After just two days of play out of the originally scheduled three days, Mikita Badziakouski has emerged victorious in Event #85: $50,000 High Roller. Badziakouski topped a 113-entry field to take home his first gold bracelet in addition to the $1,462,043 first-place prize.
The 29-year-old Belarusian has had a number of close calls prior to today's victory, including a second-place finish in a online WSOP short deck event on GGPoker back in July, and more recently, a fifth-place finish in the $25,000 heads-up event earlier in the series.
"Honestly, the bracelet is not as important for me as it is for many other players," Badziakouski said on how it felt to win his first. "I will just say it feels great to win a high roller."
Indeed, it was business as usual for Badziakouski, who said he relied on his experience toward his path to victory.
"I've played many final tables. You just try to perform your best — there's no special or unique ideas. You just do what you've learned before and that's it."
A regular attendee of high-roller events, Badziakouski had already racked up over $29 million in tournament earnings according to The Hendon Mob prior to today's victory. Badziakouski's first-place prize following today's win marks an incredible eighth seven-figure score for him from tournaments.
2021 WSOP Event #85: $50,000 High Roller Final Table Results
|2||Ren Lin||United States||$903,610|
|4||Jason Koon||United States||$489,585|
|5||Stephen Chidwick||United States||$367,153|
|7||Carlos Villamarin||United States||$214,496|
|9||Ryan Leng||United States||$131,982|
Day 2 Action
An additional 12 entries at the start of Day 2 brought the total number of players to start the day to 47. However, that number would be halved within the first three levels as the turbo-like structure ensured swift eliminations right from the get-go.
Among those to start the day but fall short of the money include Ole Schemion, Josh Arieh, Noah Schwartz, Michael Addamo, and Dan Smith – who lost the majority of his chips in a brutal pot wherein he and Jason Koon both held ace-king and Koon made a one-card flush.
The money bubble burst when Cary Katz called off his remaining stack with queen-jack suited and lost a race against Stephen Chidwick’s pocket fives.
Eliminations continued rapidly after the money bubble with Thomas Winters (17th - $84,486), Shaun Deeb (16th - $84,486), Christoph Vogelsang (12th - $92,407), and Elio Fox (10th - $105,607) all cashing but falling short of the final table.
Final Table Action
Ryan Leng entered the final table as the short stack and would bust almost immediately after running his pocket fives into the pocket kings of Ren Lin and failing to improve. Joao Vieira quickly followed suit to bust in eighth and, in a surprising turn of events, Carlos Villamarin, who entered the final table as the chip leader, ended up busting in seventh place after losing a race to Negreanu and then running ace-jack into Chidwick’s pocket aces all-in preflop.
The pace of knockouts steadied during six-handed play, but the rapidly increasing blinds ensured that many pots were played all-in or close to it preflop. Mikita Badziakouski was able to claim the chip lead after winning a massive pot against Chidwick and then Ali Imsirovic and Chidwick were eliminated shortly thereafter.
Daniel Negreanu, who entered the final table as one of the short stacks, managed to double up multiple times in his bid for a seventh career bracelet, but ultimately fell in third place to Lin after calling a shove by Lin and losing out to an ace on the river.
Heads-up play began with Badziakouski enjoying a nearly 4:1 chip advantage over Lin, however, Lin was quickly able to turn the tide through his aggressive play and at one point was even one card away from victory. However, Badziakouski managed to mount a comeback and secure his first gold bracelet after calling a shove by Lin with ace-five and holding up against king-seven.
Congratulations to Mikita Badziakouski, the winner of 2021 WSOP Event #85: $50,000 High Roller!