The 2015 World Series of Poker Europe continued in Berlin, Germany, Thursday with Day 4 of the 2015 WSOP €10,450 Europe Main Event and Day 2 of the €25,600 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em.
PokerNews was on hand for all the action and will be in Berlin for the duration of the 17-day series. As a part of our coverage, that is brought to you by 888poker, we will be bringing readers a special "888 Hand of the Day" every single day throughout the entire WSOP Europe schedule.
Under normal circumstances, Ismael Bojang losing a flip to bust 16th and out of the money in the WSOPE High Roller would not be big news. But when Mike Gorodinsky busted 17th, Bojang was left as the only player with a shot at catching him in the 2015 WSOP Global Poker Index Player of the Year race.
Bojang would have had to win the tournament to pass Gorodinsky, but nearing the end of Level 16, with blinds at 4,000/8,000 and a 1,000 ante, Ole Schemion made it 18,000 with the , Bojang pushed all in for 80,000 holding the , Schemion called, and after a board rolled out, it took Bojang with it.
Bojang's exit wrapped up 2015 WSOP GPI POY honors for Gorodinsky, making this monumental flip today's 888 Hand of the Day.
Gorodinsky managed just one cash at the 2015 WSOP Europe, taking 42nd in the €1,100 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo, but it was enough to help him hold off the charging Shaun Deeb, Brian Hastings, Stephen Chidwick, Anthony Zinno and Bojang to secure the title.
The final event on the World Series front in 2015, the High Roller started with Gorodinsky needing to fade a cash from Zinno, Hastings and Deeb. Once they were gone, only a Chidwick or Bojang win would stop him. Chidwick busted 20th, setting up Bojang as the last man standing in his way.
After it was over, Gorodinsky told PokerNews he felt happy and relieved.
"It feels great," he said of winning the title. "But mostly I feel relieved, honestly. I feel like being in front after the WSOP in Vegas ended added some sort of strange pressure that I had to put up more results to maintain the lead rather than just go out there and grind as usual."
Gorodinsky also said he considers a lot of the players in the POY race to be good friends and being able to chase the title with them here in Berlin was a lot of fun.
"It was a blast," he said. "Shaun and Brian, specifically, I have known for many years now and all three of us are accomplished online players that all came out of the same period of poker progression, so it was pretty cool to see how far the three of us had come as epitomized by this tight race for POY. And Zinno, well, I don't know him that well yet, but he seems about as nice as they come, and has been crushing this year, so it was a pleasure seeing his name at the top of the list as well."
Gorodinsky's summer in Las Vegas included a win in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship, two other final table appearances and seven total cashes for upwards of $1.7 million in earnings.
In the end, he collected 2251.81 POY points to beat runner-up Hastings by a slim 129.28.
While he will be headed to the 2016 WSOP in Las Vegas to play again, Gorodinsky said winning POY is a tough grind that takes a lot of luck and while he's proud of the accomplishment, defending this title may not be in the cards.
"In order to win POY - not just for me, but for anyone - you have to be incredibly lucky for the duration of the series," he said. "Not to take away from any past winners, or from myself for that matter, but you don't just go on a tournament tear because you're the best in the world. You do it with a lot of hard work, good play, and a hot run of cards.
"As for 2016, as I sit here in the hotel room, sure, I'm envisioning myself trying to make a run for a repeat performance. But realistically, Vegas is such a grind and there's so much action away from the tournament scene that if I don't start off on a bit of a tear again, I'll probably settle into my usual routine of 10 to 20 bigger buy-in events and then otherwise a summer dedicated to cash games."
As the 2015 WSOP Europe rolls on, be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for continued coverage, including regular 888 Hand of the Day articles.