Mike Gorodinsky won poker's most prestigious title early Friday morning, taking down the 2015 World Series of Poker's $50,000 Poker Players' Championship, the "David 'Chip' Reese Memorial Trophy that comes with it and his second WSOP bracelet.
"I feel amazing," he told PokerNews, moments after beating Jean-Robert Bellande heads up to also capture a $1,270,086 first-place prize. "This is literally something I've gone to bed dreaming about and it's just cool to legitimately realize a dream. This was just an amazing day, an amazing five days."
The 10-game mixed event indeed began five days ago with 84 of the world's best players entering by the time registration closed. Thursday, David "ODB" Baker came into the final table of six with the chip lead, but Bellande climbed up close by busting Dan Kelly sixth with a ten-badugi over Kelly's queen-badugi.
Bellande also knocked out Chris Klodnicki fifth in Badugi, making a six-badugi to get the better of the one-time $50K PPC runner-up's eight. Bellande held the lead, but Baker struck back, sending Ben Sulsky to the rail fourth when his held versus Sulsky's all in preflop in no-Limit hold'em.
Baker could do no better than third after running into Gorodinsky's in the same game and failing to make miracles happen. Heads-up play began with Gorodinsky holding 7,550,000 to Bellande's 5,050,000 and although it was an epic affair lasting several hours, Gorodinsky grinded out the win against Bellande, eventually getting him to commit all his chips with top two against a set of eights in Pot-Limit Omaha and holding.
"He played well today, nothing but respect," Gorodinsky said of Bellande, whom he actually beat heads up for his first major live tournament win at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $5,000+250 8-Game Championship in 2010. "It's obviously a tough field. You have to have $50K to buy in, it's all the best players and that's why everyone wants to win this tournament. Bragging rights."
Gorodinsky won his first WSOP bracelet in the 2013 WSOP $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Low event and he's been running great all summer in the chase for his second, having already posted a third-place finish in the $5,000 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em, ninth in the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship, and a second-place finish in the $10,000 Razz Championship to 14-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth.
"Obviously I'm running good," he said. "I'd like to think that I'm playing really great and I'm making all the right decisions, but the cards are also hitting me right in the face. I've been running really good. I've just been good, healthy, haven't really been going out much. I've been good, just putting in my hours and it's paying off. I don't know what else to say, it has been a good summer."
But ultimately, nothing could be better for the Russian-born San Diego, Calif. resident than having his name etched on the the David 'Chip' Reese Memorial Trophy.
"I play mixed cash for a living so this means a lot. It's kind of like an ego boost," he said. "It really means a lot. They're all great players on the trophy and I never got the chance to meet Chip Reese, but I only hear good things. It's great to win a trophy named after him, I'm grateful...honored."
$50,000 Poker Players' Championship Final Table Results
|1||Mike Gorodinsky||St. Louis, MO||$1,270,086|
|2||Jean-Robert Bellande||Las Vegas, NV||$784,828|
|3||David "ODB" Baker||Katy, TX||$514,926|
|4||Ben Sulsky||Brewster, Ma||$353,928|
|5||Chris Klodnicki||Philadelphia, PA||$251,314|
|6||Dan Kelly||Potomac, MD||$184,222|