Breaking Down the Action:
  • Zhang and Kaiser Bite the Dust
  • Fox Battles for the Lead
  • The Belarussian Bullies his Way to Victory
  • Heads-Up Over in Seconds

In a frantic race to the finish line, Belarussian poker powerhouse Mikita Badziakowski powered through the field to win this week’s Sunday Five Million, taking home a top prize of over $1.1 million.

The $25,500-entry tournament, which was won last week by Swedish online poker sensation Niklas Astedt for $1 million, again saw some of the world’s best compete for the title. With 208 entries and a $5.2 million prizepool, Badziakowski, who is already showing signs that he’s an elite pro in poker terms, wrapped up the win in thrilling fashion.

Zhang and Kaiser Bite the Dust

The opening stages of the final table saw two big names busted in short order. First, British player Michael Zhang was eliminated for a $110,568 prize when he called off his stack with king-queen on a king-high board, but his opponent, the eventual winner Badziakowski, had flopped bottom set and his three eights sent Zhang packing.

Next to meet the virtual rail was Ronny Kaiser, who was playing from Switzerland. Kaiser cashed for $147,445 when Elio Fox, who had started the final table as chip leader, made a Broadway straight on the river to trump Kaiser’s two pair on the flop. Kaiser had denied Badziakowski victory in a recent $25,000-entry event, so the Belarussian would have been happy to see his latest nemesis depart.

Fox Battles for the Lead

Elio Fox had sacrificed his chip lead to Badziakowski with the first elimination of the day, but the next level saw him play as if he was a man possessed in grabbing it back. Sean Winter was the next player to lose his seat. Most of his chips went in pre-flop with king-four, so he was drawing dead when he called the rest off on a board showing 9-A-T-7 against Badziakowski’s ace-nine, an irrelevant five on the river condemning Winter to a cold exit and $196,621.

Elio Fox at the live poker felt

Elio Fox was battling many foes, but could not prevail as the winner

It was Elio Fox who took out the next player, Sebastian Trisch from Germany. Trisch thought he was in good shape shoving pre-flop with king-queen, but Fox had pocket queens and no king or straight cards came on the board to help the German, who walked away with $262,198 for his efforts.

At that point, Badziakowski had 9.2 million chips of the 20 million in play, with Fox his only realistic challenger on 5.5 million. That lead only increased over the next hour, however, as the Belarussian bullied the table and stretched his lead, eventually sitting behind almost 13 million chips with Fox straggling 10 million behind the leader in second place. The stage had been set for a stunning end to the action.

The Belarussian Bullies his Way to Victory

Mikita Badziakowski would eliminate everyone from 5th to 2nd to smash his way to the title, and that routing of his rivals began with the Russian Timofey Kuznetsov, who earned $349,647 when his all-in with pocket deuces was called then busted by Badziakowski, a nine on the turn doing the fatal damage to Kuznetsov’s hopes.

Badziakowski then busted his main threat from the day’s play, Elio Fox. The Brit shoved with the best hand, his ace-four ahead of Badziakowski when the Belarussian called his opponent’s committed pre-flop move. But after a king and a nine on the flop, a jack on the turn ended the hand in the Belarussian’s favour and saw Fox cash for $466,261.

Next to leave the party was Matthew Hyman, who made $621,769 after his five-six suited couldn’t catch Badziakowski’s ace-ten of diamonds, with neither man pairing up on the blank board, ace-high playing for the monster chip leader.

Heads-Up Over in Seconds

The heads-up was a brief affair, Badziakowski holding a practically unassailable 18:1 chip lead, and Michel Dattani shoving with ace-deuce for just seven big blinds. Badziakowski’s call with six-eight suited got there to win the hand fortuitously, going for a runner-runner straight to end matters in his favour and win one of the biggest online prizes so far this year. It was another big win on GGPoker to add to the recent Headliner event win for Spanish player Juan Pardo Dominguez for $380,000.

Take a look at all the winners right here:

GGPoker Sunday Five Million Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Mikita Badziakouski Belarus $1,105,679
2nd Michel Dattani Portugal $829,142
3rd Matthew Hyman Mexico $621,769
4th Elio Fox United States $466,261
5th Timofey Kuznetsov Russia $349,647
6th Sebastian Trisch Germany $262,198
7th Sean Winter United States $196,621
8th Ronny Kaiser Switzerland $147,445
9th Michael Zhang United Kingdom $110,568

With thanks to PokerNews for tournament aliases.

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Paul Seaton

Paul Seaton has written about poker for many years, travelling the world to report live from such poker events as the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour and World Poker Tour. As well as reporting live from the felt, Paul was Editor of BLUFF Europe magazine and has written for major poker brands including PokerStars, 888poker and partypoker where he was Head of Media. Paul has interviewed many of the world’s greatest poker players, such as Sam Trickett, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth and Bryn Kenney, the current all-time money list leader.

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