Sunday, June 30, 2019 7:09 PM Local Time
Anatolii Zyrin Defeats Yueqi Zhu to Take Over the Crown in $1,500 Omaha Mix
When Anatolii Zyrin lost a 4-to-1 lead heads up for a bracelet three weeks ago, he wouldn't imagine getting another serious shot at a title this summer. And if there was an event in which he'd expect it the least, the 717-entry $1,500 Omaha Mix would be a strong candidate.
He hadn't played limit Omaha in his life. He'd played Big O only once and pot-limit Omaha hi-lo just a handful of times.
Somehow, Zyrin was still able to come out on top to win his first career-bracelet and $199,838. To do so, he had to deny none other than Yueqi Zhu to claim the throne from the defending champion.
"This is something unbelievable," Zyrin said with a wide smile on his face.
Final Table Results
|3||James Van Alstyne||United States||$84,106|
|5||Aron Dermer||United States||$41,112|
|7||Alan Sternberg||United States||$21,582|
His road to victory was about as wild as it gets.
"On the first day, I hit a one-outer for my life," he admitted.
As if that wasn't enough, Zyrin was ready to deliver more comebacks from his title-winning campaign, revealing that he once wanted to muck his hand on Day 2 before asking the dealer to reopen it so that he could take a photo. It was only then when he realized he had won the high.
He would have been left with two blinds, and there would have been a different winner story. Or maybe not.
As Zyrin proved on the final day, his performance was as close to destiny as possible in this earthly life. While he returned for the final day as the chip leader with four players left, he hit very sharp skids.
"I played poorly in the first two levels because I didn't know these situations as well as my opponents," Zyrin admitted.
Zyrin suddenly found himself dead last with just under one big bet left, but the variance would flip back in his favor. A stroke of fortune helped Zyrin vault back over the average stack within a few hands.
Zyrin gained some ground back and then eliminated Mesbah Guerfi in fourth and James Van Alstyne in third place. That propelled him to a heads-up match against Zhu.
For many, playing Zhu could be an unwelcome challenge, considering his remarkable results in the history of the mixed Omaha event; Zhu made it to three final tables of the tournament in no more than three years of its running.
There were also the memories from Zyrin's close call in the $1,500 no-limit hold'em shootout from early June. Zyrin had a giant lead with only one player between him and the bracelet, but he couldn't deliver that time.
"In the first heads up, my opponent was, I think, perfect. Maybe he had good cards, maybe good cards and good skill. He destroyed me," Zyrin said.
This time, he claimed to have felt comfortable. Zyrin said that he plays a lot of hold'em and regular pot-limit Omaha heads ups online, and he observed some patterns in Zhu's play that could be exploited.
While Zyrin looked for redemption for the shootout loss, Zhu had a strong incentive of his own. Keeping an unbeaten record for two straight years is a rarity in any poker tournament. Adam Friedman accomplished that in the $10k Dealer's Choice, which has arguably a tougher field, but also seven times smaller field.
A hand that pushed Zyrin close to the victory came in Omaha hi-lo when both players rivered a backdoor flush. Zhu had the second-nut hearts but Zyrin squeezed the ace-seven of hearts, leaving Zhu on a nub.
The match was over shortly thereafter as Zhu couldn't recover from the vast damage done to his stack. After finishing sixth in 2017 and winning in 2018, Zhu had to settle for the silver medal this time.
The debut WSOP triumph for Zyrin might help him break down one particular barrier. While he's played poker professionally for 10 years, he still hasn't been able to convince his parents about the legitimacy of his accomplishments.
"My mom thinks I'm a gambler. So maybe this win will change her mind. I'm not sure, but I hope," Zyrin said before adding: "I would like to dedicate the victory to my parents."
While he's yet to be praised for his poker skills in his family, Zyrin can't complain about support from elsewhere.
"We have a big community in Russia, a lot of people follow me as I stream online."
Only time will tell if Zyrin will be able to add two VIP fans to that group.
Sunday, June 30, 2019 5:56 PM Local Time
Yueqi Zhu Eliminated in 2nd Place ($123,466)
The chips went in preflop and Anatolii Zyrin opened while Yueqi Zhu held . A board of gave both players the same two pair but Zyrin had a better low and quartered Zhu.
Zhu was left with just over one bet and they raced again on the next hand.
The dealer rolled out and Zyrin informed his Russian railbirds: "nash" (ours).
Defending champ Yueqi Zhu was eliminated in second palce and Anatolii Zyrin succeeds him on the Mixed Omaha throne.
|Anatolii Zyrin||8,605,000||1,090,000 |
|Yueqi Zhu||0||-1,090,000 |
Sunday, June 30, 2019 5:51 PM Local Time
Zhu Doubles Through Zyrin
Yueqi Zhu was all in preflop for the last 545,000 with the and Anatolii Zyrin looked him up with the .
The board of provided plenty of outs for Zyrin to seal the deal, but Zhu doubled with the nut straight to remain in contention.
|Anatolii Zyrin||7,515,000||-545,000 |
|Yueqi Zhu||1,090,000||545,000 |
Sunday, June 30, 2019 5:46 PM Local Time
Zyrin Scoops Huge One
Yueqi Zhu raised his button and Anatolii Zyrin called.
They checked the flop and Zyrin checked again on the turn. Zhu bet, Zyrin raised, and Zhu called.
The hit the river and Zyrin bet. Zhu quickly called but he found out he got coolered as his for the second-nut flush wasn't enough. Zyrin had the goods with and Zhu was downed to last 545,000.
|Anatolii Zyrin||8,060,000||1,755,000 |
|Yueqi Zhu||545,000||-1,755,000 |
Sunday, June 30, 2019 5:38 PM Local Time
Zhu Pulls Some Back
Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
Yueqi Zhu limped in and Anatolii Zyrin checked to the flop, on which he check-called a bet of 120,000. The turn and river brought no betting action and Zhu won the pot with .
Zyrin limped in next and Zhu checked. The flop came and Zhu checked to Zyrin, who bet the pot for 240,000. Zhu raised the pot and Zyrin folded with the words "I fold a big hand, no gamble this time."
|Anatolii Zyrin||6,305,000||-500,000 |
|Yueqi Zhu||2,300,000||500,000 |
Sunday, June 30, 2019 5:32 PM Local Time
Zyrin Goes Full Throttle
Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
Anatolii Zyrin raised to 300,000 and Yueqi Zhu defended his big blind with a call.
Zhu checked on and Zyrin potted for 600,000. Zhu called.
The turn brought the same scenario. Zhu checked and Zyrin bet the maximum, making it 1,800,000. Zhu would have to commit nearly all his chips to see the river card and he let it go.
The next hand saw Zhu open to 350,000 and Zyrin call. Zyrin fired a pot-sized bet on and Zhu gave up.
|Anatolii Zyrin||6,805,000||1,200,000 |
|Yueqi Zhu||1,800,000||-1,200,000 |
Sunday, June 30, 2019 5:27 PM Local Time
Level 34 started
Sunday, June 30, 2019 5:27 PM Local Time
Up and Down for Zhu
Anatolii Zyrin check-called bets on the flop and turn of a board and mucked when Yueqi Zhu tabled for a flush.
Soon after, Zyrin got most of the chips back, in fact, he pulled further away. In a limped pot to the flop, Zyrin checked and called a bet of 125,000 by Zhu before check-calling another 400,000 on the turn. Zyrin led for the size of the pot, 1,250,000, on the river and Zhu released his cards into the muck after some consideration.
|Anatolii Zyrin||5,605,000||300,000 |
|Yueqi Zhu||3,000,000||-300,000 |
Sunday, June 30, 2019 5:17 PM Local Time
Zyrin Extends His Lead
In a limped pot, both players checked the flop.
Anatolii Zyrin got one bet from Yueqi Zhu on the turn and again on the river and Zhu mucked when Zyrin showed for the nut straight.
|Anatolii Zyrin||5,305,000||200,000 |
|Yueqi Zhu||3,300,000||-200,000 |
Sunday, June 30, 2019 5:09 PM Local Time
Zhu Misses Low Draw
The Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo hands saw the chips traded back and forth and the first bigger pot then took place when the game type changed.
Anatolii Zyrin raised and Yueqi Zhu called to see a flop, on which Zhu bet and Zyrin called. Zhu bet again the turn and the river, and Zyrin called both times.
Zhu rolled over for a missed low and Zyrin scooped the pot with for trips deuces.
|Anatolii Zyrin||5,105,000||1,070,000 |
|Yueqi Zhu||3,500,000||-1,070,000 |
Sunday, June 30, 2019 5:00 PM Local Time
Zyrin Bets Out Zhu
Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
Anatolii Zyrin limped from the button and Yueqi Zhu checked.
Zhu led out 125,000 when the hit the felt and Zyrin called.
The turn saw Zhu check to Zyrin who fired 275,000. Zhu called.
The river ruled out a low and Zhu checked again. Zyrin slid forward a pile of 25,000-denomination chips, making it 500,000. Zhu released his hand into the muck and Zyrin closed the gap with both players' stacks now within two-bet distance.
|Yueqi Zhu||4,570,000||-330,000 |
|Anatolii Zyrin||4,035,000||330,000 |
Sunday, June 30, 2019 4:53 PM Local Time
Careful Start Into Heads-Up
Anatolii Zyrin limped in and Yueqi Zhu checked his option to the flop, on which both players invested 125,000. On the turn, Zhu bet 300,000 and Zyrin folded.
Zhu limped and Zyrin checked to a flop. Zhu check-called bets of 150,000, followed by 350,000 on the turn and 300,000 on the river.
Zyrin tabled for queens up and a low, while Zhu had for a straight.
|Yueqi Zhu||4,900,000||180,000 |
|Anatolii Zyrin||3,705,000||-180,000 |
Sunday, June 30, 2019 4:45 PM Local Time
James Van Alstyne Eliminated in 3rd Place ($84,106)
James Van Alstyne raised in the small blind and Anatolii Zyrin called.
Van Alstyne bet on a flop of and Zyrin called again.
The turn came and Van Alstyne checked. Zyrin bet and Van Alstyne had fewer than two big bets behind. He thought for a moment and then pushed forward all his remaining chips. Zyrin immediately called.
Van Alstyne held but he found the bad news as Zyrin opened for a superior flush draw and a higher pair.
The river gave both players the flush and Van Alstyne was eliminated in 3rd place, paving the way for a heads-up match between Zyrin and Yueqi Zhu.
|Yueqi Zhu||4,720,000||-300,000 |
|Anatolii Zyrin||3,885,000||1,380,000 |
|James Van Alstyne||0||-980,000 |
Sunday, June 30, 2019 4:41 PM Local Time
Van Alstyne Fades Paired Board to Double
James Van Alstyne raised in the small blind and Anatolii Zyrin reraised to cover Van Alstyne's 490,000. Van Alstyne called off and the cards were turned up.
The board ran out with Van Alstyne making a straight at the same time when Zyrin spiked a set. The river failed to pair and Van Alstyne dodged lethal outs to double up.
|Anatolii Zyrin||2,505,000||-695,000 |
|James Van Alstyne||980,000||490,000 |
Sunday, June 30, 2019 4:36 PM Local Time
Oh Wheel Where Art Thou?
James Van Alstyne raised the button and Yueqi Zhu in the big blind raised, Van Alstyne four-bet and called the shove for just over 400,000.
James Van Alstyne:
The board came and they chopped it up, keeping Van Alstyne in contention.
|Yueqi Zhu||5,020,000||150,000 |
|James Van Alstyne||490,000||-50,000 |
Sunday, June 30, 2019 4:32 PM Local Time
Zhu Check-Raises River
James Van Alstyne raised to 275,000 on his button and Yueqi Zhu called in the big blind.
They checked to the river of the board where Zhu checked again. Van Alstyne bet 300,000 but Zhu woke up with a check-raise to what looked like 700,000. Van Alstyne immediately folded and he continued with fewer than 1.5 big bets.
|Yueqi Zhu||4,870,000||650,000 |
|James Van Alstyne||540,000||-775,000 |
Sunday, June 30, 2019 4:29 PM Local Time
Zhu Wins With Aggression
Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
In a battle big blind versus button, Anatolii Zyrin checked the flop and Yueqi Zhu made it 400,000 to go, which Zyrin called. The fell on the turn and Zyrin checked once more, and Zhu pushed forward a bet of 1,000,000. That ended the hand right there, as Zyrin elected to fold.
|Yueqi Zhu||4,220,000||675,000 |
|Anatolii Zyrin||3,200,000||-545,000 |
Sunday, June 30, 2019 4:23 PM Local Time
Level 33 started
Sunday, June 30, 2019 4:13 PM Local Time
Chip Counts on a Break
Players are on a 15-minute break.
|Anatolii Zyrin||3,745,000||-55,000 |
|Yueqi Zhu||3,545,000||95,000 |
|James Van Alstyne||1,315,000||-35,000 |
Sunday, June 30, 2019 4:05 PM Local Time
Zhu Takes Three-Way Pot
The action has somewhat slowed down without any major action past the flop. Yueqi Zhu raised the button to 200,000 and was called by James Van Alstyne in the small blind and Anatolii Zyrin in the big blind. The flop of was checked to Zhu and his bet of 500,000 won the pot right there.
|Anatolii Zyrin||3,800,000||-200,000 |
|Yueqi Zhu||3,550,000||175,000 |
|James Van Alstyne||1,350,000||-130,000 |