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Main Event

Level Info

Level 33
Blinds 125,000 / 250,000
Ante 25,000

Players Info

Entries 699
Prize Pool 30,000,000 RUB
Main Event
Day 3 Completed

Aleksandr Merzhvinskiy Wins PokerStars Festival Sochi Main Event for $133,951

Yardley • Level 33: 125,000-250,000, 25,000 ante
Aleksandr Merzhvinskiy
Aleksandr Merzhvinskiy

Aleksandr Merzhvinskiy came out on top of 699 entries to be crowned the 2017 PokerStars Festival Sochi Main Event Champion, taking the trophy and first place prize money of 7,700,000 RUB (US$133,951).

The third and final day of the Main Event saw 27 players return to play to a winner and Merzhvinskiy began the day with a commanding chip lead, holding 2,599,000 compared to his nearest rival Serafim Kovalevskiy who had 1,293,000.

Merzhvinskiy was on the front foot all day, constantly driving the action and pressurising his opponents. It was far from an easy ride though, and at one point his small blind shove with {8-Clubs}{4-Clubs} ran into the {9-Spades}{9-Hearts} of Kirill Denisenko in the big blind and he had to set about rebuilding his stack.

There was no let-up in the pace of eliminations all day until they reached the unofficial final table of nine where the action did slow down as ranges tightened up as the remaining players desperately tried to make it into the annals of PokerStars history.

Eventually though Vadim Lipovka shoved from late position with {a-Diamonds}{8-Clubs} and couldn’t improve against the {a-Spades}{q-Spades} of Valentin Zolotilov.

The elimination from eight to heads-up were again fairly quick with average stacks hovering around the 30 to 40 big blinds and most bust outs were fairly standard flips.

Once Alexsandr Denisov and Merzhvinskiy had reached heads-up they paused the clock to look at ICM numbers but quickly decided they didn’t want to deal.

It didn’t take long for Denisov to equal up the stacks though and it looked like they were settling in for a marathon heads-up battle as at one point Denisov limp-folded to a raise preflop and showed the {a-Diamonds} which had Merzhvinskiy shaking his head.

The small ball looked set to continue until Merzhvinskiy set the trap by limping with {j-Spades}{j-Clubs} and calling the shove from Denisov holding {6-Hearts}{6-Diamonds}. It was all over by 12:30 a.m and Merzhvinskiy was the champ.

2017 PokerStars Festival Sochi Final Result

PositionNameCountryPrize in RUBPrize in $
1Aleksandr MerzhvinskiyRussian Federation7,700,000 RUB$133,951
2Alexsandr DenisovRussian Federation4,700,000 RUB$81,762
3Nikita MyshkinRussian Federation3,350,000 RUB$58,277
4Alexander ShlyakhovRussian Federation2,600,000 RUB$45,230
5Valentin ZolotilovRussian Federation2,000,000 RUB$34,792
6Andrey KotelnikovRussian Federation1,560,000 RUB$27,138
7Mikhail ZamyatinRussian Federation1,101,800 RUB$19,167
8Kirill DenisenkoBelarus770,000 RUB$13,395
Aleksandr Merzhvinskiy

Tags: Aleksander MerzhvinskiyAlexsandr DenisovKirill DenisenkoSerafim KovalevskiyVadim LipovkaValentin Zolotilov

Alexsandr Denisov Eliminated In 2nd Place (4,700,000 RUB)

Yardley • Level 33: 125,000-250,000, 25,000 ante
Alexsandr Denisov - 2nd Place
Alexsandr Denisov - 2nd Place

Aleksandr Merzhvinskiy limped as has been happening most hands and Alexsandr Denisov made only the second shove of the heads-up match. Merzhvinskiy nearly beat him to the pot and called.

Denisov: {6-Hearts}{6-Diamonds}
Merzhvinskiy: {j-Spades}{j-Clubs}

The board ran out {q-Spades}{5-Spades}{5-Clubs}{k-Spades}{2-Diamonds}

It was all over. Denisov looked like he was settling in for a long grind, showing Merzhvinskiy that he would play it tight for as long as it takes but Merzhvinskiy was patient and was lucky enough to be able to set a trap and have the patience to execute the limp with a monster.

Aleksandr Merzhvinskiy ru 1,100,000 -9,400,000
Alexsandr Denisov RU Busted

Tags: Aleksander MerzhvinskiyAlexsandr Denisov

Alexsandr Denisov

Yardley • Level 33: 125,000-250,000, 25,000 ante

Alexsandr Denisov limped the button and then folded to a Aleksandr Merzhvinskiy raise.

Denisov sighed and showed the {a-Diamonds} which had Merzhvinskiy shaking his head.


Big Pot for Alexsandr Denisov To Even Stacks

Yardley • Level 32: 100,000-200,000, 25,000 ante

Alexsandr Denisov limped from the button and Aleksandr Merzhvinskiy checked.

The flop was {q-Hearts}{6-Diamonds}{5-Hearts} and Merzhvinskiy check-called a 200,000 bet.

The turn was the {5-Diamonds} and Merzhvinskiy check-called a 400,000 bet.

The river was the {k-Diamonds} and a check from Merzhvinskiy saw Denisov bet 800,000 and Merzhvinskiy check-raise to 2,000,000 which Denisov called.

Merzhvinskiy: {a-Diamonds}{3-Hearts} for bare ace high.
Denisov finished counting out the call and then rolled over the winning {a-Hearts}{k-Hearts}.

Alexsandr Denisov RU 11,000,000 3,900,000
Aleksandr Merzhvinskiy ru 11,000,000 -1,000,000

Tags: Aleksander MerzhvinskiyAlexsandr Denisov