Krasimir Yankov Lives Dream with AA vs. KK and QQ Deep in WPT WC

Bulgaria’s Krasimir Yankov surged toward the chip lead when he picked up pocket aces after two players pushed all in in front of him.

Tim Fiorvanti
Dec 17, 2022
Krasimir Yankov built one of the biggest stacks on Day 4 of the WPT World Championship after holding pocket aces against pocket kings and pocket queens.

Most poker players have dreamed about a scenario in their heads hundreds or thousands of times while playing small buy-in tournaments or home games with their friends. It’s deep into a big buy-in tournament, two players have already gone all in and you look down at Heart ADiamond A in your hand.

That’s exactly how things played out for Krasimir Yankov Saturday, on Day 4 of the WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas.

It started quietly enough. With just nine big blinds left, WPT Champions Club member Asher Conniff shoved all in for 675,000 with Heart KSpade K from UTG+1. It folded around to Rania Nasreddine on the button. Having previously doubled up through Conniff with Club 10Heart 10 vs. Conniff’s Diamond ASpade K, Nasreddine saw an opportunity to finish the job, and pushed all in from the cutoff for 3.2 million. This time, however, she was behind, holding Heart QSpade Q. Having Conniff comfortably outstacked, Nasreddine had a buffer and could stand to lose the pot and still have a chance to spin back up if she didn’t come from behind.

That was, of course, until Yankov found Heart ADiamond A in the big blind, and called.

There was still the runout to come, but it couldn’t have come out much cleaner for Yankov. The Club 5Diamond 4Diamond 2 flop offered no help to the two trailing hands, and the Diamond 8 turn gave Yankov a flush draw – reducing both Conniff and Nasreddine to one out apiece. The Spade 7 river finished the job, and put Krasimir up to 12.7 million chips with 71 players left.

Nasreddine did get a nice consolation prize, however, as she and Conniff were eliminated on opposite sides of a pay jump. By virtue of starting the hand with more chips, Nasreddine walked away with $53,200 for 72nd place and Conniff got $46,650 for 73rd – a difference of $6,550, a bump of more than 10 percent.

As for Yankov, the Bulgarian native, he now has chips to make a major run in the WPT World Championship. He’s previously shown a knack for navigating big fields as well. In 2018, he finished 3rd in the WSOP Europe main event for $546,231 and 64th in the WSOP main event in Las Vegas for $108,745.