The partypoker MILLIONS North Cyprus ended today with Giorgiy Skhulukhiya in first place.
Skhulukhiya has form at partypoker sponsored events. In 2017, he won a few partypoker LIVE side events in Sochi. He also has a few big cashes in events at the Merit in 2019 and 2020, as well as a second place finish in 2019’s EPT Sochi Main Event.
These wins and more have made Skhulukhiya the top Georgian tournament player according to the Hendon mob. That is Georgia the country, not Georgia the U.S. state.
With Europe slowly reopening its other poker rooms, the Merit Hotel, Casino, and Spa has been making hay while the sun shines.
For a while, serious poker players in and near the Eurozone pretty much had to settle for the poker room at the Merit, the Casino Sochi, or any of the COVID-raddled casinos in London. Before the more serious competition got back in business, the Merit hosted the return of Phil Ivey and Tony G at the Super High Roller Bowl Europe. Now it has followed that up by hosting a partypoker sponsored “MILLIONS” event.
The result was a huge turnout for the partypoker MILLIONS North Cyprus. There were 839 players who felt flush enough to fly in and post the $5,300 buy-in during a pandemic. This made for a prize pool of $3,859,400, with $683,285 reserved for first place.
“Giorgiy Skhulukhiya is the MILLIONS North Cyprus Main Event Champion after eliminating most of the final table!” wrote partypoker’s Twitter team after the event came to a close. “He wins $683,285 and is our newest #MILLIONS Champion. Congratulations, Giorgiy!” they added.
The road to Kyrenia
The partypoker MILLIONS North Cyprus’ large turnout meant there were four starting flights split over three days. It then took another three days to crown the final victor.
Over this time Skhulukhiya barrelled through the field. By the end of Day 2, he was in the top ten chip counts.
Joni Jouhkimainen, partypoker’s last sponsored pro standing, busted in 10th ($50,560) as the final table bubble boy. By the time Jouhkimainen busted, ending Day 3, Skhulukhiya had a fifth of the chips in play.
The final table was pretty much entirely the Skhulukhiya show. He cut his way through the field, sending two-thirds of the final table to the rail by his own (poker) hand.
By the time he was playing heads-up with Robert Heidorn, Skhulukhiya had a 4.3 to 1 chip lead.
After a few hands in which Skhulukhiya stole blind after blind, Heidorn was down to 4.1 million. Skhulukhiya’s stack towered over the German pro’s at 83.8 million.
With blinds at 250,000/500,000 with a 500,000 ante, Heidorn saw the paint in his hand of Q♠2♦ and put his stack in. Skhulukhiya called with the A♠8♣, and Hiedorn’s tournament life was on the line.
The flop of K♥T♥9♠ gave Heidorn an inside straight draw. Any queen or deuce could still win it for him, but the 8♠ and 7♣ on the turn and river sealed the deal, and Heidorn went to the rail.
Heidorn had started the day as the small stack with just 12 big blinds, but managed to hold on long enough to take down the second-place prize of $494,810.
It took Skhulukhiya just four hours to clear out the final table.