Even the most optimistic poker player can’t imagine winning the first ever super high roller event they play. That’s exactly what Leonid Markin did on Thursday though, beating a 51-entry field to win the €50,000 buy-in Super High Roller at EPT Prague.
Markin, a 32-year-old Russian, beat out a final table that included WSOP Main Event champion Martin Jacobson and two fellow Russians to win €771,360 ($947,692 US). High roller regular Paul Newey was the final player standing in Markin’s way. Jacobson was ultimately busted on the bubble, finishing in eighth place on Wednesday before play broke for the night.
Brian Roberts started the finale day with just seven big blinds and even though he managed a double-up early on, he was the first one sent packing. With blinds at 30,000/60,000, Newey raised to 120,000 from the cutoff. Roberts called from the big blind and the two saw a flop of Q 8 2. Roberts bet 110,000 before Newey raised all-in. Roberts called, putting his last 580,000 at risk, and turned over Q 3 for top pair but Newey was ahead with K K. Neither the 8 turn or 6 river were any help to Roberts and he was out in seventh place.
Just 20 minutes later another player was sent to the rail thanks to his own countrymen. Markin raised to 120,000 from the button. Fellow Russian Vladimir Troyanovskiy then moved all-in from the small blind. Stephen Chidwick folded the big blind and Markin called and showed A J which had the A T of Troyanovskiy dominated. The T 4 4 flop however put Troyanovskiy in front and the K river did nothing to change anybody’s fortune but the J eliminated Troyanovskiy in sixth and gave Markin the chip lead.
Another hour later another Russian player was eliminated, this time at the hands of Newey. Chidwick actually opened the betting with a raise to 160,000 from the cut off. Newey responded with a three-bet to 425,000 from the button. From the small blind Ivan Soshnikov moved all-in for 730,000, forcing Chidwick to fold before Newey called. Soshnikov showed T T and was behind the K K of Newey. The board ran out Q Q 7 4 7 and Soshnikov was out in fifth.
Markin and Chidwick battled for the chip lead before Markin took over top spot by eliminating Juha Helppi. Blinds were 40,000/80,000 and Markin opened with a raise to 160,000 from UTG, Helppi called from the big blind. The flop came J 6 2 and Helppi checked. Markin bet 160,000 and Helppi responded by raising to 400,000. Markin moved all-in, sending Helppi into the tank. It took eight minutes but Helppi finally called and showed J 8 but Markin had Q Q. The 3 on the turn and T on the river didn’t help Helppi and he was out in fourth place.
It took three hours for the next elimination. Down to just 1.2 million, Chidwick moved all-in from the button. Newey folded from the small blind but Markin woke up with A A in the big blind. Chidwick showed K 9 and watched helplessly as the board ran out 4 3 3 6 Q to send him out in third place, leaving Newey and Markin to play heads-up for the title.
Markin held the chip lead when heads-up play began but Newey showed enough fight to make it interesting. Over the course of the next three hours Newey did everything he could to hold off Markin but eventually he was unable to avoid a runner-up finish.
With blinds of 120,000/240,000, Markin raised to 480,000 from the button and Newey responded by moving all-in for nearly 4,000,000. Markin called and showed A T which put him in the driver’s seat against Newey’s A 7. The board ran out J 8 4 K 2 giving Markin the first live win of his career.
Final Table Payouts
- Leonid Markin – $947,692
- Paul Newey – $684,440
- Stephen Chidwick – $436,239
- Juha Helppi – $330,936
- Ivan Soshnikov – $255,733
- Vladimir Troyanovskiy – $195,556
- Brian Roberts – $157,955
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