Just over a month ago, Lara Eisenberg won the Ladies Championship to become the first woman to earn a gold bracelet in the 2021 World Series of Poker. Leo Margets became the second to do so on Sunday night and the first in 2021 to win a bracelet in a open-entry event when she took down the Event #83 $1,500 The Closer tournament. tkMargets earned the tournament’s first-place prize of $376,850 to go along with her first career WSOP bracelet.
The Spanish poker pro is no stranger to success at the tables. Margets already had over $1 million in live tournament earnings prior to winning The Closer, per her Hendon Mob page. She finished runner-up in the WSOP $1,000 Double Stack tournament for $123,297 in 2018 and made a deep run in the WSOP Main Event back in 2009, finishing in 27th place for $352,832.
Alex Kulev was in command prior to Margets’ comeback
The Closer drew 1,903 entries in total across two opening flights to build a total prize pool of $2,540,505. Alex Kulev entered the tournament on Saturday’s Day 1B and finished the flight with the tournament’s chip lead. Day 2 began with only 63 players remaining and with Kulev holding the biggest stack in the room with 2,685,000. Only one other player entered the event’s final day with more than 1.8 million in chips.
Kulev rode his chip lead to a dominant performance throughout Day 2. He started the final table with 10,100,000 chips, more than double the stack size of everyone else at the table besides Aleksander Shevliakov (8,100,000 chips) and Margets (5,500,000). When heads-up play began, Kulev had a massive advantage of 40 million chips to Margets’ 7 million.
Margets told PokerNews after the tournament that she had miscounted her stack prior to moving all-in with 9♣4♦, thinking that she was down to her last 2.5 blinds instead of realizing that she still had a bit more time to find a better spot. Kulev called with a suited A♠9♠ and appeared to be well on his way to his first career WSOP bracelet when the flop came J♠ 7♣ 7♥. But Kulev’s fate changed when the 4♣ came on the turn, moving Margets ahead with a pair of fours and allowing her to double to 12 million in chips.
This hand proved to be a sign of things to come. The momentum shifted in Margets’ favor, allowing her to bring her chip stack to about even with Kulev. On the decisive hand of the final table, Alex Kulev flopped top pair with A♥9♦ on a 9♠ 5♦ 3♠ board that also gave Margets middle pair and a flush draw with her Q♠5♠. The two players got all of their chips in the middle on the flop and Margets took the lead with the 5♣ on the turn. She faded trouble when the 10h completed the board on the river, knocking Kulev down to just 1.8 million. He was eliminated on the next hand.
Margets said after her win that she hoped this victory would motivate more women to become interested in poker.
Final Table Payouts
1. Leo Margets: $376,850
2. Alex Kulev: $232,920
3. Stephen Song: $172,855
4. Marc Lange: $129,460
5. Arturo Segura: $97,865
6. Cherish Andrews: $74,680
7. Aleksandr Shevliakov: $57,525
8. Chris Moorman: $44,740
9. Benjamin Underwood: $35,131
Featured Image Credit: Haley Hintze