Aleksejs Ponakovs Topples Phil Ivey to Land $100k High Roller Title and $1,897,363

June 23, 2022
16,183 Views
Andrew Burnett

Image courtesy of PokerGO.com

Latvia’s Aleksejs Ponakovs defeated Phil Ivey heads-up to win the $100k High Roller title, scooping the $1,897,363 top prize and his second WSOP gold bracelet, while more than doubling his lifetime live poker earnings in the process.

There were 62 entries to what was planned as a 3-day event, the $5,998,500 prizepool paying out the top 10 finishers, and as expected it was a who’s who of highstakes poker’s “finest” who took to the felt.

Freddie Deeb, Erik Seidel, Michael Addamo and Sam Soverel all bowed out early on day 1, while now-infamous alleged cheat Jake Schindler didn’t fare any better.

Day two dawned and Justin Bonomo made a brief appearance, while Jason Koon, among the overnight chip leaders, made his exit at the hands of Phil Ivey...

Jason Koon: A♠ 10♠
Phil Ivey: Q♠ Q♦
Gregory Jensen: A♥ K♥

Flop: 9♦ 5♥ 2♦
Turn: 9♠
River: 10♥

It was 2021 WSOP Main Event champ, Koray Aldemir, who bubbled the money, getting his final 2 bigs in with 7♣ 6♣ and seeing a pair in the window, but Ponakovs rivered a pair of aces to send Aldemir off penniless.

The money was already getting serious when Belarus’ crusher Mikita Badziakouski fell in 7th spot for just over $¼million, while Talal “raidalot” Shakerchi’s departure in 6th was a brutal tale of aces cracked by quads...

Talal Shakerchi: A♣ A♦
Aleksejs Ponakovs: K♠ K♣

Flop: K♥ 4♦ 2♣
Turn: K♦
River: 4♣

Michael Moncek was living the dream, having bagged a bracelet earlier in the series and now final tabling against the game’s elite, and he’d have to be happy with his 5th spot and lifetime best score of $420,944.

Hedge fund manager Gregory Jensen was another who was playing in exalted poker company and his well-deserved 4th spot and $571,896 comprises the vast majority of his Hendon Mob listing.

England’s Ben Heath had to settle for third after his last 10 BBs went in and Ivey turned a pair of queens, leaving the legend heads-up and looking for his 11th WSOP gold bracelet.

It wasn’t to be, however, as the final hand played out, Ivey 3-betting...

Phil Ivey: 8♦ 6♠
Aleksejs Ponakovs: A♦ 9♠

...and the flop coming...

Flop: J♥ 7♠ 3♥

Check, check, took us to the turn...

Turn: 9♣

...pairing Ponakovs’ nine and giving Ivey the up and down straight, the latter raising all-in and eventually seeing a call...

River: 8♥

...and that’s all she wrote, Ponakovs victorious and Ivey having to wait for bracelet number 11.


Final results

1

Aleksejs Ponakovs

$1,897,363

2

Phil Ivey

$1,172,659

3

Ben Heath

$805,024

4

Gregory Jensen

$571,896

5

Michael Moncek

$420,944

6

Talal Shakerchi

$321,437

7

Mikita Badziakouski

$255,001

8

Masashi Oya

$210,485

9

Nick Petrangelo

$181,068

10

Eric Worre

$162,623

Ponakovs said afterwards: “I’m really pleased to finally get the bracelet. There is for sure some good stuff happening right now in my head. I will realize later ...I am getting better and better in life. I am coming for more events.”

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