LAS VEGAS (21 June 2017) – Russia's Nadar Kakhmazov has emerged as the winner of the 2017 World Series of Poker's Event #36, $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed.
Kakhmazov's triumph in this popular four-day event was his first WSOP bracelet victory and only his third-ever WSOP cash, though he's been a frequent participant in major European events and logged another large win recently in Las Vegas.
The winner's payday of $580,338 for Kakhmazov dwarfed his previous career WSOP earnings of $30,396, and upped that career mark to $610,734.
Kakhmazov finished off the win by defeating well-known online pro Chris “Big Huni” Hunichen. North Carolina-born Hunichen, who now lives and works in Costa Rica, earned $358,677 for the second-place run.
Third-place money of $238,855 went to Belgium's Kenny Hallaert.
Kakhmazov entered heads-up play with a 3:1 edge on Hunichen, though Hunichen soon doubled up to nearly even the duel. The final hand found Hunichen moving all in on the turn,with the board showing . Kakhmazov thought long before calling, then discovered he was freerolling for the pot and the bracelet with against Hunichen's . Kakhmazov needed a heart or any card six or lower, and that happened when the river arrived.
Kakhmazov recorded his first WSOP cash back in 2013 but played only a small number of WSOP tourneys until arriving in Las Vegas this summer. It's his second cash of this year's series, joining a 35th-place finish in Event #25, $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha.
"I am very happy," said Kakhmazov, while celebrating the win with a small group of his fellow Russian players. "I have wanted to do this for three years, but every time I lose two big pots, deep in the tournament." However, that late-event run-bad ended here.
"I played [some] other events, but had not [won] much for prizes," he added, referring to his recent summer trips to Vegas. "But now it's good this year," in what he admitted was the best run of his tournament life.
The final six players in this $5,000 no-limit hold'em tourney returned for an early start on Wednesday. They were the surviors of 574 entrants that began action on Sunday, with the majority of this event's $2,669,100 prize pool still at stake.
The final six, though, were cautious in the eraly going, and more than two hours elapsed before the first knockout. That turned out to be Germany's Christian Rudolph, who re-raised all-in for his last 1,375,000 with . The original raiser, Hunichen, called and showed , and that held up when the board ran out .
A short-stacked Faraz Jaka followed Rudolph to the rail just seven hands later. Faraz started the day with a narrow chip lead but didn't run well here. In his last hand, Jaka shoved in his last 915,000 with A-9, and Hallaert called with A-K. The better hand held up, but not without a moment's excitement on the 9-K-6 flop. The turn and river were blanks, however, ending Jaka's day.
Fourth went to Sam Soverel in a hand against Hallaert where Soverel jammed all in over a Hallaert raise. Hallaert quickly called and showed to Soverel's , and the runout changed nothing.
Three-way play began with Hallaert holding just a slight edge over Hunichen and Kakhmazov; all three players had relatively deep, maneuverable stacks. Hallaert had slipped slightly behind the others when a major collision occurred between he and Kakhmazov, concluding with Hallaert exiting in third. With over a million chips in the pot after pre-flop raises, the flop brought . Hallaert checked the turn, and Kakhmazov moved all in. Hallaert called with , but he trailed Kakhmazov's , and the river ended the hand, leaving Kakhmazov and Hunichen to duel for the bracelet.
Numerous well-known players cashed in Event #36 but fell short of reaching the final table. They included James Obst (7th), Garrett Greer (8th), Mike Leah (17th), Olivier Busquet (21st), Jesse Sylvia (24th), Rocco Palumbo (28th), Layne Flack (30th), Michael Mizrachi (31st), Niall Farrell (34th), Ankush Mandavia (47th), Dario Sammartino (49th), and Tony Cousineau (50th).
Click here for Full Results.
Click here for live updates from Event #36.
Final Table Payouts (earned POY points in parentheses):
1st: Nadar Kakhmazov, $580,338 (201.6)
2nd: Chris Hunichen, $358,677 (171.7)
3rd: Kenny Hallaert, $238,855 (149.9)