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Pavel Shirshikov Wins PokerStars Championship Sochi Main Event

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  • Pavel Shirshikov bests Vladimir Troyanovskiy to win the PokerStars Championship Sochi Main Event.

Pavel Shirshikov toppled a 387-player field to win the PokerStars Championship Sochi Main Event and take home RUB 29,100,000 (approx. $514,893).

Coming into the day second in chips, but only one big blind behind the chip leader, Shirshikov played magnificently, eliminating all but one of the players at the final table on his way to beating fellow Russian Vladimir Troyanovskiy to take down the title.

Troyanovskiy will not be left unhappy with his second place finish for RUB 18,450,000 ($326,453), and came away with another great result to go with his third-place finish in the PokerStars National High Roller.

But it was Shirshikov who emerged triumphant, taking down one of the biggest tournaments on Russian soil and adding his name to the list of PokerStars Championship Main Event champions.

PokerStars Championship Sochi Main Event Results

PlaceWinnerCountryPrize (RUB)Prize (USD)
1Pavel ShirshikovRussian Federation29,100,000$514,893
2Vladimir TroyanovskiyRussian Federation18,450,000$326,453
3Seyed GhavamIran13,335,000$235,948
4Dmitry VitkindRussian Federation10,785,000$190,829
5Lavrentiy NiKazahkstan8,535,000$151,017
6Timur BubnovRussian Federation6,570,000$116,249
7Daniyar AubakirovKazakhstan4,890,000$86,523
8Nadar KakhmazovRussian Federation3,540,000$62,636

The first player eliminated at the final table was Timur Bubnov. The short stack coming into the final day departed after his top pair ran into the flopped two pair of Vladimir Troyanovskiy. With no help on the turn or river the last remaining Spin and Go qualifier was eliminated in 6th place for RUB 6,760,000 ($116,249).

Lavrentiy Ni had worked hard during the final table, but faced a couple of difficult river spots against multiple opponents, and eventually moved all in with pocket eights, and was called by the Ace-Queen of Shirshikov. The flop was all diamonds, and with Shirshikov holding the Ace of diamonds, the four of diamonds on the turn sealed Ni’s fate and he left in 5th place for RUB 8,535,000 ($151,016).

At this stage play was relatively deep-stacked. Both Shirshikov and Troyanovskiy seemed to be driving things, with stacks in excess of 75 big blinds, and it seemed only a cooler would come close to breaking the cycle.

And a cooler it was. Shirshikov and Dmitry Vitkind bumped heads in a five-bet pot with Shirshikov holding Kings against Vitkind’s aces. There was a king on the turn which ended Vitkind’s Main Event run. This meant that Vitkind finished in the same place as he did seven years ago at EPT Tallinn. Vitkind took home RUB 10,785,000 ($190,829) for his efforts.

Again, the stack sizes were heading ever skywards, and it took another cooler to get play to heads-up. Shirshikov picked up Queen-Nine and Seyed Ghavam King-Nine. The flop came Queen-Nine-Eight, and the money went in on the turn with Ghavam needing to hit one of his remaining three outs to stay alive. He didn’t, but he still secured his deepest run in a major tournament since last December where he finished 84th in the EPT Prague Main Event for $14,638. This was his biggest live score to date, and he took home RUB 13,335,000 ($235,948) for third place.

As a result of Shirshikov eliminating Ni, Vitkind and Ghavam, he came into the heads-up portion of play with a greater than 2:1 chip lead. A combination of good fortune and strong heads-up play saw him forge an even greater gap against his opponent Troyanovskiy.

In the end, and with the dinner break looming, Shirshikov finally found a breakthrough and Troyanovskiy's stack was down around the 20 big blind mark. After getting even shorter, Troyanovskiy chopped a pot when five diamonds ran out on the board. He then doubled in a pot after rivering a miracle three-outer, before finally succumbing at the hands of his compatriot after a short but entertaining heads-up match.

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