The penultimate day of the 2019 PokerStars EPT Open Sochi RUB133,000 Main Event (~$2,040) has seen 46 players return to their seats and eight levels of 75 minutes were scheduled at the stunning Casino Sochi. Eventually, the final six were reached with six minutes remaining in the final level of the night and Georgiy Skhulukhiya has emerged as the overwhelming chip leader for tomorrow's final table.
Skhulukhiya was among the most active players for the entire duration of the day and entered the unofficial nine-handed final table in the top spot before claiming a big pot against Yi Ye in the final level of the night to end up as the only finalist with an above-average stack. Skhulukhiya bagged up 11,715,000 and Ye as only non-Russian native speaker is second in chips with 3,240,000.
Back in March 2019, Skhulukhiya reached the final table of the EPT National at Casino Sochi and comes fresh off a victory in the Merit Poker Retro $10,000 High Roller for $225,000. He may very well capture a new largest live-cash to date with more than $300,000 reserved for the eventual champion in Sochi.
The other four finalists are within two big blinds and practically tied. Former Casino Sochi staff member Lidiya Kozenkova has 2,910,000 at her disposal, Natalia Panchenko is right behind her with 2,895,000 while Abdul Mamin Abdal Ali Han (2,780,000) and Egor Sukhov (2,680,000) are one pot away from becoming second in chips.
There are six minutes remaining in level 28 at blinds of 40,000/80,000 with a big blind ante of 80,000, the final table action recommences at noon local time on the feature table of the Karaoke poker room.
Seat Assignments for the Final Day
|Seat||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|1||Abdul Mamin Abdal Ali Han||Russia||2,780,000||35|
The early stages of the day saw plenty of players depart and eventual chip leader Giorgiy Skhulukhiya was among the shortest stacks with all but one foot out of the door. In a battle of the blinds he got it in with ten-trey against ace-queen and flopped trips tens to start his rise on the leaderboard.
By then, notables such as Ghassan Bitar and Artur Osipov were already on the rail and Natalia Panchenko had taken over the lead in a crucial hand. Other big names such as Vyacheslav Goryachev, Aleksey Istomin and Mikhail Zamyatin missed out on the three table redraw.
Pavel Vershinin saw his hopes of an even deeper run vanish when his full house ended up second-best to the quads of Vladislav Petrov. The 2019 WSOP bracelet winner Anatolii Zyrin nursed a severe short stack for a long time and eventually bowed out in 17th place when his top two pair on the flop fell behind against a set on the turn.
The race towards the final table continued at a rapid pace and Skhulukhiya took over the lead followed by Yi Ye and Dmitriy Kopyl. For the latter, there would be no happy end as he dropped towards the bottom of the leaderboard and his pair and straight draw were no good in showdown against Ye's better pair and same draw.
Almost two full levels remained to be played and Artem Voziyanov quickly vanished to reduce the field to the final eight. Boris Kitov would fall in 8th place and Skhulukhiya cemented his lead in a pivotal hand with a flopped set of kings against second-biggest stack Ye. Vladislav Petrov lost a flip against Egor Sukhov and busted right after to set up the final six.
Final Table Results and Payouts
|Position||Player||Country||Prize (in CSU)||Prize (in RUB)||Prize (~ in USD)|
|7||Vladislav Petrov||Russia||36,770||2,573,900 ₽||$40,180|
|8||Boris Kitov||Russia||25,840||1,808,800 ₽||$28,236|
Note: CSU stands for Casino Sochi Unit and is equal to 70 Russian Rubles (RUB)
Be sure to tune back in here on PokerNews to find out who will lift the trophy for the winner shots in the third-ever EPT Open Main Event in Sochi.