Dimov emerges from short-handed final featuring four former WSOP
10 June 2018 (Las Vegas) – Bulgaria's Ognyan Dimov has claimed gold in Event #17 of the 2018 World Series of Poker, $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Max. Dimov outlasted a 1,662-entry field and battled through an extra fourth day of play to earn $378,743 and his first WSOP gold bracelet.
Dimov and eventual runner-up Antonio Barbato were the only two non-bracelet winners at a loaded final table that also included Joey Weissman, Nick Schulman, Ryan D'Angelo, and Yue Du. Yet each of those players ran aground in turn, leaving Dimov and Barbato to battle for the win.
Dimov, 28, from Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, has been recognized as one of that country's best live players for several years, with his European scores including a major EPT win in 2015. The victory here represented his first significant cash, however, at the WSOP.
Barbato, 30 from Milan, Italy, is even more of a newcomer; the runner-up showing here is his first WSOP cash of any kind. The near-bracelet run and second-place payday of $233,992 are a worldwide best for Barbato to date.
Schulman, who won his two bracelets in 2009 and 2012, collected $163,785 for finishing third. The cash swelled his lifetime earnings to just over $2.75 million.
Fourth place went to Ryan D'Angelo. New York's D'Angelo, who won his bracelet in 2016, earned $116,118 here.
Dimov picked the best possible time to go on a heater, as he surged to the lead during five-handed action and cruised to the win. He dispatched his last four foes in barely more than an hour's actual playing time, to the repeated roars of one of the largest and loudest rails of the WSOP to date.
“I didn't think much about it, although it's a huge thing.” admitted Dimov, talking about that rush to the win. “I tried to stay calm. I felt really good while playing. So I won, and that's really amazing.”
Dimov first visited the WSOP in 2016, and the win here is by far his largest cash at the Series. “I'm coming here to win bracelets,” the Bulgarian star declared, and he'll be on hand for the rest of the summer – and, if his professional-poker plans hold – for several more years as well.
Dimov expected to have a fierce battle at the final table. “You don't expect to not have better players at the final table. You expect to have bracelet winners,” even if four out of six seats at a $1,500 NLHE final already owning WSOP gold is still above the norm.
Then there was the huge Bulgarian faction rooting on Dimov for most of the day. He had some fun with how the large rail grew even larger as his win loomed. “They busted. It's just that they're really bad at poker. They've already busted the Millionaire Maker.” More seriously, Dimov added, “We're on the other side of the world, so we're going to be a group, cheering on each other.”
Action began at this six-player final table with four former bracelet winners present, led by leader Joey Weissman. Weissman, winner of a bracelet in a $2,500 NLHE event at the 2012 WSOP, arrived at this Day 4 finale with nearly 3.7 million in chips, more than a million more than his closest foes.
One of the three other former bracelet winners was first to exit. China's Yue Du, who won more than $800,000 and a gold bracelet in the 2016 WSOP's Event 59 , $5,000 NLHE, was the short stack here and couldn't move up the ladder. Du exited on the very first hand in a battle against fellow short-stack Nick Schulman, with the chips going in on the turn with the board showing . Schulman called Du's turn shove and showed to Du's , and the top pair held up as the river blanked for both. Du exited with $60,686 in sixth-place winnings.
The five remaining players battled for three hours before the next knockout, and it was early leader Weissman hitting the rail. Two big hands spelled Weissman's tourney end; in the first he lost over a million chips when he rivered two pair, only to find D'Angelo waiting with an already-made flush on a three-heart board. Just one hand later, Weissman lost the rest of his chips to another turned flush. This time Weissman pondered for several minutes before calling with a pair of queens, after a river push by Dimov on the board. Dimov showed for the knockout, after Dimov and Weissman had gone check-check on the turn. Weissman's fifth-place run was worth $83,396, and his exit triggered a rush to the win by Dimov, who closed out the win in little over another hour.
Next out was another former bracelet winner, Ryan D'Angelo. D'Angelo called a pre-flop shove by Dimov, who had most of the chips and was bullying the table. D'Angelo called for his last 1.9 million with and found himself racing against Dimov's , but Dimov's rush held as the board came for the knockout. D'Angelo's fourth-place payday of $116,118 pushed his own WSOP career winnings over $1.5 million
Schulman, the fourth and final former bracelet winner here, exited just moments later in third. Schulman got the last of his chips in ahead with versus Dimov's , and stayed ahead through the flop and turn. The river, though, was the , bringing a loud roar from Dimov's rail as Schulman headed off to collect a third-place cash of $163,785. Though the hand cemented Dimov's lead, he downplayed it, noting that getting the chips in there “was pretty standard” and that he was just fortunate to river the eight in that spot.
That left only a short-stacked Barbato in Dimov's path, and it didn't take long. After several hands where one player shoved and the other folded, the two finally clashed for Barbato's remaining chips. Barbato saw the flop slightly ahead, with to Dimov's , but there was no stopping Dimov's rush. The board ran out , giving Dimov two pair, the pot, and the Event #17 title.
Event #17's 1,662 entries built a total prize pool of $2,245,750. The top 250 players cashed, with a minimum cash here worth $2,249.
Among those cashing in Event #17 were Tristan Wade (24th, $15,168), Adrian Buckley (25th, $11,987), Jared Hamby (50th, $5,413), Adrian Mateos (61st, $4,608), Martin Jacobson (64th, $4,608), and Jeff Madsen (78th, $3,894).
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Final Table Payouts (POY points in parentheses):
1st: Ognyan Dimov, $378,743 (1,121.02)
2nd: Antonio Barbato, $233,992 (560.51)
3rd: Nick Schulman, $163,785 (504.46)
4th: Ryan D'Angelo, $116,118 (448.41)
5th: Joey Weissman, $83,396 (420.38)
6th: Yue Du, $60,686 (392.36)