It took just four hours to crown a winner in the 2021 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS North Cyprus $5,300 Main Event and Georgia's Giorgiy Skhulukhiya went wire-to-wire in dominating fashion to earn his biggest career payday on the live poker circuit so far. The flagship tournament of the festival smashed the $3 million guarantee thanks to 839 entries and the top 98 finishers earned the biggest portion of the $3,859,400 prize pool.
After a short-lived heads-up duel, Skhulukhiya defeated Cyprus-based German poker pro Robert Heidorn in heads-up to claim the top prize of $683,285. The Georgian already had two six-figure victories in the two previous years to his name at the five-star Merit Crystal Cove Hotel Casino & Spa. During the final table showdown, Skhulukhiya wore a shirt that features a print of his daughter's drawing that was given to him as a wish to reach the final table. It proved to be a lucky charm indeed as he wrapped up the final day in record time.
Skhulukhiya capped off the triumph in extremely convincing fashion after knocking out seven of his last eight opponents. Heads-up opponent Heidorn started the final table as the second-shortest stack with just 12 blinds but survived the carnage to ladder up all the way to a consolation prize of $494,810.
Canada's Harpreet Gill earned his entry in a satellite on partypoker and finished in third place while the final table also featured Pokercode Grindhouse member Fabian Bernhauser and local player Angelos Michael from the southern part of the island.
Final Result $5,300 Main Event
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Skhulukhiya also won the LuxonPay last longer competition against Heidorn to add another small boost to his bankroll. He will surpass $2 million in cashes on the live poker circuit and further cement his status at the top of the all-time money list of Georgia. The successful $5,300 Main Event concludes the return of the MILLIONS live poker tour after a hiatus of more than one and a half years due to the global pandemic.
Skhulukhiya Dominates Final Table
Only during the first few hands of the final table, Skhulukhiya had to concede the top spot but once he regained it, there was simply no looking back. Every opponent that dared to challenge the aggressive playing style of the Georgian had to pay for it and the only opponent to double was Fabian Bernhauser with a short stack. All other all-in showdowns went to Skhulukhiya, who knocked out seven of the other final eight contenders.
Hadi Khadra suffered a rough start to the final table and lost every showdown while getting it in ahead, eventually succumbing to a short stack when his pocket queens failed to hold up against the ace-jack suited of Harpreet Gill. Soon after, Angelos Michael three-bet jammed ace-king into the kings of Skhulukhiya and, as the commentators on the partypoker live stream said, it would be all over.
That prediction turned out to come true as one finalist after the other sent their chips over to Skhulukhiya. Halil Baybars lost a flip, Majid Kamarei was outflopped and Bernhauser paid for his previous double when he lost a flip shortly thereafter to bow out in fifth place. Only ten minutes later the tournament was already down to the final two and Heidorn had a mountain to climb.
The one-sided heads-up duel was seemingly only ever going to go one way and Heidorn was quickly chipped down to just eight blinds when he made the last stand with a queen. Skhulukhiya had an ace and paired his kicker to dispatch his final opponent to wrap it up in just under four hours.
That wraps up the PokerNews live reporting from the 2021 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS North Cyprus festival and all eyes of the live poker scene will now be set on the in-person World Series of Poker in Las Vegas as of September 30, 2021.