Max Lykov came into today's final table as the chip leader with almost a third of the chips in play and never lost that lead as he stayed in command throughout the day's proceedings.
The action was fast early on as Stanislav Alehkin hit an early double up with through Joshua Evans' to give the Russian a fighting chance. It was Sebastien Roy though, who would bust first when he reraised all in with against Lykov, the latter's rivering broadway to send the French-Canadian spinning out of the event.
Joshua Evans, crippled from doubling up Alekhin earlier was when he pushed with and found Dror Michaelo more than willing to make the call with . Michaelo had a real sweat though, when the board came , fading the flush draw.
With Lykov and Michaelo holding most of the chips, everyone else was suffering as short stacks. Douglas MacKinnon made a push with queen-seven but Lykov held pocket sevens to dominate him, a queenless board later and the chip leader was increasing said lead.
Ren Ho Zhang won a huge flip against Alekhin and then dispatched the crippled short stack in sixth place, leaving just one Russian remaining in Lykov. At this point, Englishman Warren Wooldridge came into his own, first doubling through Lykov then knocking out Harald Olsen in fifth place. Olsen had pushed with from the small blind and Wooldridge made the call with , neither player hit and Wooldridge moved up into second place as a result.
Ren Ho Zhang was knocked out in Lykov in third when he bluffed all in with a missed straight draw, only to find Lykov happy to call with a rivered flush. Wooldridge was then eliminated in 3rd place after an extended period of three-handed play, Wooldridge got it in with against Lykov's but the latter flopped a nine and it managed to hold to give a 2:1 lead over Michaelo going into heads up.
The final battle against Michaelo was brief and bloody, the Russian getting paid off when he flopped the nut straight and then quickly dispatching his foe when he had him all in with a dominating hand. Lykov takes home nearly $650,000 for his efforts and already having an EPT title, is now two-thirds of the way towards a triple crown.
It also makes him the third Russian to capture a bracelet this summer, an impressive achievement. Congratulations to him from everyone at PokerNews and don't forget, the Main Event will be starting tomorrow from 12pm!