Perm, Russian Federation's Denis Timofeev earns $199,586 after winning see-saw heads-up battle

12 July 2018 (Las Vegas) – The Russian Federation's Denis Timofeev has earned the first bracelet of his World Series of Poker career by winning Event #73 of the 2018 WSOP, $1,000 DOUBLE STACK No-Limit Hold'em (30-minute levels).

Timofeev, 31, from Perm, closed with a rush to earn bracelet gold in this event, busting his last three opponents in less than an hour's time. The $199,586 winner's payday was Timofeev's best-ever performance, and that by a wide margin: Timofeev had logged only one previous WSOP cash, that a modest payday of $619 in the “Giant” tourney last month.

Timofeev's final foe in this double-stack tourney was Spanish pro Leo Margets. Barcelona's Margets doubled up twice during the final duel to take the lead, but ultimately could not stave off Timofeev's overall strong finish. The 34-year-old Margets, who placed 27th in the 2009 WSOP Main Event, earned $123,297 here.

Day 2's early leader, Evan Lipshultz, placed third, earning $87,831. It was Lipshultz's first final-table appearance and the largest cash, by more than $75,000, of his WSOP career.

Las Vegas pro Ben Yu, a two-time WSOP bracelet winner, collected fourth-place money of $63,327, while prior WSOP Circuit ring winner Justin Young, of Henderson, NV, finished fifth for $46,221.

Timofeev looked set to close out this turbo-styled event before Margets' back-to-back doubles. He added to his initial lead to move to more than a four-to-one edge, then watched as Margets hit a huge double to pull back into contention. The hand saw all of Margets' chips in before the flop with   , while Timofeev called with   . Margets was dead to an eight by the       turn, but the river brought that eight – the   to give Margets the straight and extend the battle.

Two hands later Margets doubled again, taking the lead. This hand saw Timofeev open to 400,000 and Margets call before a     flop. Margets checked the   turn, Timofeev bet 950,000, and Margets check-raised all in, for 3.565 million. Timofeev thought it over before calling for nearly half of his own stack. Margets showed    for a pair and a flush draw, but Timofeev showed    for a better flush draw. The river was the  , however, giving Margets the pot.

Then Timofeev found his own double to retake the lead. Again the chips went in pre-flop, as Margets moved in with   , and Timofeev thought it over before calling all in with   . This time the runout went Timofeev's way, the         board giving him the huge pot.

The duel ended 12 hands later. Timofeev moved all in from the small blind with   , having Margets down by nearly 5:1. Margets called all in and her    was ahead, but Timofeev rivered a flush for the win as the board ran out      , and  .

Timofeev, who has honed his skills online, pointed to a fortunate hand earlier in the day against Viktor Lavi that set up the remainder of his bracelet-winning run. “I was all in with queen-ten against queens,” he said, “and it was really exciting.” No doubt; the flop in that hand came A-K-J to give Timofeev the Broadway straight and a huge double, while Lavi's stack was obliterated. Lavi busted in 15th place just minutes later.

Timofeev enjoyed this event's fast structure. “I like to play turbos. I play a lot of turbos and hypers [hyper-turbos] online, and it's a [plus] too, when I play live, in live series. You don't need to see a lot of days to win big money!”

Indeed, Timofeev had suffered a tough WSOP before this, posting just one small cash, for $619, in last month's $365 “Giant” event. Now he has the bankroll to play many more tourneys, fast structure or not.

Fifty-four players survived into Day 2 in this fast-paced, two-day event, with Lipshultz beginning the day with the lead and remaining near the top when the final table formed less than five hours later. Pontiac, MI's Jason Johnson busted almost immediately, when he shoved all in for his last 575,000 with    and Justin Young called with   . The         runout gave Young the hand with ease, and sent Johnson to collect $14,871 in ninth-place winnings.

Eighth place and $19,371 went to Brazil's Thiago Nishijima just five hands later, when he moved all in from the hijack with   , ran into big blind Timofeev's waiting   , and never improved on an         board. And just three hands after that, the bustout rush continued when Milpitas, CA's Hien Nguyen moved his final 290,000 with   , then lost a virtual race to Timofeev, who had called with   . The board brought        , no help to Nguyen, and he collected $25,560 for seventh.

The attrition continued. Just four hands, when Buenos Aires, Argetina's Juancarlos Martin busted in sixth. Martin was locked into a $34,157 payout in a hand where Young opened from the hijack for 175,000, Martin moved all in from the big blind for 605,000, and Young called. Martin's    was live against Young's   , but the         board offered little drama, and the field was down to five.

Young, though, couldn't escape short-stack status himself, and he was soon all in against two-time bracelet winner Ben Yu for the last of his chips. Young had the better of it with    to Yu's   , and Young moved farther ahead on the     flop, but Yu spiked the   on the turn to make a Broadway straight that stayed good through the   river.

Then it was Yu's turn to head the cashier. Yu went from second place to out in the span of six hands. First, Yu's small-blind steal attempt ran right into big-blind Timofeev's waiting pocket kings, allowing Timofeev to double through. Then Yu moved all in for his last 600,000 or so with   , and Timofeev called with   . Timofeev made a flush on the turn of a         board, and Yu's run ended with a $63,327 payout.

Lipshultz, who was in or near the lead for most of Day 2, finally bowed out in third place. First Lipshultz lost a chunk of his stack in a hand where Margets doubled up to move into second. Lipshultz then found himself as the shortie, and ended up on the rail after another failed small-blind steal. With the blinds continuing to increase, Lipshultz moved all in for 2.5 million with   , and Timofeev called from the big blind with   . Both players hit the     flop, keeping Timofeev ahead, and the   turn and   river sent Lipshultz off to collect an $87,831 payout.

Timofeev then began the duel against Margets with nearly a three-to-one edge, but there was plenty of excitement remaining before he finally took down the win.

Event #73, $1,000 DOUBLE STACK No-Limit Hold'em (30-minute levels), attracted 1,221 entrants and built a prize pool of $1,098,900. 184 players made the money, with a min-cash worth $1,496.

Other Notables:
Among those cashing in Event #73 were Sean Troha (13th, $9,115), DJ MacKinnon (28th, $5,894), Konstantin Puchkov (49th, $3,399), DJ Alexander (64th, $2,530), Ben Keeline (66th, $2,530), Roland Israelashvili (80th, $2,231), Nam Le (82nd, $1,997), Erik Seidel (83rd, $1,997), and JJ Liu (86th, $1,997).

Click here for Full Results.
Click here for live updates from Event #73.

Final Table Payouts (POY points in parentheses):

1st: Denis Timofeev, $199,586 (1,011.86)
2nd: Leo Margets, $123,297 (505.83)
3rd: Evan Lipshultz, $87,831 (455.34)
4th: Ben Yu, $63,327 (404.74)
5th: Justin Young, $46,221 (379.45)
6th: Juan Carlos Martin, $34,157 (354.15)
7th: Hien Nguyen, $25,560 (303.56)
8th: Thiago Nishijima, $19,371 (278.26)
9th: Jason Johnson, $14,871 (252.96)