Day 4 Completed
|Blinds||500,000 / 1,000,000|
Players Info - Day 4
Day 4 Completed
"Cyprus Bear" Orthodoxos Orthodoxou Keeps the Merit Poker Western Series Main Event Title in His Native Country
The wild, wild west conjures images of cowboys and outlaws, and of legendary names like Billy the Kid and Butch Cassidy. It’s an image that is kept alive through the magic of movies and storytelling. And no one told a better story today than Orthodoxos Orthodoxou.
The Cyprus native captured the title in his home country, beating out a field of 757 players to win the Merit Poker Western Series $3,300 Main Event for $372,800. Orthodoxou began the day at the bottom of the leaderboard with 16 players remaining and ended it by hoisting the prestigious trophy to keep in his island home.
“This tournament is a very difficult tournament to win. Have many professionals. Poker has started to be changed. Some aggressive players. Some professional players. This tournament I don’t believe any time in my life I would win,” Orthodoxou said following his victory.
Orthodoxou came into the tournament with just four recorded live cashes, including a 57th-place finish in the $2,200 Warm Up prior to the Main Event. He’s primarily a cash game player, estimating he’s played around five or six live tournaments in his entire life. His prior tournament highlight, he explained, was winning an $11 online event nearly a decade ago. His approach at the tables can be summed up in one word: heart.
“I don’t have any strategy. I play like I feel. Like I feel in my heart. I follow my heart. Never strategy,” he said. “I don’t know how I make raises. I don’t know how to make c-bets. It’s not strategy. I play how I feel. In the cash games the same. If I believe you make a bluff, I call you. If I believe. What I feel is how I play. All in my heart.”
Final Table Results
Final Table Action
The final day of the Main Event began with 16 players vying for a spot at the final table and a chance at capturing the title. It seemed like a long road for Orthodoxou, who began with just 1,375,000, in last place on the leaderboard. But he doubled up right before the final table when his kings held up against Aleksandr Chernikov’s top pair and flush draw.
Orthodoxou began the final table in third chip position with 9,500,000, behind chip leader Eduard Barsegian and Chernikov. With stacks bunched up together, it took nearly two hours before the final table had its first elimination. Vladislav Doroshkov jammed with king-seven and Chernikov had him dominated with king-queen, flopping top pair and ending up with a flush to eliminate Doroshkov in ninth place in what was the young Russian’s first ever live event.
Dominik Panka, the most accomplished pro at the final table, exited in eighth place after failing to win a race with ace-ten against Barsegian’s pocket eights. The final table then entered a sort of stalemate as seven-handed play lasted nearly two hours.
Ara Melkisetian rivered two pair to crack Chernikov’s aces and double up. A few hands later it was Orthodoxou’s turn to double when he was all in for his last 6,150,000 with ace-six and beat the king-queen of Barsegian. Serge Matta eventually moved all in for 4,000,000 with ace-queen, Chernikov called with ace-ten, and the chip leader hit the nut flush to eliminate Matta in seventh.
Orthodoxou doubled up again when he moved all in with straight and flush draws against the top pair of Barsegian, completing the flush on the turn. Justus Held, the online grinder known as “taxidriver,” then three-bet shoved for 8,300,000 with ace-seven, Chernikov called with ace-jack, and Melkisetian folded two nines. Chernikov’s jack-kicker played to bust Held in sixth while Melkisetian was left to rue the lost opportunity.
Barsegian, who spent most of the early portion of the final table at the top of the leaderboard, was eliminated in fifth after losing a race with ace-queen to Ernestas Degtiariovas’ sevens. Melkisetian fell in fourth place after running ace-eight into Orthodoxou’s ace-king.
Degtiariovas, the Lithuanian spin-n-go specialist also playing his first ever live tournament, then snap-called for his last 11,600,000 with top pair of aces against Chernikov’s pair of queens and flush draw. Chernikov rivered a queen to make trips, busting Degtiariovas in third as he took a 46,000,000 to 29,700,000 lead into heads-up play.
Orthodoxou doubled up when he flopped a set of fives against Chernikov’s straight draw and finishing with a full house. He then made quads with pocket threes as he took the chip lead. Finally, on the first hand after blinds increased to 500,000-1,000,000, Chernikov moved all in for 22,500,000 with two queens and Orthodoxou called with ace-ten. Orthodoxou began celebrating as soon as an ace came in the window, and “Cyprus Bear” was the champion.
Orthodoxou celebrated with his rail after his win, including fellow Cypriot Andreas Christoforou who gave him some tips before the tournament. His friends convinced him to play the Main Event after his deep run in the Warm Up. Then he got to celebrate a win on home soil with them.
“This is me. Cyprus Bear,” an emotional Orthodoxou said.
That concludes PokerNews’ coverage of the Merit Poker Western Series Main Event. Stay tuned for more updates from the High Roller event and tournaments around the world.
Aleksandr Chernikov raised to 3,500,000 before Orthodoxos Orthodoxou three-bet to 10,000,000. Chernikov then moved all in for 22,500,000 and Orthodoxou called.
Chernikov was ahead and in line for a double up to retake the lead when the came in the window, followed by the . Orthodoxou ran away from the table and pumped his fist at the sight of the ace that gave him the lead and a chance to win the title.
The board ran out and Chernikov finished as the runner-up.
"Cyprus Bear is the winner," the new champion yelled.
Orthodoxos Orthodoxou raised to 1,900,000 with and Aleksandr Chernikov called holding .
Both players hit a pair on the flop and Chernikov check-called a bet of 1,500,000. The turn came the and Chernikov again called a bet, this time for 3,000,000.
The river came the and both players checked, Orthodoxou taking the pot with his pair of tens.
"Cyprus bear," he said over to Chernikov after the hand.
Aleksandr Chernikov raised to 2,400,000 with before Orthodoxos Orthodoxou three-bet to 10,000,000 holding . Chernikov virtually beat him into the pot as they saw the flop.
Orthodoxou checked his set and Chernikov checked behind to the turn. Orthodoxou, now with quads, checked again and Chernikov bet 11,000,000.
Orthodoxou now moved all in for 25,100,000 and Chernikov snap-folded.
Aleksandr Chernikov raised to 2,400,000 with and Orthodoxos Orthodoxou defended with .
Both players paired their jack on the as Chernikov continued for 1,500,000. Orthodoxou then came back with a raise to 4,000,000.
Chernikov reraised to 12,500,000 and sent Orthodoxou into the tank, his head in his hands, before he eventually folded his two pair.
Orthodoxos Orthodoxou raised to 2,400,000, then called when Aleksandr Chernikov three-bet to 7,800,000.
The flop came and Chernikov immediately shoved all in. Orthodoxou snap-called for his last 10,200,000.
Orthodoxou had flopped a set, while Chernikov needed to complete his straight draw to win the title. The on the turn gave Orthodoxou a full house and left Chernikov drawing dead heading to the as Orthodoxou doubled up to virtually even in chips.
Aleksandr Chernikov raised to 2,400,000 with and Orthodoxos Orthodoxu defended with .
Both players checked the before Orthodoxou led out for 1,500,000 on the turn.
Chernikov called to see the river. Orthodoxou bet another 3,500,000 and Chernikov quickly called.
"Ten-high," Orthodoxou said as Chernikov took the first big pot of heads-up play with his pair of aces.