Las Vegas, NV (June 9, 2011) -- One of the most star-studded fields of the year turned up for the latest World Series of Poker tournament, which was the $10,000 Buy-In Omaha High-Low Split Championship. The high-caliber four-day competition concluded today with the crowning of a new gold bracelet champion.
The winner was Viacheslav Zhukov, from Stary Oskol, Russia. He is a 22-year-old professional poker player. Prior to taking up the game full-time last year, Zhukov graduated from Moscow Mining University.
Zhukov must have learned something at the mining school He now appears to be using his formal education to maximum benefit. He came to this year's WSOP seeking gold and cash, and ended up uncovering a treasure chest.
This was not only the first year Zhukov has attended the WSOP. It was, in fact, his first WSOP cash. He picked one of the toughest events in poker to achieve his international tournament breakthrough, since the championship-level Omaha High-Low Split event was widely-regarded as one of the toughest fields of any tournament held, thus far. As proof, consider that three-time gold bracelet winner Sammy Farha won this same event last year.
Zhukov collected $465,216 in prize money. The Russian was also presented with the ultimate symbol of achievement in the game of poker, the WSOP gold bracelet. This marked his first WSOP victory.
The runner-up was George Lind, a tough poker pro from Chandler, AZ. Lind is one of online poker's most accomplished players. He has been known to play up to 40 tables/screens simultaneously. He was previously selected as the "Player of the Year" at one of the biggest online poker sites.
Lind had a 2 to 1 chip lead at one point when play was heads-up. But his final opponent proved just as tough and caught a wind of cards that ended up winning the tournament. Lind's consolation prize for finishing second amounted to $287,554.
This was the eleventh event (of 58) on this year’s WSOP schedule. The tournament attracted 202 entries, which was s light decline from last year's number of participants, at 212. This was only the third tournament which showed a decline from 2010. Eight other events have been up, and three have been record-setting.
The total prize pool amounted to $1,898,800. The top 27 finishers collected prize money. Among those who cashed were former WSOP gold bracelet winners Steve Billirakis (3rd), Richard Ashby (4th), Josh Arieh (9th), Michael Chow (13th), Brendan Taylor (14th), Mike Sexton (15th), Perry Green (17th), Freddy Deeb (20th), Eric Buchman (21st), and Jason Mercier (27th).
So far, this year’s tournament series has produced several newcomers WSOP stardom -- including Zhukov. Remarkably, all of the first eleven gold bracelet winners have been first-time winners. In fact, several tournaments (5 of 11) were won by players who had never previously finished in-the-money in any WSOP tournament.
Also of note was Guillaume Rivet's two strong finishes in both Omaha High-Low Split tournaments which have been played this year. The poker pro from Lorraine, Quebec took 15th place in the largest live Omaha High-Low tournament in history, which ended last week. He also finished in sixth place in this event, stringing together two impressive showings which would place him ahead in most Omaha categories.
For a list of all players who cashed, in EVENT #11, please click here.