Event #26 of the 50th Annual World Series of Poker Tournament is dubbed No-Limit Hold’em Marathon, since we were able to witness a real “marathon” battle during the last day of the event. The tournament had a total of 1083 entries, and it took six days to conclude, with Roman Korenev winning the first prize, in addition to a gold bracelet. Korenev is a professional online poker player who turned to live tournaments, and he managed to win a total of $477,401.
He and his heads-up opponent Jared Koppel gave us an exciting heads-up battle that is going to be remembered as one of the most exciting in the history of the World Series of Poker. Koppel was a huge chip leader at the start of the heads-up, but the pendulum swung back and forth a couple of times before the winner was decided. Every time one of the players managed to gain the chip lead, the other was on the brink of being eliminated, and every time they managed to get back to the game.
A total of 12 double-ups happened on both sides during the heads-up, and the first five were those when a short-stacked player managed to get back to the game. In other words, it took 13 extreme hands before Koppel was finally on the ropes and Korenev managed to get things under control, eventually winning the tournament.
Therefore, after 12 unsuccessful all-ins, the 13th one came as Koppel flopped top pair and had a straight draw. However, when he put all of his chips in the middle, the Russian player managed to turn an even higher pair and won the tournaments. His rail exploded into joyous cheers supporting their friend and celebrating his victory.
Korenev was waiting for this victory for a really long time. In 2016, he managed to win cash in eight WSOP events. Furthermore, he also cashed four events in both 2017 and 2018, meaning he lacked that final effort to win a bracelet, which finally paid off in 2019.
The Final Table
The ninth place was occupied by Peter Hong, who managed to win $34,580. He was soon followed by a player from Brazil called Gustavo Darosamuniz in eighth place for $46,100. Matt Russell ended up in seventh place and won a total of $59,642, while Joseph Liberta ended up sixth for $79,957.
The fifth place was occupied by Joe Curcio, who won $108,646, and Francis Anderson followed him in fourth place for $149,605. The only player from China who made it to the final table was Dong Sheng Peng, who won $208,726, leaving Jared Koppel and Ramon Korenev to fight for the final prize, creating history along the way. Koppel eventually ended up as the runner-up earning a total of $295,000, which is a nice consolation prize.
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