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2015 WSOP event 44
Friday June 26,2015 : GORODINSKY VICTORIOUS IN POKER PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
WSOP bracelet number two, the Chip Rees Memorial Trophy and $1,270,086 in cash for San Diego pro.
29-year-old San Diego internet and live tourney pro Mike Gorodinsky achieved one of poker's most impressive victories Thursday night, claiming his second World Series of Poker bracelet, a place on the Chip Rees Memorial Trophy and $1,270,086 in first prize money in Event 44, the ten mixed game Poker Players Championship.
It was the biggest career win yet for the Californian, who learned to play poker on the internet and now excels at a wide variety of poker genres, cashing twelve times in WSOP tournaments.
98 entrants, many of them leading names in the international game, signed up for the $50,000 buy-in event, competing fiercely to be one of the 12 who would subsequently cash from a giant $4.03 million prize pool.
Ace player David Baker's departure at third for $514,926 set the scene for the three-and-a-half hour heads up between the always entertaining and exuberant Jean Robert Bellande and the more conservative Gorodinsky.
Although Gorodinsky started with a 2.5 million chip advantage, which he rapidly built to a 3 to 1 advantage, Bellande fought back vigorously to draw even and then lead. The superiority see-saw continued to the last 30 minutes before Gorodinsky was finally able to corner and eliminate a talented opponent.
Five years ago Bellande found himself in a similar runner up position against Gorodinsky in an eight mixed game tourney, but this time his reward was greater at $784,828.
Other final table cashes were:
Ben Sulsky $353,928
Chris Klodnicki $251,314
Dan Kelly $184,222.
Big names who cashed but failed to make the final table included:
Jason Mercier and Shawn Buchanan ($139,265); Abe Mosseri and Justin Smith ($110,073; and John Racener and Matthew Ashton ($87,010).
In related news, the gregarious but fiercely competitive Las Vegas professional player Eli Elezra (54) claimed his third WSOP bracelet and the $112,591 first prize in Event 48 of the World Series of Poker, the $1,500 buy-in Seven Card Stud competition.
A rather older average demographic of mainly professional players - many of them well respected names - comprised the 237-entry field, generating a prize pool of $441,450 which enabled 40 finishers to cash.
There were three bracelet holders on the final table - Elezra, Allen Cunningham and Matt Grapentheim, although it was New York player Benjamin Lazar who Elezra faced in the heads up.
Mimicking his own performance throughout the three-day tournament, Elezra came from behind to make up a chip deficit and then take the lead and drive to a winning conclusion despite a very able opponent.
It was Elezra's third WSOP bracelet win in a particularly difficult event populated by seasoned and expert players.
Lazar's runner-up prize was worth $69,532, whilst the remainder of the final table took home:
Allen Cunningham $44,846
Gylbert Drolet $32,495
Kenn Wittock $23,891
Byron Ziebell $17,821
Jean Gaspard $13,468
Matt Grapenthein $10,353.
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