Friday, June 14, 2024

Tournament Wrap-Up: Jessica Vierling, Mikalai Vaskaboinikau, David Ko, Wiktor Malinowski winners

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The WSOP is almost here, but there was some big tournament action in Europe, Quebec, and sunny Southern California. The epic Triton high roller series continued at the Maestral Resort & Casino in Montenegro. Two players stepped into the winner’s circle and banked over $4.7 million each. Meanwhile, prestigious tours like the World Series of Poker Circuit and World Poker Tour crowned two more champions in L.A. and Montreal.

The Commerce Casino on the outskirts of Los Angeles hosted the latest stop for the WSOP Circuit. The $1,700 buy-in Main Event had a $1 million guarantee that was more than doubled when 1,467 runners took a shot at the coveted ring. The total prize pool was over $2.2 million and over $328K was set aside for the champion.

The final eight at Commerce included Jessica Vierling, Christian Roberts, Cooper Feltham, James Pilpa, Stephen Sharrah, Amit Shah, Edward Pak, and Jared Griener. When the dust settled, German pro Jessica Vierling knocked out Christian Roberts and was the last person standing. Vierling was awarded her first circuit ring and banked over $328K in cash.

The WPT returned to Montreal for their latest stop. The Playground Poker Club in Quebec hosted the $3,500 CAD buy-in Main Event. A total of 882 runners took a shot at the prize pool that topped $2 million. Only the top 111 places paid out. Canadian pro Mike Leah bowed out in 57th place and three-time WPT champ Eric Afriat missed the final table when he was picked off in 19th place.

The final six in Montreal included David Ko, Dan Stavila, Tommy Nguyen, Rayan Chamas, Tamer Alkamli, and Charles Kassin. Ko and Stavila were the last two standing, but Stavila headed to the rail in second place. Ko banked $319,217 CAD for the victory. Not too shabby, eh?

The 2024 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro hosted their $125,000 buy-in Main Event, which attracted 171 runners and a prize pool worth nearly $21.4 million. Only the top 27 places paid out. Among the noteworthy names who cashed included Paul Phua, Chris Berwer, Mas Oya, Hossein Ensan, Patrik Antonius, Bryn Kenney, Elizabth Chen, Dan Smith, and Mikita Badziakouski.

The final six included Phil Ivey, Mikalai Vaskaboinikau, Dejan Kaladjurdjevic, Aleksejs Ponakovs, Igor Yaroshevskyy, and Samuel Ju. Ivey was the biggest shark remaining at the final table but he hit the bricks in fourth place with paid out almost $1.8 million.

Mikalai Vaskaboinikau and Dejan Kaladjurdjevic were heads up for the title. The final two players were a virtual spelling bee for poker reporters. Kaladjurdjevic could not pull off a comeback and he settled on a runner-up finish which paid out a juicy $3.196 million. Mikalai Vaskaboinikau emerged as the victor, and the businessman from Belarus walked away with a sick payday worth $4,737,000.

The nosebleed action continued in Montenegro with the $200K buy-in 8-max event which attracted 93 runners and a prize pool north of $18.6 million. Only the top 15 places paid out and some of the familiar faces who cashed included Stephen Chidwick, Christoph Vogelsang, Paul Phua, Patrik Antonius, Bryn Kenney, and Christoph Vogelsang.

The final eight included Wiktor Malinowski, Adrian Mateos, Steve O’Dwyer, Michael Watson, Mikita Badziakouski, Jason Koon, Jonathan Jaffe, and Nick Petrangelo. The top six places would bank at least seven figures.

Spanish superstar Adrian Mateos got heads-up for a potential Triton title, but the poker gods were shining their run good upon Wiktor Malinowski. Mateos busted in second place, which paid out $3.29 million. Polish pro Malinowski was the last one standing and he banked $4,789,000.

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