Zakhar Babaev Leads Final Six in 2019 EPT Sochi Main Event
Zakhar Babaev is the overwhelming chip leader with just six players left in the PokerStars EPT Sochi Main Event. Babaev came into the day as the second shortest stack, but his day was bookended by surges that will see him take 9,035,000 (181 bb) through to Day 5.
There is a massive gulf between him and the rest of the field, with nearest challengers Maksim Pisarenko (3,705,000) and Vyacheslav Mizun over five million chips adrift. There is another drop back to Uri Gilboa (2,115,000) and the two smallest stacks at the final table Serafim Kovalevsky (1,865,000) and Ivan Ruban (1,795,000) but with almost 40 big blinds they are by no means short.
Here's how the final six are seated at the final table:
|Position||Name||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
Day 4 Action
Timur Khamidullin was the first elimination of the day on the very first hand of the day before an early double for Babaev sent him on his way when he went runner-runner to river a flush.
Babaev followed this up with the eliminations of Stanislav Shchipalov and Vanush Mnatsakanyan to lead the field by the first break.
Nikolay Plastinin enjoyed three doubles in the first level of play with the outer table a hive of activity with a series of eliminations as Aleksey Istomin, Stanislav Shchipalov and Vanush Mnatsakanyan all made their exit.
Francisco Benitez enjoyed the briefest of spells in the chip lead after doubling with aces against the kings of Dmitry Yurasov, only for Yurasov to double back through him with queens against jacks on the very next hand.
After a break, play resumed and Mikhail Aleksandrov and Sergey Frizyak were eliminated in 17th and 16th, respectively. Next out was Nikolay Plastinin, who actually chopped a pot on the stone bubble of this tournament to stay alive.
The pace of eliminations slowed dramatically as the average chip stack soared, and Aleksandr Denisov was the next to go. The Day 1a and Day 2 chip leader was coolered out of the Main Event, with his kings running into the aces of Maksim Pisarenko who then sent Aleksandr Sheshukov to the rail after Pisarenko flopped a set to crack the queens of his opponent.
Pisarenko and Babaev then traded eliminations, with Andrey Malyshev and start-of-day chip leader Danil Bukharin eliminated just short of the final table.
It was clear that Babaev wasn't happy in second place nine-handed and with the elimination of Sergey Petrushevsky in ninth, he surged back into the lead and didn't look back.
Even the elimination of Vyacheslav Mizun in eighth by Pisarenko wasn't enough to reel Babaev in as he had already built an imposing chip lead by the time Francisco Benitez became the final elimination of the day.
The six players still in the EPT Sochi Main Event are all guaranteed ₽5,390,000 (~$83,000) but keep it here at PokerNews.com to see who will be walking away with the ₽27,475,000 (~$422,000) first prize.