Russia’s Kotelnikov takes home $488,508 and an entry to $15,000 WPT Tournament of Champions
The latest name entry on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup belongs to Andrey Kotelnikov, as well as a nearly half-million-dollar payday.
The Russian Kotelnikov emerged victorious in Event #6: $3,200 Mix-Max Championship at the WPT World Online Championships, which finished up Tuesday on partypoker. Kotelnikov earned $488,508 for the win, as well as a $15,000 seat to the WPT Tournament of Champions.
Kotelnikov outlasted the field of 989 total entries in the three-day event, which carried a $3 million guaranteed prize pool. The United Kingdom’s Stuart Guite took runner-up honors, coming away with $366,605 for the second-place finish.
Other top finishers included Sweden’s Sven Joakim Andersson (3rd – $271,903), former WPT champion Oleg Vasylchenko out of Ukraine (4th – $190,500), and the UK’s Maciej Gasior (5th – $124,500).
Vasylchenko tries to become two-time WPT Champion
The third and final day of the $3,200 Mix-Max Championship started with seven players remaining at the tournament’s final table. Vasylchenko began the day with a big chip lead, heading up the leaderboard with an 80-big-blind stack.
The championship was still up for grabs, however, as five other final table contenders trailed Vasylchenko with stacks of at least 39 big blinds or more. Kotelnikov started Day 3 fifth in chips (42 big blinds), while Guite, the eventual runner up, began final table play as the short stack (19 big blinds).
Jerry Wong (56 big blinds) came into the final table second in chips but exited the tournament as the first elimination on Day 3. Guite’s pocket queens got the best of Wong (7th – $69,300), who turned over ace-ten offsuit and couldn’t overcome Guite’s premium pocket pair.
Bulgaria’s Dimitar Danchev (6th – $89,016) went out next, losing most of his stack after running his ace-six offsuit into Andersson’s pocket aces. Danchev officially bowed out a few hands later, with Vasylchenko finishing off Danchev’s tournament hopes.
Danchev’s elimination put Vasylchenko in the chip lead going into five-handed play. Vasylchenko looked to add a second WPT championship to his resume, with the first coming at WPT Prague in 2016.
Kotelnikov emerges with the win
Kotelnikov started his final run to the championship by eliminating Gasior in fifth place. Kotelnikov and Gasior got all of the chips in from both sides, with Gasior’s 17-big-blind stack at risk. Gasior’s 3♣3♠ couldn’t improve against Kotelnikov’s 8♦8♠, ending Gasior’s final table run.
Vasylchenko’s bid to become a two-time WPT champion ended at the hands of Kotelnikov. Vasylchenko’s last 15 big blinds went into the middle from the small blind with K♥Q♣, but the Ukrainian found himself dominated by Kotelnikov’s A♣Q♠ out of the big blind.
Vasylchenko couldn’t find a king or any other help on the runout, exiting the tournament in fourth place. The hand set up Kotelnikov with a commanding chip lead going into three-handed play, with his 98-big-blind stack almost double that of Guite, the closest contender with 50 big blinds.
Andersson (17 big blinds) came in as the short stack of the final three and exited in third place shortly after Vasylchenko. Kotelnikov went into the heads-up finale against Guite with more than a two-to-one chip lead, but Guite battled to take the lead at one point.
The Kotelnikov versus Guite battle lasted just over an hour, with Kotelnikov never looking back after retaking the lead. The final hand saw Guite’s two pair with J♦4♠ thwarted by Kotelnikov’s straight with 6♠3♣, with the final board reading 5♣4♦J♥2♣K♦.