Russia's Korenev tops a 1,083-entrant field in extended-play-format event

15 June 2019 (Las Vegas) – Russia's Roman Korenev has mined bracelet gold at 2019 World Series of Poker by winning Event #26 at this summer's WSOP, $2,620 No-Limit Hold'em Marathon. Along with his first bracelet, Korenev earned $477,401 for the triumph.

The 30-year-old Korenev, who lives in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, came to the Day 6 finale mired in a pack trailing Day 5 leader Jared Koppel. Though Koppel began the live-streamed finale with a large lead over the other five surviving players, the extended 90-minute levels in this “Marathon” event suggested a slow grind as the chasers tried to work their way back into bracelet contention.

Instead, the opposite occurred: a rapid series of all-in collisions sent four of the six finalists to the rail in a little over the first hour of play. Korenev came out the best through the early bustouts and soon after China's Dong Sheng Peng busted in third, Korenev surged into the lead to begin an epic four-hour-long duel in which the lead changed hands over a dozen times.

Koppel, of Minneapolis, collected $295,008 for the near miss in this 1,083-entry event. Peng finished in third to earn $208,726 in his first-ever WSOP cash.

Fourth place and $149,605 in Event #26 went to Poughkeepsie, New York's Francis Anderson. Day 6's finishers were rounded out by Yonkers, New York's Joe Curcio (fifth, $108,646), and Philadelphia-area player Joseph Liberta (sixth, $79,957).

A thrilled Korenev spoke briefly with the WSOP after his win as he and his large Russian rail continued to celebrate his win. “I feel great!” he said. “It was a long wait to get this [win]. I'm happy and so excited; dreams come true!”

A smiling Korenev ducked the wild up-and-down duel against Koppel after having just experienced the rollercoaster ride. “I don't want to talk about it!” he said at last, with a laugh.

Korenev was very glad for the Marathon's super-deep structure. “I think in this event you have the [opportunity] to make a mistake, and to survive when you're card-dead, you know. It's better for professional players for sure.”

When asked about his future poker plans, Korenev was quick with the quip: “Win next bracelet!” He'll be trying to do just that over the next month, with those plans definitely including a shot at the Main Event.

Six players made it to the live-streamed Day 4 finale of the six-day-long Marathon, which featured extended 90-minute levels. Three more players made the official final table in this event but busted late on Day 5. Those three were Texas's Matt Russell (7th, $59,672), Brazil's Gustavo Darosamuniz (8th, $45,100), and New York's Peter Hong (9th, $34,580).

The day's early carnage began with Joseph Liberta's sixth-place bustout. Liberta got the last of his chips in with   , and Korenov called with   . Both players hit the     flop but Korenev stayed ahead, and the   turn and   river completed the knockout.

Curcio busted in fifth 12 hands later. He was down to 850,000 when he found    and moved all in over an open from Anderson, and Anderson then called with   . That holding turned into two pair on a         board to crack Curcio's aces and send him to the cashier's desk.

Anderson and Korenev were still short-stacked at this point, and 13 hands later, Korenev cracked Anderson's better pair to trim the final to three. Korenev had Anderson slightly covered when he got almost all his chips in with pocket sixes to Anderson's pocket nines, but he caught a six on the flop and a         board ended Anderson's brief day.

Just eight more hands with little action elapsed before China's Peng busted as well, with Korenev again claiming the knockout. In another all-in preflop clash, Korenev started out ahead with    to Peng's   , and Peng never caught up, though he did miss on a handful of river draws as the board ran out        .

That left the starting six trimmed to just Koppel and Korenev in a little over one hour's play, with Koppel slightly ahead as their duel began. Both players continued to play aggressively Korenev soon moved out to a 3:1 edge, but Koppel took down small pots, then doubled through in a flush-over-flush hand. Koppel then came close to closing it out when he got his stack in with pocket queens against Korenev's pocket sevens, but Korenev again flopped a set to stay alive and double through.

Then the unlikely four-hour-plus duel between the pair rolled on, with the shorter-stacked player of the two managing to double up while all in befor the flop at least 13 separate times, with over half of those all-in hands coming from behind to win as the board cards were dealt.

Koppel had just logged the last of those double-ups after losing most of his chips in a major collision a few hands earlier, but when he tried for another double – which would have pulled him close to even – the string ran out. The final hand found Koppel limping from the button, Korenev raising to 1,000,000 million, and Koppel calling. The two saw a     flop. Korenev checked, Koppel bet 1,000,000, and Korenev called. The turn was the  . Korenev checked again, Koppel moved all in for 3,900,000, and Korenev quickly called. Koppel had   , but Korenev had    for the better pair, and he made top two pair when the   river completed the board.

Event #26, $2,620 No-Limit Hold'em Marathon, pulled in 1,083 entries to create a $2,553,714 prize pool. 163 players cashed and a min-cash was worth $3,928.

Click here for Full Results.
Click here for live updates from Event #26.

Event #26 cashers included TK Miles (14th, $21,208), Daniel Park (15th, $21,208), Preston Lee (16th, $16,970), Mohsin Charania (38th, $9,504), Ryan Leng (40th, $9,504), Joseph Cheong (49th, $8,075), David Pham (53rd, $8,075), Marcel Vonk (71st, $6,110), Olivier Busquet (77th, $5,444), Denis Timofeev (78th, $5,444), Cliff Josephy (85th, $4,930), Bertrand Grospelier (93d, $4,540), and Joey Couden (100th, $4,252).

Final-Table Payouts:

1st: Roman Korenev, $477,401
2nd: Jared Koppel, $295,008
3rd: Dong Sheng Peng, $208,726
4th: Francis Anderson, $149,605
5th: Joe Curcio, $108,646
6th: Joseph Liberta, $79,957
7th: Matt Russell, $59,643
8th: Gustavo Darosamuniz, $45,100
9th: Peter Hong, $34,580