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The week-long 2019 World Poker Tour (WPT) Russia Main Event, hosted at the Casino Sochi, attracted an impressive field of 503 entrants across three starting flights. Ukraine’s Denys Shafikov (cover image) overcame the huge entry field to claim his career-first WPT title for 240,000 Casino Units ($255,258).
Shafikov’s first brush with the WPT happened last month when he finished 91st in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event in Las Vegas for $20,381. His current live tournament earnings stand at over $700,000.
Shafikov started the final table as the chip leader and dominated the proceedings bringing about the eliminations of Mikhail Galitskiy, Nikolay Fal and eventual runner-up Aleksey Gortikov. Along with the 240,000 Casino Units first-place prize, Shafikov also bagged a seat worth $15,000 into the WPT Baccarat Crystal Tournament of Champions scheduled for later this year in Las Vegas.
Other notables who finished in the money included Denis Sapozhnikov (7th for $42,543), Viktor Kudinov (12th for $21,271), Nikita Bochkin (20th for $12,018) and Viktor Ustimov (35th for $7,445).
You can catch the final table action right here.
1. Denys Shafikov – 5,335,000
2. Aleksey Gortikov – 3,360,000
3. Yauhen Kontush – 2,660,000
4. Mikhail Galitskiy – 1,980,000
5. Oleg Pavlyuchuk – 1,000,000
6. Nikolay Fal – 785,000
The first elimination on the six-handed final table took place on the 24th hand. Aleksey Gortikov opened from the button with and Oleg Pavlyuchuk moved all-in from small blind with . Gortikov had 2,000,000 behind and used a couple of time-bank chips before making the call. Pavlyuchuk received no help from the board and made a sixth place exit.
34 hands later, Mikhail Galitskiy jammed from the cutoff with and Denys Shafikov called from the button with . The flop fell and Shafikov was in the lead with two pairs of kings and fives. The turn gave Galitskiy outs for a backdoor straight and flush, but Shafikov hit a full house on the river ending Galitskiy’s run in fifth place.
Down to four-handed play, Nikolay Fal shoved all-in with and Shafikov called from the button with putting the former’s tournament life at risk. The board ran and Shafikov’s ace kicker knocked Fal out of the competition in fourth place.
With the last three runners left at the table, Gortikov moved all-in for 2,000,000 from the small blind with and Yauhen Kontush called from big blind for 1,600,000 with . The board fanned out missing both players. Gortikov’s higher pair of jacks held on, eliminating Kontush in third place.
The heads-up play between Aleksey Gortikov and Denys Shafikov began with the latter in the chip lead. A total of 52 more hands were played before a winner was crowned.
On the 168th hand, which also happened to be the last hand of the event, Shafikov raised to 375,000 from the button with and Gortikov shoved all-in for 4,500,000 from the big blind holding . Shafikov called to see the community cards open . Shafikov hit a set of nines on the turn to relegate Gortikov to the runner-up spot. The Ukrainian pro took home 240,000 in casino credit for his well-deserved win!
1. Denys Shafikov – 240,000 ($255,258)
2. Aleksey Gortikov – 161,000 ($171,236)
3. Yauhen Kontush – 104,117 ($110,736)
4. Nikolay Fal – 75,000 ($79,768)
5. Mikhail Galitskiy – 59,000 ($62,751)
6. Oleg Pavlyuchuk – 48,000 ($51,051)
*1 Casino Credit = US$ 1.063579
Content & Image Courtesy: World Poker Tour