From Zero to Hero: Israel's Corenkas Bags $1.1M WSOPC Prize

GGPoker Super MILLION$

When the nine players that reached the final table of the WSOP Winter Circuit $10,300 Super MILLION$ at GGPoker took their seats on December 6, few people held much hope for the shortest stack. Israel's "Corenkas" was armed 2,761,061 chips, or 17 big blinds, while Aleksejs Ponakovs led the way with a 16,420,942 stack, a monster 103 big blinds.

However, a little under three hours after the action commenced, Corenkas was the last player standing, leaving a trail of superstars in their wake. Corenkas reeled in a $1,095,775 prize and a gold WSOP Circuit ring to treasure forever.

#02: $10,300 Super MILLION$ High Roller Final Table Results

2Biao DingHong Kong$845,129
3Aleksejs PonakovsLatvia$651,876
4Mike WatsonCanada$502,857
5Barak WisbrodIsrael$387,947
6Anatoly FilatovTurkey$299,340
7Mark RadojaMexico$231,015
8Elio FoxMexico$178,329
9libreHong Kong$137,702

Corenkas' stack had dwindled to only nine big blinds within the first 20 minutes of the final table's action. The Israeli grinder doubled up with pocket sevens versus the five-trey suited of fellow countryman Barak Wisbrod in a battle of the blinds. This gave Corenkas some much-needed breathing room, but they were not out of the woods yet.

The Super MILLION$ final table lost its first player on the hour mark. Blinds were 125,000/250,000/30,000a when Elio Fox raised to 550,000 from early position. The action passed to "libre" in the small blind, and they three-bet jammed for 4,906,997. Mark Radoja instantly folded in the big blind, but Fox snap-called. Fox showed pocket kings, libre flipped over a pair of jacks, and Fox survived a scary board to bust his opponent. With that pot, Fox's stack soared to almost 10.5 million chips, the second-largest stack.

Elio Fox
Elio Fox

Despite only trailing Ponakovs when eight-handed play began, Fox was the next player out of the door. Fox could not find a fold to Wisbrod's river check-raise when he held a queen-high flush, only to run into Wisbrod's ace-high flush. That hand left Fox nursing a 15 big blind stack, and although he doubled up, Fox ran suited ace-queen into Biao Ding's dominating ace-king to end his participation in this massive event.

Corenkas was again the shortest stack, with only five big blinds, but they found pocket aces and found a double through Wisbrod's suited queen-eight. They then laddered a payout place when Radoja busted in seventh place. Radoja open-shoved for nine big blinds with queen-jack from the cutoff, and Wisbrod looked him up with ace-nine from the big blind. Radoja failed to connect with the board, and he was gone.

Anatoly Filatov
Anatoly Filatov

GGPoker's Anatoly Filatov's quest for a third Super MILLION$ title ended in a sixth-place finish. Filatov lost a coinflip with pocket fives against Corenkas' nine-eight and was left with nine big blinds. The very next hand. With the 250,000/500,000/60,000a blinds biting, Corenkas opened to 1,100,000 from under the gun, Filatov three-bet shoved for 4,617,544 on the button, only for Ding to cold-call in the small blind. Corenkas ripped it in for 6,325,888 in total, and Ding called. Filatov showed ace-queen and Ding pocket jacks, but Corenkas held a pair of kings on the hole! A ten-high board sent Filatov to the showers and Corenkas into the chip lead!

The hot-running Corenkas continued their sun-run by sending Wisbrod home in fifth. Mike Watson was left on fumes after losing with ace-queen versus Corenkas' ace-king, so shoved for a shade over 1.5 big blinds with queen-six. Wisbrod three-bet with pocket jacks in the small blind before calling when Corenkas jammed all-in with what turned out to be ace-king! Corenkas turned a wheel to bust Wisbrod, but Watson made a six-high straight and earned a temporary reprieve.

Unsurprisingly, with only five big blinds to his name, Watson was the next to fall. Corenkas raised on the button and called when Watson three-bet all-in from the big blind. Watson showed king-ten, but Corenkas held ace-king again, which held to leave only three players in the hunt for the near $1.1 million top prize.

Aleksejs Ponakovs
Aleksejs Ponakovs

Start-of-the-day chip leader Ponakovs crashed out in third place when he pushed all-in from the small blind for a little less than nine big blinds with king-eight, and Ding called with king-jack. A jack on the flop left Ponakovs drawing thin; he was drawing dead on the turn.

Corenkas held twice as many chips as Ding going into the one-on-one battle, and it did not take long for the champion-elect to get their hands on the Hong Kong-based grinder's stack.

The final hand saw Ding complete the small blind and Corenkas check. A king-four-six flop with two hearts was greeted by a check from Corenkas, an 800,000 bet from Ding, and a check-raise to 3,700,007 from Corenkas. Ding called, and another six landed on the turn. Corenkas bet 3,000,600 before instantly calling when Ding moved all-in for 16,058,386. Ding turned over king-deuce, but Corenkas had him crushed (of course he did) with seven-six. A brick on the river meant it was job done for Corenkas, going from the shortest stack to a WSOP Winter Circuit Super MILLIONS champion!

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