An eventful final table of Event #39: $10,000 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em Championship ended with Australia's Martin Kozlov taking first place for $655,709 after beating out a 294-player field.
Also present at the final table, and finishing fourth, was poker pariah Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, who did not respond to an interview request from PokerNews after his elimination.
Official Final Table Results
|1||Martin Kozlov||Lysterfield, Australia||$665,709|
|2||Davidi Kitai||Brussels, Belgium||$411,441|
|3||Justin Bonomo||Glendale, CO||$271,856|
|4||Chris Ferguson||Las Vegas, NV||$183,989|
|5||Nick Petrangelo||Feeding Hills, MA||$127,622|
|6||Jack Salter||London, U.K.||$90,783|
A deep, boisterous rail was present with all eyes on Ferguson, the five-time bracelet winner and former WSOP Main Event champion who has been vilified as a former member of Full Tilt Poker brass and only this year made his return to the WSOP after a five-year absence.
When Ferguson got his last 460,000 in from the button at 40,000/80,000/10,000 and was called by Kozlov, the crowd loudly cheered for a three that would give Kozlov a set with . Ferguson held , and the dealer did deliver a three as hit the felt. Ferguson still had outs with spades but none materialized on the turn or river.
After the hand, at least one railbird yelled for Ferguson to leave, adding what sounded like more than a few obscenities along the way. Make his exit Ferguson did, along with his own sizable rail, stopping to pose for photos with a handful of fans on the way out the door of the Amazon Room.
Kozlov said playing in front of the somewhat hostile rail didn't change anything about the way the final table played out.
“When you're playing the game, you just get in the zone and all of that just fades away,” he said. “It's just about the cards and the spot, you try not to think about what's happening beyond the felt.”
That left Kozlov three-handed with a nice chip lead against a pair of stars and bracelet winners in Davidi Kitai and Justin Bonomo. He eliminated them both in a wild double knockout to secure his first bracelet.
It began with Kozlov opening for 250,000 on the button with blinds at 50,000/100,000/10,000. Bonomo shoved in for just over 2.9 million, and Kitai went into the tank before announcing he was all in for 3.85 million. Kozlov held and called, having both Bonomo () and Kitai () dominated. The sweat was over quickly as flopped to give the Aussie unbeatable quads.
Kozlov had already made two very deep runs this summer with a fifth place in the $3,000 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em for $110,389 and 11th in the Summer Solstice for $25,335. He said he doesn't play much tournament poker and for his bracelet to come in the elite $10K six-max field was special.
“It's tough, it's prestigious, it's all the best players having their crack,” he said. “I guess I just got lucky.”
Luck aside, Kozlov has been in the game awhile now, saying he started playing in college for “pocket change” before progressing to bigger stakes and deciding to take the game seriously.
Tournament poker and no-limit hold'em aren't necessarily his favorite formats – he said he's more of a pot-limit Omaha cash game player – but he takes shots in a few tournaments every year at the WSOP. He mostly sticks to six-max events, usually just playing five-to-10 per summer, and whether something has clicked or it's just good old positive variance, Kozlov is clearly on a roll in 2016.
“I fire some tournaments when I'm feeling it, and this summer I've been feeling it so I've been firing all the six-handed tournaments,” he said. “I'm just running hot. Just running hot.”
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