New Career-Best Score For Lithuania's Paulius Zilinskas in the OlyBet Showdown Vilnius

Paulius Zilinskas

Lithuania may not be the first country that springs to mind when you think about prestigious live poker tournaments, but the country's capital, Vilnius, was awash with poker talent during the past week, who were all in town for the OlyBet Showdown Vilnius Ace Breaker festival.

The €555 buy-in Main Event was the showpiece of the festival. It saw 371 players buy-in and create a €178,080 prize pool.

Over three days of intense poker action, the 371-strong crowd was whittled to a more manageable 14 players. Paulius Zilinskas found himself in the bottom half of the chip counts at the start of play but was the last man standing after the final hand concluded. Zilinskas has live tournament winnings of $14,895 before this event, with his largest score weighing in at €1,644 ($1,806). Zilinskas now has a €34,805 prize on his resume.

€555 OlyBet Showdown Vilnius Ace Breaker Main Event Final Table Results

1Paulius ZilinskasLithuania€34,805*
2Titas GancieriusLithuania€28,000*
3Egidijus DovidaitisLithuania€16,950
4Ronaldas AglisnkasLithuania€12,865
5Audrius LaimelisLithuania€9,890
6Dominik OstrowskiPoland€7,660
7Arnas BazysLithuania€5,755
8Robertas SakinisLithuania€4,375
9Bahadir HatipogluTurkey€3,340

*reflects a heads-up deal

Turkey's Bahadir Hatipolgu was the first finalist heading for the cashier desk after he ran ace-king into the pocket aces of Egidijus Dovidaitis, the final table's chip leader.

Pocket rockets sent Robertas Sakinis to the showers in eighth place. Sakinis committed the last of his chips with pocket queens, only for Polish grinder Dominik Ostowski to wake up with the best starting hand in No-Limit Hold'em.

Seventh place went to Arnas Bazys, who got his short stack into the middle of the table holding ace-ten and needing some help to crack the red queens of Audrius Laimelis. A king-high board did not come to Bazys' rescue, and the final table was down to only six players.

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Those six became five with the untimely demise of Ostrowski. Rolandas Aglinskas initially limped in with ace-king before calling the short-stacked shove from Ostrowski, made with king-eight. Ostrowski missed the flop and turn, with a nine on the river being only one pip away from doubling him up.

Laimelis managed to triple his stack after hitting trip eights on the river, but he was still the next player heading away from the tournament floor. Laimelis defended his big blind with jack-nine from a cutoff min-raise before check-calling a 60,000 bet from Zilinskas on a draw-heavy queen-jack-king flop with two clubs. Both players checked the red seven on the turn, with Laimelis checking on the ten of clubs river. Zilinskas bet 410,000, the precise amount left in Laimelis' stack, and Laimelis called with his straight. Unfortunately for Laimelis, Zilinskas held ace-five for a Broadway straight.

Each of the four surviving players locked in a five-figure score, and it was Aglinskas who captured the first such prize. Aglinskas limped in for 60,000 with pocket nines under the gun, Titas Gancierius raised to two million from the small blind with ace-trey of diamonds, and Aglinskas called off the 700,000 chips he had behind. An ace on the flop catapulted Gancierius into the lead, with an unnecessary three on the river locking in the win.

Heads-up was set less than ten minutes later in one of the biggest pots of the tournament. Gancierius opened from the button before quickly folding after witnessing Dovidaitis three-bet and then Zilinskas four-bet jam his massive stack. Dovidaitis called all-in for slightly less than 20 big blinds, revealing ace-king as he did so. Zilinskas flipped over pocket queen, which held on a ten-high board.

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That last hand gave Zilinskas a 6,625,000 to 4,470,000 chip lead over Gancierius. The heads-up duo went on a short break, and returned having discussed and agreed to a deal. The deal guaranteed Zilinskas €29,800, Gancierius €28,000, with €5,005 and the trophy awaiting the eventual champion.

Zilinskas started the one-on-one battle brightly and eventually got his hands on all of the chips in play. The final hand happened during the 40,000/80,000/80,000a level, and saw Gancieirus limp, Zilinskas raise to 300,000, Gancierius four-bet to 800,000, and Zilinskas call.

Zilinskas check-called a 600,000 bet on the ace-eight-six flop, which showed two clubs. Both players checked the jack of spade turn, with Zilinskas checking again on the three of clubs river. Gancierius jammed for around two million chips, and Zilinskas wasted no time in calling. Gancierius showed king-three, which was crushed by the ace-four in the victor's hand.

2024 Kings of Tallinn Runs February 23 through March 3

Players don't have long to wait for the next chapter of OlyBet's live poker festival offering because the 2024 edition of the long-running Kings of Tallinn is right around the corner. The festival runs from February 23 through March 3 at the Hilton Tallinn Park Hotel & Olympic Park Casino.

The schedule boasts over 50 tournaments, including a €1,100 buy-in, €500,000 guaranteed Main Event. Estonia's Piriit Parmasto is the reigning champion, having outlasted 715 opponents on his way to banking €97,400 in 2023.

Full details of the 2024 Kings of Tallinn schedule can be found right here at PokerNews.

Lead photo courtesy of OlyBet and Tautvytas Juknevičius

  • Paulius Zilinskas warms up for the 2024 Kings of Tallinn with an impressive victory in Lithuania.

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