd ($11)

The $11 version of the Omaha Hi-Lo Turbo saw 381 entries. Starting with 100,000 in chips, players got busy at 9 p.m. (BST) with the last card dealt just four and a half hours later.

Russian player Stepan Aliftenov was the unfortunate soul to bubble, guaranteeing the remaining 48 players a payout of at least $44.51. By the time the final table of nine was reached, they all had $168.75 to show for their efforts.

It was a title battle of two Matthews with Irishman Matthew Gilmartin battling the Brit Matthew Gregory. The latter ultimately triumphed, taking home $1,472 while Gilmartin had to settle for second place and $1,093.

WPT Omaha Hi-Lo Mini Turbo: $20K Gtd ($109)

The buy-in of this Mini side event was $109, with ultimately 164 entries made into the event.

Longtime grinder Brian England secured the win, taking home $4.046. It took him 4 hours and 11 minutes to dispatch of all of the competition, doing in Yuri Rusakov (2nd, $3,934) after a deal heads-up.

Jens Lakemeier (18th, $260) and Anton Smirnov (15th, $260) got close to the final table but bowed out just before. Nicholas Romanello, one of the three famous Romanello brothers to play poker, did make it to the Final 9, eventually busting out in 5th for $1,200.

WPT Omaha Hi-Lo Turbo: $75K Gtd ($1,050)

Sixty-six entries were made into the $1,050 turbo event, and three and a half hours later, a winner was already crowned.

Andres Korn, Jens Lakemeier, and Talal Shakerchi – all three big names in the world of (online) poker – were the first three to bust. With a single re-entry allowed, they had the option to give it another go. Just Lakemeier made use of that option but busted out for the second time shortly after.

While the field was compact, some huge names signed up. Jeff Gross (24th), Patrick Leonard (20th), and Noah Boeken (15th) were just some of the names to come up short.

Mario Andre Lacerda Pinto and Artsiom Psostak agreed to a heads-up deal. Prostak took down the official title and biggest payout bringing home $22,496 to Belarus. Brazilian player Pinto had to do with $19,912 for his runner-up spot. Antoni Romanello (3rd, $8,935) had bowed out just before that. Isaac Haxton busted in fourth for $6,750.

At 7 p.m. (BST) tonight, all events resume play with some massive final tables and huge payouts awaiting.
20-07 V3