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 but got bad news when Karmatskiy showed . The board ran out 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 while Kerzhakov showed . The flop left Kerzhakov drawing ridiculously thin. The turn ended all of that and the meaningless river was the .
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 while Karmatskiy turned over . The flop changed everything though, moving Karmatskiy into the lead but giving Kovalyuk a nut flush draw. The turn was the and the river was the 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 while Martirosyan showed . The flop gave Karmatskiy a flush draw. The turn filled that draw and all Martirosyan could do as the 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 which put him behind Shakaryan’s . The flop put Karmatskiy ahead and he stayed there after the turn and 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 . Karmatskiy was ahead with and stayed there after the runout.
Final Table Payouts
- Arseniy Karmatskiy – $475,835.64
- Viktor Shegai – $288,753.69
- Ernest Shakaryan – $203,801.52
- Vahe Martirosyan – $152,851.14
- Mikhail Kovalyuk – $120,733.32
- Sergey Kerzhakov – $90,507.09
- Andrey Kaygorodsev – $63,619.68
- Mikhail Plakkhin – $44,991.96