partypoker's Filatov Wins LIVE Millions Russia Main Event
Only 11 players out of a 916-strong field returned for the final day of the 2018 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Russia RUB318,000 (~$4,700) Main Event and determined their champion at the stunning Sochi Casino and Resort. Ultimately, it was partypoker ambassador Anatoly Filatov who lifted the trophy only a few days after his birthday. Filatov defeated countryman Gor Kazaryan on home soil and scored his best result on the live circuit to date, RUB60 million (~$887,000).
"Very tired, very exhausted, I don't realize yet that I won this tournament, especially in my home country," an overwhelmed Filatov said. "On the eighth of August it was my birthday, 30 years old, such a good beginning for this year. I am very glad."
Prior to the biggest poker festival of the year on Russian soil, Filatov already had more than $2.1 million in cashes to his name including two victories in events of his sponsor, partypoker. He also came close to another trophy at the 2017 Caribbean Poker Party, finishing second in the $5,300 Finale for $165,000 before adding an 11th place in the partypoker MILLIONS Grand Final Barcelona €10,300 High Roller (€50,000) and seventh place in the partypoker MILLIONS North America C$10,300 Finale (C$60,000) to his poker resume in the current year.
Just one week ago, Filatov talked about how much a victory in this very event would mean to him in a podcast and that is exactly what he has now done. It wasn't an easy ride on the final day, however, as he faced some tough competition in Konstantin Uspenskii, Gleb Tremzin, Viktor Khodorenko and eventual runner-up Kazaryan. Late on Day 4 when only three tables remained, Filatov was among the shortest stacks with nine big blinds and doubled with queen-jack against the pocket aces of Uspenskii.
Final Result 2018 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Russia Main Event
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (in RUB)||Prize (~ in USD)|
Action of the final day
Only 11 players returned to their seat and it would take half an hour to determine the unofficial final table of the last nine. Ekaterina Fedyaeva held the shortest stack among the finalists and raised out of the small blind with jack-ten suited. Viktor Khodorenko moved all in from the big blind with ace-eight suited, also of spades, and Fedyaeva called it off to find no help on a king-high board. Next to fall was Aleksandr Chernikov, who was involved in many hands early on and check-shoved a three-way flop with bottom pair and the second-nut flush draw. Again it was Khodorenko who dealt the final blow, having flopped the flush with jack-deuce as button aggressor.
The unofficial final table included seven Russians, one Belarusian and Malaysia's Chin Wei Lim, and the latter happened to miss out on the group shot for the official final table of the last eight. Having paid off Khodorenko's full house just prior, Lim four-bet all in with pocket fours and Khodorenko took the flip with ace-jack to spike a jack on the turn and score the third knockout in a row.
Once the cards got back in the air, the rise of partypoker ambassador Filatov started and he was responsible for the elimination of Uspenskii in 8th place. Khodorenko had raised and Filatov three-bet with king-queen before Uspenskii got his short stack in with ace-king on the button. Filatov called and turned a queen to reduce the field to the final seven.
Mikhail Galitskiy entered the final day as one of the bigger stacks but never got much going. Eventually, he three-bet all in with ace-queen and initial raiser Filatov snap-called with pocket kings to hold up on a queen-high board and send the second opponent in a row to the rail.
Accomplished poker pro Tremzin never managed to spin up his short stack and secured some pay jumps, but his run came to an end in sixth place. Nearly even-stacked with Andrey Malyshev, Tremzin jammed from early position with pocket fours and Malyshev just called with pocket tens, as did Viktor Khodorenko with pocket eights on the button. Malyshev was also at risk after a queen-high flop and tripled up after a blank on turn and river.
Despite doubling through Malyshev in a big flip with pocket nines against ace-queen suited, Alexey Melnikov was the next to fall in 5th place. After losing several pots to drop down to the bottom of the counts, Melnikov got his last 12.5 big blinds in with ace-six and Filatov called with king-jack suited. A queen-ten high flop spelled trouble for Melnikov and the river brought a jack to improve Filatov and reduce the field to the last four.
On the way to the official final table, Khodorenko became the dominating chip leader but some of his moves back fired and he ended up as the fourth place finisher. The Belarusian three-bet all in with ace-seven and again it was Filatov who dealt the final blow after four-bet jamming with pocket queens in the big blind. A queen on the turn left Khodorenko drawing dead and Filatov took over the tournament lead for the first time.
Down to the last three, it was Malyshev that pulled into the top spot, but one crucial hand changed the final outcome dramatically. Kazaryan three-bet with queen-jack suited and Malyshev four-bet all in with ace-king to see Kazaryan call it off and flop a jack for the biggest pot of the tournament to date. Malyshev never recovered from that and, despite one double up, fell in third place with king-seven against the king-eight of Filatov.
Heads-up play lasted for more than 80 minutes and the lead changed several times without any all in showdown. A setup hand then determined the champion when Kazaryan flopped top two pair with queen-nine and Filatov turned the nut straight with jack-ten of hearts. All the chips went into the middle and a blank ace let Filatov and his friends on the rail celebrate.
That brings an end to the PokerNews live reporting here in Sochi and the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS circuit is already preparing for the next two upcoming highlights. Satellites for the MILLIONS UK at the Dusk Till Dawn poker club in Nottingham in early October and the Caribbean Poker Party on the Bahamas in November 2018 are already ongoing on partypoker.