Feb 28, 2021
By Lisa Yiasemides
Today sees the eagerly awaited final of the Main Event take place. Though it is undoubtedly the highlight of the entire festival, there was also one additional side event winner yesterday, as well as the final two starting flights in The Closer.
With another busy day at the tables to cover, let’s get right to it. And what better place to start than by taking a look at who became the latest player to adorn themselves with a WPT title last night.
Turbo Bounty Hunter
The ₽38,500/$515 buy-in Turbo Bounty Hunter was the only event of the day to play down to a winner. With 101 entries, a total of ₽3,888,500/$52,015 was up for grabs.
After seven and a half hours, Denis Vladimirov was the last player standing. He collected ₽435,400/$5,826 for the win*. Dmitriy Medvedev came closest to toppling him but had to settle for runner-up, which was worth ₽297,500/$3,980.
Aleksandr Merzhvinskiy, a regular at Casino Sochi and on the WPT Tour, had yet another deep run after placing third for ₽207,550/$2,777. Dmitriy Sakovich (₽152,250/$2,037), Artem Gorshkov (₽110,250/$1,475) and Aleksandr Linev (₽84,000/$1,123) all did enough to land themselves a spot in the final too.
Dmitry Bodrov (7th – ₽66,850/$894) was the final table bubble boy and Sonia-Veronika Shashikhina (9th – ₽43,400/$580) also did well, adding another result to her belt after a profitable series that has seen her achieve several cashes. Both Bodrov and Shashikhina easily reached the money stages, something that Mikhail Zakharov didn’t do. He left on the bubble in 14th place, with the top 13 paid.
*Prizes stated do not include bounty winnings.
The flagship event, which featured a ₽245,000/$3,328 buy-in attracted 251 entries including re-entries. By the end of Day 3 yesterday, just six remain and they will battle it out today to determine who becomes the third WPT Russia champion.
Maksim Sekretarev (3,340,000) is best placed to challenge for the title, returning with a healthy 67-big blind stack. He is closely trailed by Ravil Khamatgareev (2,905,000) in second place.
There is a big gap in the counts between the top two stacks and the rest of the field. Vladimir Bozinovic (1,190,000) will start with 24 big blinds, and the Serbian (and indeed the only non-Russian contender) is the only player in with a shot of a second WPT title, after winning a main tour event in Austria back in 2013.
There is little difference between Bozinovic’s stack, and that of Andrey Volkov (1,035,000) and Sergey Bobrik (980,000) in 4th and 5th places, while Vanush Mnatsakanyan (545,000) will begin as the table short-stack with only 11 big blinds to play with.
Mnatsakanyan may be short, but he is still in, which is more than can be said of Maksim Pisarenko who bubbled the final day, ending his tournament campaign in 7th place and collecting ₽1,916,250/$25,668 for his deep run. He fell after getting it all in with ace-three on an ace-high flop but running into Sekretarev’s ace-nine, with the better kicker holding. That hand was the second all in Pisarenko had lost to Sekretarev and proved to be the final nail in the coffin.
Other notable bustees were WPT Champion Andrey Kotelnikov who was the third person to bow out, leaving in 30th place. Dimitriy Vitkind and Garik Tamasyan weren’t far behind. They each took a min-cash too for placing 28th and 27th.
Aleksandr Merzhvinskiy nabbed himself two cashes yesterday but didn’t manage to make it two final tables after he hit the rail in 20th place. Siarhei Chudapal (13th) and Sergey Konovalov (10th) lasted longer still but were unable to reach the elusive final table either.
The six finalists have already sat down to fight for their share of the ₽54,247,551/$726,832 prize pool and could win anything between the ₽2,477,300/$33,183 cash guaranteed for 6th place, all the way up to the very attractive ₽11,996,600/$160,694 first-place prize. Plus, of course, they will each have the opportunity to see their name engraved on the Mike Sexton Champions Cup, or in Bozinovic’s case, see it added for a second time.
The clock was paused with 22 minutes left of level 28 (25,000/50,000 50,000 ante). The final means cards-up coverage will be shown over on the WPT Twitch channel, with full commentary from WPT Champions Club member James Dempsey and Henry Kilbane.
If you are unable to tune in to the stream today, don’t worry – there will also be a full summary of the final table posted here tomorrow.
The last two starting flights in The Closer took place yesterday. Featuring a ₽77,000/$1,029 buy-in, the two-day event will conclude later today.
Day 1b got off the mark first and was the last chance for players to make use of the 40-minute blind structure. Fourteen levels were on the clock and Eduard Barsegyan accrued 444,000 – an impressive 15 times the 30,000-starting stack – and that was good enough for the chip lead.
Evgeniy Sboev (330,000) also had a very productive day and secured himself the second chip lead for his efforts. Marina Khatskevich (271,000), Levan Kvachahiya (227,500) and Vage Melikyan (227,000) completed the top five too.
There were 104 entries in total, generating ₽7,280,000/$97,382 for the pot. Of those, 18 progressed to Day 2.
Still in the throng at the end, were last year’s WPT Russia Champion Aleksey Badulin (159,500) in 9th, and runner-up Vlada Stojanovic (121,000) in 13th place.
The turbo flight was fast and furious, with 20-minute blind levels on the clock. Sixty entries were logged by the time late registration closed and exactly a third of those made it through to Day 2.
Stefan Prostorov (281,000) finished at the top of the counts by end of level 14. Maksim Vichuzhanin (168,000) ended up the day in second place, while Mikhail Zavoloka (119,500), Andrey Surin (117,500) and Aleksandr Pakhomov (112,000) took third to fifth spots.
Maxim Lykov (105,500) and Garik Tamasyan (96,000) were two of the other notable survivors, and they each had strong days, but fell just short of the top five, taking 6th and 7th places respectively in the end.
The final contributions to the prize pool were made and the ₽4,200,000/$56,182 from Day 1c, brought the total prize pool for the event to ₽16,240,000/$217,238.
With play already underway at Casino Sochi for the final day of this event, the 52 survivors from Days 1a, 1b and 1c will need to reach the top 29 to see a return on their investment. If they make it that far, they will secure themselves a ₽116,200/$1,554 min-cash prize. For the winner, a hefty ₽3,515,400/$47,030 is up for grabs.
Don’t forget to check in with WPT.com again tomorrow for the final instalment of the WPT Russia coverage. That will include details of the latest WPT Champion, as well as the winner of The Closer and the final side events.
*1 Casino unit = 70 Rubles