The final table of the $25,500 buy-in WPT High Roller Championship is set and what a final table it is. Seven of the world’s best players, including two members of Team partypoker, have navigated their way through the shark-infested waters and reached the grand stage.
Only six eliminations stand between the finalists and a massive, bankroll-boosting $1,094,460. Our very own Mikita Badziakouski leads the charge for that seven-figure prize, but he’s not going to have things his own way.
WPT High Roller Championship Final Table Chips Counts
The penultimate day’s play began with 28 players in their seats but that number continued dwindling throughout proceedings.
Russia’s Mikhail Vilkov was the first players to bust. The likes of Stephen Chidwick, Jans Arends, Andras Nemeth, and Team partypoker’s Ludovic Geilich followed Vilkov to the rail, Geilich doing so in 19th place for a $68,000 score.
Start-of-the-day chip leader Pascal Hartmann ultimately had to make do with the $84,000 14th place prize, yet another impressive displayed from him.
Australian superstar Kahle Burns eventually fell in 11th place for $102,500, the first six-figure prize of the tournament. Jake Schindler, Timothy Adams, and Brock Wilson also bagged more than $100,000 for their efforts; Wilson popped the final table bubble.
Each of the seven returning players is guaranteed to bag at least $155,060, but with almost $1.1 million and the title of champion up for grabs, nobody will have set their sights on the lesser amount.
Badziakouski is the man to catch at the restart, which happens at 20:05 CEST on September 22. Badzakouski returns to the fray armed with 4,750,685 chips and is going to take some stopping now he’s got a big stack at his disposal.
The Belarusian is an incredible player, one who frequents the biggest buy-in tournaments online and in the live arena. He’s won almost $28.5 million from live poker tournaments. Badzakouski has seven seven-figure scores on his resume, he’s now on course for an eighth.
Aleksei Barkov must be loving life right now. He won his seat via a $265 satellite and is now second in chips with only seven players remaining in this massive event. It’s safe to assume Barkov is guaranteed to smash his previous largest cash out of the water. He’s reached this final table on merit and is certainly the dark horse of the remaining players.
Returning in third-place with 3,673,742 chips is Malta-based Greek star Alexandros Kolonias. The man originally from Athens has almost $3.8 million in live poker tournament winnings, an impressive total helped by him winning the 2019 WSOP Europe Main Event for €1,133,678 ($1,260,917).
Kolonias almost won a partypoker LIVE event in 2019 too. He finished fourth in the C$10,300 No Limit Hold’em event at MILLIONS North America and banked C$270,000 ($275,770). He’s no slouch in the online poker world either, having amassed more than $3.7 million in earnings.
Then we come to our second member of Team partypoker who has reached the final table. Jason Koon sits back down with 3,420,295 chips and a very realistic shot at the near $1.1 million top prize.
Koon prefers live poker to online poker these days, not that you can tell from this performance. $31,101,728 in live tournament winnings places Koon ninth in the world’s all-time money listings. Should our orange diamond sporting grinder triumph in this event, it will be his ninth $1 million or more score of a long and illustrious career. He’s got around 100 big blinds in his stack right now, that spells bad news for the other six finalists.
Lebanon probably isn’t the first country you think of when asked about where elite players hail from but trust us when we say it has some incredible talent. Mark Demirjian may “only” have $220,000 worth of live cashes but that’s because he’s been busy crushing the online poker world for more than a decade. Demirjian satellited into this event for $2,600 so is guaranteed a superb return on that investment. Will it be a seven-figure return?
Daniel Rezaei is an Austrian living in sunny Malta and someone whose $1,050,000 in live tournament winnings places him 11th in their country’s all-time money listings. Rezaei came close to partypoker LIVE glory earlier this year when he reached the final table of the $10,300 MILLIONS South America event. That run ended in a third-place finish worth $435,000, a similar finish in this WPT High Roller Championship will beat that score.
Rezaei also has almost $815,000 in online poker tournament winnings. $42,189 is his largest score at the virtual felt, a prize he’s already guaranteed to blow out of the water regardless of where he finishes. Rezaei returns sixth from seven in chips, but still with 1,630,432 chips, which are still worth more than 45 big blinds.
Ali Imsirovic is the shortest stack going into the final table with 723,198 chips in front of him. He’s obviously got a lot of work to do but if anyone can turn around their fortunes at the final table it is this talented man.
Imsirovic has more than $8.9 million in live tournament winnings. Twenty-five of his cashes have been for at least $100,000, with one weighing in at $1,118,707 (£900,000). That big score came in 2019 when Imsirovic finished second to Cary Katz in the £250,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl London.
Play resumes at 20:05 CEST and you can watch the action unfold, complete with hole cards displayed, on our Twitch channel from 21:05 CEST. It’s going to be a masterclass of poker and one not to be missed by anyone who calls themselves a poker player or a fan of the game.
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