Latest EPT Sochi champ Artur Martirosian takes home $325k

Jon Pill
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Posted on: March 31, 2021 1:58 am EDT

Artur Martirosian has a fancy new bit of bling for his display cabinets after he took down the European Poker Tour’s Sochi leg on Sunday. In fact, he seemed more excited about the event’s trophy than the cash prize.

In his post-game interview, he told reporters: “The trophy has such a cool design. It was one of the reasons why I did not think of cutting a deal.”

Martirosian is a well-known player in internet circles. Under the username “mararthur1” he won two SCOOP titles last year alone. Both of them were in prestigious high-stakes events with buy-ins of $10,300 and $5,200 respectively. He has also accrued $1.16 million in live cashes. But this is his first big title.

At just 23-years of age, he has plenty of time to rack up a few more.

Fun and figures

At the moment, most large-scale poker meetings are judiciously waiting for the population to hit a critical mass of vaccinations to happen. But the Casino Sochi seems pretty unconcerned. It continues to host event after event. Masks are now enforced, and there are hand sanitizer stations peppered about the gaming floors. But COVID isn’t keeping players away.

In fact, coronavirus only took its toll in diversity, not in attendance numbers. Of the 127 players that made the money, 106 were Russians. The high percentage of Russian players helped this event to crown the 6th EPT main event champion from the Federatsiya.

The tournament gathered 852 entries in total. This was substantially higher than last year’s turnout of 637 entries. At ₽175,000 (~$2,300) a pop, that made for an impressive prize pool of ₽131,899,810 (~$1.74 million).

So it seems we are starting to see something like pre-COVID numbers at live tournaments. We can assume people are missing their live poker options. Perhaps the 2021 WSOP will be a success after all.

The success of events like the EPT Sochi certainly bode well for live tournaments in the upcoming safer times.

Action, reaction

The final table had plenty of players with interest in the title beyond mere cash. The eventual runner-up, Vladislav Naumov, was at last year’s EPT Sochi main event final table and was looking for a mulligan. Mukhtar Taysi and Vladimir Bozinovic were the only non-Russians and so were there representing their nations of Turkey and Serbia respectively.

But in the end, despite the motivated opposition, the final table was pretty straightforward for Martirosian. As he put it: “I have a lot of experience with playing on final tables. I think it helped me a lot.”

The final hand pitted Naumov’s ace-six against Martirosian’s ace-nine on a board that helped neither out.

Naumov got another bad beat story and the equivalent of a little under $200k in roubles for his second-place finish. Martirosian got the trophy he’s been coveting for years.

“I have always wanted to win the EPT title,” Martirosian said. Now he has.

Final Table Results

1st – Artur Martirosian – ₽24,633,000 (~$325k)
2nd – Vladislav Naumov – ₽14,957,600 (~$198k)
3rd – Mukhtar Taysi – ₽10,551,800 (~$139k)
4th – Fanis Khafizov – ₽7,914,200 (~$105k)
5th – Yuriy Brechalov – ₽6,237,000 (~$82k)
6th – Anton Smirnov – ₽4,669,000 (~$62k)
7th – Vladimir Bozinovic – ₽3,283,000 (~$43k)
8th – Roman Gadzhiev – ₽2,307,900 (~$30k)

Featured image source: Twitter