Arseniy Karmatskiy Crushes Final Table to Win EPT Sochi Main Event

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Arseniy Karmatskiy won $475,835 and Platinum Pass for taking down EPT Sochi. (Neil Stoddart/PokerStars photo).

Heading into the European Poker Tour Sochi Main Event, Arseniy Karmatskiy hadn’t picked up a single live cash in 2018. He had $350,000 in lifetime earnings over the previous four years but had struggled through the early months of this year. That all changed on Thursday night in Sochi as the Russian took down the European Poker Tour Sochi Main Event for a little more than $475,000 and a Platinum Pass which will put him into the 2019 PokerStars Players Championship event next January.

“It’s a very nice prize. I’ve never played a $25,000 tournament. I’m very excited to go to The Bahamas, I would like to see the ocean and palms. And I’m looking forward to playing with the top professionals,” Karmatskiy said about the Platinum Pass. “I even thought about the Pass more than about the money prize.”

Karmatskiy started the final day with the chip lead and went on to eliminate each of the other six players on his way to the title, the fourth of his career and first since he took down the German Poker Championship last August in Rozvadov.

It was only 30 minutes after seven-handed play started on Thursday. Andrey Kaygorodsev moved all in for 410,000 from UTG, Vahe Martirosyan called but Karmatskiy  re-raised to 1,200,000 from the button to force Martirosyan to fold. Kaygorodsev showed 5d5s but got bad news when Karmatskiy showed JdJh. The board ran out Tc7h6h2s6d to give Karmatskiy the pot and eliminate Kaygorodsev in seventh.

Karmatskiy found another victim just 15 minutes later. He raised from UTG to 225,000 and action folded to Sergey Kerzhakov on the button and he moved all in for 2,020,000 and Karmatskiy called instantly and showed KcKh while Kerzhakov showed AdKd. The Ks9h7h flop left Kerzhakov drawing ridiculously thin. The Qc turn ended all of that and the meaningless river was the 7c.

It took almost 2.5 hours before the next player was sent packing, but yet again it was Karmatskiy standing tall. Martirosyan raised to 250,000 from the cutoff, Karmatskiy re-raised to 875,000 from the small blind before Mikhail Kovalyuk cold four-bet to 1,600,000 from the big blind. Martirosyan folded but Karmatskiy moved all in and Kovalyuk called instantly and showed AdAh while Karmatskiy turned over KdKs. The Kh5h4h flop changed everything though, moving Karmatskiy into the lead but giving Kovalyuk a nut flush draw. The turn was the 9s and the river was the 9d to give Karmatskiy the biggest pot of the tournament and the chip lead while Kovalyuk was eliminated in fifth place.

During three nearly three hours of four-handed play, Karmatskiy briefly relinquished the chip lead before doubling up through Shegai in 14,000,000 chip pot. That massive stack came in handy as Karmatskiy continued to be the reason other players were leaving the final table early. Karmatskiy moved all in for 15,150,000 from UTG and Martirosyan called from the small blind and Shegai folded the big blind. Karmatskiy smiled and turned over 6s3s while Martirosyan showed 7c7h. The Ts8d4s flop gave Karmatskiy a flush draw. The 2s turn filled that draw and all Martirosyan could do as the 7s fell on the river was shake hands and exit in fourth.

Despite being left on fumes after the 14,000,0000 chip pot with Karmatskiy, Shegai kept fighting and picked up a much-needed double up three-handed before watching Karmatskiy and Ernest Shakaryan get into a confrontation that sent the tournament to heads up play. Karmatskiy moved all in from the button and Shakaryan called from the small blind. Karmatskiy held Ah6c which put him behind Shakaryan’s Ad7s. The 6s3s2c flop put Karmatskiy ahead and he stayed there after the Tc turn and 2h river to eliminate Shakaryan in third.

Heads-up play began with Karmatskiy holding a nearly 5-1 chip lead. Shegai refused to let that deter him though, chipping away at that lead. In the end though, Karmatskiy refused to give up the lead and picked up his sixth elimination of the day after two hours of heads up action. Karmatskiy moved all in for 21,080,000 and Shegai called all in and turned over Jc8c. Karmatskiy was ahead with QsTd and stayed there after the Tc7d6d7s6h runout.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Arseniy Karmatskiy – $475,835.64
  2. Viktor Shegai – $288,753.69
  3. Ernest Shakaryan – $203,801.52
  4. Vahe Martirosyan – $152,851.14
  5. Mikhail Kovalyuk – $120,733.32
  6. Sergey Kerzhakov – $90,507.09
  7. Andrey Kaygorodsev – $63,619.68
  8. Mikhail Plakkhin – $44,991.96