From chess grandmaster to poker champion: Ottomar Ladva scores $525,089 partypoker payday

Geoff Fisk
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Posted on: February 25, 2021 7:58 pm EST

Ladva spins $530 satellite into partypoker MILLIONS Super High Roller win

As the latest major online tournament festival plays on at partypoker, perhaps the biggest story to come out of 2021 partypoker MILLIONS Online unfolded in the $25,500 6-Max Super High Roller Event.

The Super High Roller final table lineup read like a lineup of poker fiercest high-stakes tournament players. A chess grandmaster who entered the $25,500 buy-in tournament through a $530 satellite emerged with the win, however.

Ottomar Ladva topped a loaded final table in the 6-Max Super High Roller, turning that $530 satellite entry into a $525,089 payday. Ladva, an Estonian chess grandmaster, toppled a final table lineup that included elite poker names like Justin Bonomo, Jason Koon, and Aleksejs Ponakovs.

Partypoker $25,500 Super MILLIONS 6-Max Super High Roller Final Table Results

FinishPlayer NamePlaying FromPrize
1Ottomar LadvaEstonia$525,089
2Justin BonomoCanada$327,468
3Jason KoonCanada$212,835
4Bujtas LaszloHungary$152,275
5Aleksejs PonakovsEstonia$114,839
6Brock WilsonMexico$90,589
7Amichai BarerCanada$75,781

Chess grandmaster finds success in the toughest of poker tournaments

Ladva navigated through a field of 70 entries, which pushed the prize pool for the 6-Max Super High Roller far past the $1 million guarantee. The final 11 players surviving that field took a share of a prize pool worth $1,750,000.

Names like Bonomo (2nd – $327,468), Koon (3rd – $212,835), and Ponakovs (5th – $114,839) making it through to the final table comes as no surprise. Ladva’s journey to that table and the eventual win marks perhaps the biggest surprise of the 2021 partypoker MILLIONS so far.

Ladva began his journey to the championship by winning a $530 satellite. That win put him into another $2,650 satellite, which the Estonian chess pro also took down.

Ladva then kept the winning streak alive in the $25,500 6-Max High Roller. After outdueling Bonomo in the heads-up battle for the championship, Ladva took away a $525,089 payday.

That payout marks an almost 1000x return on investment from Ladva’s original $530 satellite entry.

Other top finishers

The two-day tournament saw the field of 70 entries trimmed down to 11 on Day 1. Those 11 players returned on Day 2, with each guaranteed at least a min-cash of $59,322.

Bonomo entered Day 2 as the tournament chip leader and rode that big stack to a second-place finish. Other final table finishers included Butjas Laszlo (4th – $152,275), Brock Wilson (6th – $90,589), and Amichai Barer (7th – $75,781).

The tournament played as a 6-Max event, with only the final table playing seven-handed. Coming up just short of a final table appearance were Giuseppe Iadisernia (8th – $66,239), Aliaksei Boika (9th – $66,239), Samuel Vousden (10th – $59,322), and Rok Gostisa (11th – $59,322).

The 23-year-old Ladva is known as one of the world’s top chess players, but also owns a reputation as an active and successful poker player. The $525,089 payday marks Ladva’s biggest career poker score to date.

Featured image source: Twitch