We made our very first-ever 888pokerLIVE stop in Russia this past week. From 8th August through the 15th, 888poker and our team of ambassadors touched down at Casino Sochi in the Russian Riviera for a week of fun and, of course, poker!

The event boasted a massive $1,000,000 in guarantees across more than 36 tournaments with a whopping 35,000,000 RUB GTD Main Event – that’s $500,000, to you and me! In addition to the $500K Main Event guarantee, winner of the top prize would also receive a 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event Package.

And, with Team888 ambassadors, Vivian Saliba and Sofia Lovgren – along with poker celebrities, like Michael Mizrachi, this series was shaping up to one of the most popular of the year.

Main Event – Day 1A and 1B

The Main Event kicked off on 12th August at Casino Sochi with a very affordable 62,160 RUB (approx. $888) price-tag and a guarantee of 35,000,000 RUB. Bear in mind, that the winner of the Main Event would also get a package to the 2020 WSOP Main Event – in addition to their winnings.

The competition was fierce as 100 runners vied for a seat to Day 2 – including ambassadors Sofia Lovgren, Vivian Saliba and 5-time WSOP bracelet winner, Michael Mizrachi.

Vivian Saliba managed to bag 158,700 888pokerLIVE Sochi

Vivi managed to bag 158,700 from her $50K starting stack, but both Sofia and Mizrachi would have to do battle in one of the other starting flights.

On Day 1B, 83 entries fought to make Day 2, but only 32 were successful at grabbing an elusive seat for Day 2.

Main Event – Day 1C

Day 1C of 888pokerLIVE Sochi turned out to be the largest with 135 entries all vying for a ticket to Day 2. 888poker ambassador, Sofia Lovgren, was again amongst the hopefuls. In one pivotal hand, she picked up pocket Kings vs Russia’s Aleksandr Pyatak’s pocket Aces.

Fortunately for her, she flopped a boat, and Aleksandr’s Aces went up in flames, delivering a big hit to his stack, as Sofia got the double-up.

888poker ambassador, Sofia Lovgren 888pokerLIVESochi

Sofia and Vivi also played the biggest buy-in event of the series, the $100K GTD High Roller. The event attracted 41 runners and 28 made it to Day 2 with Artem Kresyak leading the pack.

In this flight, more than half the field was sent to the rail, including several 888poker online qualifiers.

A Big Announcement

888poker had a big announcement before the action began in the two remaining flights of the Main Event. We added a new 888poker ambassador to the team – Russian Pro, Daria Feshchenko!

You may remember Daria as a part of Team Russia during our popular “8-Team” competition at the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event.

On being made part of the team: “I hope that they enjoyed me so much that decided to make me their ambassador,” she said with a laugh.

 New 888poker ambassador to the team – Russian Pro, Daria Feshchenko

Main Event – Days 1D and 1E

Day 1D kicked off attracting a field of 77 entries, of which 48 players bagged up chips for Day 2. The final flight then got underway the following morning, with 59 entries boosting the field even further, and only 44 players securing their seat for Day 2.

After all five starting flights were completed, the first-ever 888pokerLIVE event in Russia created a field of 454 entries with at least 229 players contending for the guaranteed prize pool of 35,000,000 RUB (~ $500,000).

Day 1 of the 2019 888pokerLIVE Sochi Main Event

Day

Date

Level Duration

Entries

Survivors

1a

10th August, 12 p.m.

40 min

100

41

1b

11th August, 12 p.m.

40 min

83

32

1c

12th August, 12 p.m.

40 min

135

64

1d

12th August, 8 p.m.

25 min

77

48

1e

13th August, 10 a.m.

15 min

59

44

2

13th August, 1.30 p.m.

60 min

83

-

Action from Main Event – Day 2

With registration for the 888pokerLIVE Sochi Main Event open until Day 2, the final number of entries was boosted from 454 at the end of Day 1 to 569 on Day 2. Of the 569 entries, 80 would be paid.

Among those Day 2 players was Michael Mizrachi who busted twice, before making run on his third attempt. He quickly built up his stack to over 200K until he ran into the AQ of a Hristo Dechev.

Day 2 players was Michael Mizrachi - 888pokerLIVESochi

Michael held AK, and the chips went all-in pre-flop before Hristo spiked a Q on the flop that held up and sent Mizrachi to the rail for the last time.

For 888poker ambassadors Vivian Saliba, Sofia Lovgren and Daria Feshchenko, the outcome was just as bleak. Vivian Saliba saw her pocket Aces cracked by pocket Kings and jumped back into the action soon after. But, after getting short-stacked, she jammed with king-jack -running straight into pocket Kings and AK – ultimately, sending her the rail, one final time.

888poker ambassadors Vivian Saliba, Sofia Lovgren and Daria Feshchenko

Action from Main Event – Day 3

Only 87 players bagged up for Day 3 with the money bubble only 7 spots away at 80 runners. At 90 minutes in, the bubble was burst, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief!

By the first dinner break, just 28 players remained, and the action kept up the fast pace on all tables. By the end of the day, only 12 runners were left with a chance at taking home the top prize of 5,745,250 RUB along with a 2020 WSOP Main Event package, courtesy of 888poker.

888pokerLIVE Sochi Remaining Payouts

Place

Prize (in Rubles)

Prize (~ in USD)

1

5,745,250

88,388

2

3,724,000

57,292

3

2,543,800

39,135

4

1,852,200

28,495

5

1,330,000

20,462

6

1,024,100

15,755

7

821,450

12,638

8

704,900

10,845

9

631,750

9,719

10-11

571,900

8,798

12

522,200

8,034

Action from Main Event – Day 4

Day 4 action began in earnest with two 888poker online qualifiers in the mix – chip leader, Konstantin Lichagin (3,515,000) and Anton Konovalov (1,375,000). It was a mostly Russian affair in the final 12 with just one Ukrainian and one Armenian.

Seat Assignments for the Final Day

Table

Seat

Player

Country

Chip Count

Big Blinds

33

1

Konstantin Lichagin

Russia

3,515,000

70

33

3

Ravil Khamatgareev

Russia

2,585,000

52

33

4

Anton Konovalov

Russia

1,375,000

28

33

5

Vartan Manucharyan

Russia

1,500,000

30

33

6

Aleksandr Chernikov

Russia

3,000,000

60

33

8

Ivan Fedorov

Russia

1,475,000

30

34

1

Garik Tamasyan

Armenia

2,900,000

58

34

2

Dmitriy Golovin

Russia

2,040,000

41

34

3

Maksym Lavrov

Ukraine

3,430,000

69

34

4

Vasiliy Tsapko

Russia

2,165,000

43

34

7

Leonid Semenyuk

Russia

1,315,000

26

34

8

Mikhail Gusev

Russia

1,660,000

33

It took four hours of play to get down to a final table of nine, with Dmitriy Golovin eliminated in 12th place for 522,200 RUB. Next up was Garik Tamasyan who went out in 11th place for a healthy 571,900 RUB. Mikhail Gusev was next, going out in 10th place for a respectable 571,900 RUB.

It took four hours of play to get down to a final table of nine - 888pokerLIVESochi

Next, Vartan Manucharyan ran his K9 into KK and found himself on the rail in 9th place for 631,750 RUB. Ravil Khamatgareev was eliminated in 8th place for 704,900 RUB. Next to find a ticket to the rail was Aleksandr Chernikov who went out in 7th place, bagging 821,450 RUB for his efforts.

Ivan Fedorov woke up with an Ace, but Semenyuk woke up with a better one and sent Ivan to the rail 6th place for 1,024,100 RUB. The first of two remaining 888poker qualifiers, Anton Konovalov, was next to take his leave, going out in 5th place for 1,330,000 RUB.

Day 3 chip leader and last 888poker Qualifier standing, Konstantin Lichagin, played a good game but couldn’t take down Tsapko’s pocket Treys with his KJ. He was eliminated in 4th Place for 1,852,200 RUB.

Day 3 chip leader and last 888poker Qualifier standing, Konstantin Lichagin - 888pokerLIVESochi

Three-Way Action Down to Two to One – Day 4 Main Event

And the action was by no means over. In fact, play continued at a snail’s pace, taking another 3 hours and 45 minutes to get down to heads-up action.

Maksym Lavrov, after making a play with 105-suited, middle pair on the flop, got called and was eliminated in 3rd Place y Semenyuk’s JJ for 2,543,800 RUB.

We were now heads-up, and discussions for a deal were undertaken.

Finally, a deal was agreed.

Player

Deal (in CSU)

Deal (in Rubles)

Deal ~ (in USD)

Vasiliy Tsapko

62,515

4,376,050

67,324

Leonid Semenyuk

59,260

4,148,200

63,818

To 1st place

9,000

630,000

9,692

To 2nd place

4,500

315,000

4,846

Once the deal was reached, it took another 45 minutes for a winner to be declared.

Leonid Semenyuk played extremely well – as did the ultimate winner, Vasiliy Tsapko, but he was eliminated in 2nd place for the agreed chop 4,463,200 RUB.

Tsapko took home 5,006,050 RUB, the trophy and the bragging rights. He also bagged himself a package for the 2020 WSOP Main Event.

Well played, lads!

The ultimate winner, Vasiliy Tsapko - 888pokerLIVESochi

Final 9 Results 2019 888pokerLIVE Sochi Main Event

Place

Winner

Country

Prize (in Rubles)

Prize (~ in USD)

1

Vasiliy Tsapko

Russia

5,006,050*

$77,016*

2

Leonid Semenyuk

Russia

4,463,200*

$68,665*

3

Maksym Lavrov

Ukraine

2,543,800

39,135

4

Konstantin Lichagin

Russia

1,852,200

28,495

5

Anton Konovalov

Russia

1,330,000

20,462

6

Ivan Fedorov

Russia

1,024,100

15,755

7

Aleksandr Chernikov

Russia

821,450

12,638

8

Ravil Khamatgareev

Russia

704,900

10,845

9

Vartan Manucharyan

Russia

631,750

9,719

*ICM deal agreed by the final two players

You can read all about our 2021 Sochi event here - 888poker в Сочи

About the Author
By
Hyacinth Swanson is a part-time live and online poker player who enjoys writing and editing poker content. She currently runs marketing firm PurpleGob.com.
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