Svetlana Gromenkova, a Russian immigrant resident in New York for the past six years, realised her dreams when she won the Ladies No-Limit Hold'em Championship, having bested an entry field of almost 1 200 players. Gromenkova has previously cashed at WSOP in 2005 and in 2007, and also made the money in a WPT earlier this year, but the Ladies Event win was her first biggie…and her first WSOP bracelet.
By Day 2 an entry field that had included names like Evelyn Ng, Linda Johnson, Van Nguyen, Amanda Leatherman, Kathy Liebert and Nancy Todd Tyner had been reduced to a final table of nine, featuring Gromenkova, Anh Le, Patty Till, Christine Priday, Marla Crumpler, Debbie Mitchell, Roslyn Quarto, Yesenia Garcia and Sue Porter.
Gromenkova pretty much dominated the game, and down to three handed play it was the ex-Russian with a chip lead of 200 000 against Anh Le on 902 000, with Patty Till trailing in third on 345 000. And that's how they finished, with Tilly eliminated to make way for the heads up between Gromenkova and Le.
The chip lead fluctuated between the two smart and aggressive players several times but on the final hand, Le called off her stack with A 6 pre-flop and found herself up against Gromenkova's pocket kings. The flop brought T 8 7, which gave Le hope of a gut-shot straight draw, but the turn brought a K to give Gromenkova the set and an A on the river gave her the win.
For Le it was another WSOP disappointment – although she picked up a useful $144 567 for her second finish, this was a replay of her 2005 experience, where she lost to Jennifer Tilly in the heads up of the same event.
Gromenkova won the bracelet, a Corum watch and the main prize of $224 702.
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