WSOP Review: Russia earns a third bracelet; Sweden picks up their first

TAGs: Nadar Kakhmazov, Rifat Palevic, Russia, WSOP

It was a good day for Europeans as Nadar Kakhmazov won Russia’s third bracelet of the summer in a $5k No-Limit Hold’em event, and Rifat Palevic picked up Sweden’s first in the brand new $1k Super Turbo Bounty event.

It happens.

WSOP Review: Russia earns a third bracelet; Sweden picks up their firstYou get a dream final table lineup, full of superstars, bracelet winners, and high rollers, and a complete unknown ends up winning the thing.

Event #35: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em always produces a high-quality final table, but this year was exceptional. The former World Poker Tour (WPT) Player of the Year (POY) Faraz Jaka was leading the way followed by bracelet winner Sam Soverel, former November Niner Kenny Hallaert, and The Big Huni himself Chris Hunichen.

But none of those stars outshone the Russian Nadar Kakhmazov, who won his first gold bracelet, and the third in 2017 for Russia, after beating Big Huni in heads-up action.

The name of Kakhmazov may be as familiar as an electric razor in Dan Bilzerian’s bathroom, but expect that to change. 2017 has been a breakout year for the Russian who made the final table of the PokerStars Championship Sochi, finishing eighth, and two weeks ago he beat 3,273 entrants to win the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Main Event at The Venetian for $440,029.

Kakhmazov came into the heads-up phase with a 3:1 chip lead over Hunichen after he had eliminated Hallaert, after flopping a set of fours on a low board with the Belgian holding a pair of sevens. Hunichen did double up when his camouflaged set of nines beat the Russian’s second pair, but the end came when they got it in, both holding top pair, but with Kakhmazov holding a better kicker.

The event attracted 574 entrants, a 6.1% increase on last year’s field when the Belgian Michael Gathy won the bracelet.

Final Table Results

1. Nadar Kakhmazov – $580,338

2. Chris Hunichen – $358,677

3. Kenny Hallaert – $238,855

4. Sam Soverel – $162,257

5. Faraz Jaka – $112,585

6 . Christian Rudolph – $79,611

Other superstars than almost went supernova were bracelet winner Mike Leah (17th), the man who turned JC Alvarado into the elephant man Olivier Busquet (21st), and the WPT Champions Club member with a name straight out of the Godfather Rocco Palumbo (28th).

James Obst bubbled the final table to leapfrog Pablo Mariz at the top of the WSOP POY leaderboard. Mike Leah is now third after that 17th place finish.

Rifat Palevic Wins Event #39: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super Turbo Bounty

I am not sure the likes of Johnny Moss and Amarillo Slim would have approved of this new format, but it attracted more players than a dead elephant attracts maggots underneath the baking African sun.

1,867 players fancied the chance of winning a bracelet in a single day, and Sweden’s Rifat Palevic took the title and $183,903 in prize money. It was Sweden’s first bracelet of the series and came after Palevic defeated the experienced Ryan Olisar in heads-up action.

It was Palevic’s largest score to date, but only just, after also earning $180k crusts in two European Poker Tour (EPT) side events back in the day.

The super turbo event consisted of 20-minute levels, and each elimination was worth $300. Although, we don’t know how many bounties Palevic earned because nobody bothered to ask him. The entire event was done and dusted in under 15 hours.

Final Table Results

  1. Rifat Palevic – $183,903
  2. Ryan Olisar – $113,581
  3. Dean Blatt – $82,227
  4. Robert Heidorn – $60,132
  5. Rick Hollman – $44,244
  6. Joe Montervino – $33,160
  7. Gavin O’Rourke – $25,010
  8. Victor Kim – $14,685

Other players who like their poker fast and furious were the recent WPT DeepStacks Tampa winner Rex Clinkscales (35th), six-time bracelet winner T.J.Cloutier (41st), and the walking dictionary Pratyush Buddiga (4th).


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